A Whisky and Water Tasting
July 12, 2013
Today, Friday July 12, is the last day to purchase online tickets for Tales of the Cocktail seminars. There are still plenty of seats in my Water World: Water in Spirits and Drinks seminar, and I encourage you to attend. It's going to blow your mouth.
In previous posts, we've seen that different mineral waters affect the taste of scotch whisky, bringing out flavors such as sweetness, grains, and briney notes. These can be regional Scottish waters, or just different brands of bottled water.
In today's post I will go over what we'll taste in my seminar.
1. Bowmore 12 on its own.
2. Mountain Valley Spring water (flat).
3. Perrier (sparkling) on its own.
4. Bowmore 12 with just a few drops of flat mineral water added. What flavors change or become pronounced when we do this?
5. Water with whisky added on top of it. How does this smell different from water added to whisky? This is a a demonstration of Esterification/Saponification.
6. Swirl the last two cups. Do they now smell the same?
7. Add more mineral water to whisky, up to equal parts. How does the whisky continue to change. At what point does it go flat?
8. Add Magnesium salts to mineral water and stir. What does this water taste like?
9. Add this water to Bowmore 12. What flavors does this bring out in the whisky? Are those the same flavors as were in the Magnesium water, or different?
10. Add Calcium salts to mineral water and stir. What does this water taste like?
11. Add this water to Bowmore 12. What flavors does this bring out in the whisky? Are those the same flavors as were in the Calcium water, or different?
12. Now double up on those mineral waters. What do the waters taste like with lots of minerals? Better or Worse? Add more whisky to them. Still good?
13. Add a few drops of Perrier to Bowmore 12. What does this do to the whisky?
14. Add equal parts of Perrier to Bowmore 12, as in a highball. Now how does it taste?
I've gone through this tasting at home and with a victim friend, and the results are really fascinating. The mineral makeup and total amount of minerals influences the flavor of scotch whisky (and presumably other spirits) quite dramatically.
I hope that this will cause whiksy lovers in the audience not to rethink adding water to whisky at all, but to think, "Which is the best water to add to this particular dram?"
I hope to see you at the World World seminar, taking place on July 19th at 3:30PM in New Orleans.
The Water Project on Alcademics is research into water in spirits and in cocktails, from the streams that feed distilleries to the soda water that dilutes your highball. For all posts in the project, visit the project index page.
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