Adding Water

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Adding Water

Unread postby CgarSmoker » Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:23 pm

I'm not sure if this topic has been approached recently or not, but here goes...
Who adds water to their bourbon to "open it up"?

I consider myself a purist and normally don't add water.
Yesterday I went to my local cigar shop and we opened a bottle of Eagle Rare 17. I would say this is one of my favorite Bourbon's right now. At 90 proof, it's well balanced, just enough heat and sweetness and a long caramel finish. However, someone stated it wasn't quite what he liked and decided to add some water to his. :shock:
At first I cringed at this, but since I never tried it with water, I relaxed.
After adding the water he said he liked it better, but it still wasn't to his preference. Since I had finished my glass, he asked if I wanted the rest of his. Not wanting to waste :roll: , I obliged and he poured his glass into mine.
After trying it, I have to admit it was a different. I wouldn't say better, but not worse either. The heat was a little less, the flavors just a little muted, and the finish a bit softer. I guess this seemed obvious after diluting it, but this was not a great deal of water he added.

So I'm wondering who else adds water, or who wouldn't THINK of adding water?

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:13 pm

There is no wrong way to drink bourbon. I prefer it neat but I know many who add water and some that add diet coke. I just don't let them use my good bourbons with soft drinks.

I have drank bourbon with many people in the distilling industry and many of them prefer to add water. They say it opens up flavors for the product. I still like mine neat for the most part, but there are products that I add water to, usually when I think the proof is just too high.

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Unread postby Oregone » Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:29 pm

I am more likely to add water these days, although I used to insist on drinking all my bourbons neat. Just a splash.
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Unread postby parshooter » Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:56 pm

When I add water, it is usually by adding an ice cube or two. I do drink most bourbons neat, but some of the higher proofs do require me to add some dilution.

Unread postby TNbourbon » Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:18 pm

A lot depends on the the proof -- I virtually never dilute anything 90 or under except as experimentation. Over 100 proof, I almost always dribble at least a few drops into a pour. And, in the barrel proof editions (think Stagg), I generally try a measured dilution that brings the whiskey into the 90-100-proof range.
More and more, I'm finding time in the glass (i.e., aeration) emulates any 'opening' the water provides. Hard to just let it sit there, though. :?
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Unread postby TrueBarrel » Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:28 pm

I generally drink neat. I find that swirling the bourbon around in the glass to let it breath (or to "aerate" as stated by TNbourbon above) while holding the glass in my palm to warm up the bourbon opens up all the flavors. Every so often I do add a little splash of filtered water just to see the effect. Even with high- or barrel-proof bourbons, I find I like it better with the "breathe, swirl and warm" method rather than with water.
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Unread postby CgarSmoker » Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:21 pm

Like most things in life, it seems to be subjective.
Now Please, no one try to talk me out of this, but it looks like I'll just have to try various techniques (neat, water, swrilling, breathing, etc) to find way I like it.
I realize this may take a while, and may take many glasses, but it's the ONLY way, and someone has to do it. :twisted:

Unread postby Mark » Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:30 pm

I generally drink my whiskey at whatever proof it comes out of the bottle. Very rarely will I add water. If I do it is usually because I am doing a tasting or something like that but for regular drinking I never do.

Only way, besides the preivous mentioned, that water gets added is in the summer when I sometimes like to over a little bit of crushed ice.
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