The Big Whisky Debate: Water or No Water? - The Famous Grouse Experience
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The Big Whisky Debate: Water or No Water?

Having been around for a few hundred years (who’s counting?), Scotland’s Oldest Distillery has some wisdom that’s well worth sharing. So join our Drammolier, Lucy Whitehall, as she takes on some of the biggest debates in whisky.

Water or No Water?

How do you drink yours and why do you drink your dram that way? Is it neat or with a splash of water? Is there a right way or a wrong way? Ultimately, says Lucy, you decide…

“When deciding how you want to drink a dram, the first thing you have to decide is whether you are looking to appreciate the whisky or just to enjoy it. These are two very different approaches.

Appreciation is all about being able to nose, sample and identify flavours and sensations in a dram. Interestingly, some people think that adding water dilutes the flavour, but water is actually a fantastic addition if you’re intending to explore a whisky’s array of flavours. Water helps to reduce the ‘heat’ of the alcohol on your nose as it opens up the subtle flavours in the dram, so it’s a very worthwhile way of discovering a true tasting and nosing experience.

There’s something truly special about adding the same water to a dram that has been used for its production. We’re able to do that here at Glenturret Distillery as we are on the doorstep of Loch Turret whose waters run through all of our whiskies and is just delicious when added to a dram of The Glenturret 10 Year Old single malt. I usually take some water from my home town of Crieff, which comes from the beautiful Loch Turret, with me to our Famous Tasting Experience tours. It’s like putting a homely touch in your Famous Grouse dram.

But ultimately, when it comes to enjoying a dram, how you drink yours is completely down to personal taste. The best way to find out whether you would like a splash of water or not is to try with and without water, to see what you prefer.

I personally like to add a small splash of water to The Famous Grouse, however I often like to have a Naked Grouse without any water at all as its really sweet, rich and smooth. The Naked Grouse is great on its own, but it also lends itself to certain cocktails like an Old Fashioned – and let’s face it, mixing it with other delicious ingredients is always a valid alternative to water or no water!

An Old Fashioned is simply a measure of whisky, half a teaspoon of sugar, 2-3 dashes of angostura bitters and a splash of water – another delicious way to enjoy whisky, if it suits your tastes! People might like to try their whisky with Coca Cola, Irn Bru or with soda. None of these are wrong. Whisky is a very personal experience and, I think, everyone can enjoy it in their own way.

At Glenturret Distillery, our range of tours allow you to learn more about appreciating and enjoying both malt and blended whiskies. On our Distillery Experience tour in particular you can discover how The Glenturret Highland single malt is hand produced using traditional methods and with equipment that is hundreds of years old. Test your appreciation skills too with tastes of both these flavoursome drams.

Buy the Whiskies mentioned by Lucy here.

Learn more about Nosing & Tasting with our Distillery Tours here.

Tricia Fox
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