Is there a correct way to drink whisky?

The question typically asked by new whisky drinkers: Is there a "right" way to drink whisky?

Neat? On the rocks? With Soda? Everyone has a preferred way. Well, as with may things in life, there is no "right" way, but some ways are considered to exceed others.

At the Helden Distillery we usually encourage our customers to explore a variety of different styles of drinking whisky. Though we believe there is a way that opens up the hidden characteristics of whatever whisky you like. We don't promise you that your friends won't label you snob, but this is a first step to becoming a connoisseur. In fact, you might even be teaching this approach fervently in the future to all your fellow whiskey-lovers.

Our preference is not just based on what some would-be connoisseur proclaims, but it is based on what some call "one of the most enjoyable experiments ever conducted in the name of science." Two researchers, Björn Karlsson and Ran Friedman from the Linnaeus University Center for Biomaterials Chemistry experimentally studied why the addition of a small amount of water to whisky usually enhances its flavors. The study centered around one of the key compounds that contributes to the flavour named guaiacol. When a spirit still has a high alcohol concentration (like our typical 46%), the guaiacol is distributed throughout the liquid of the whiskey. However, when diluted to around 25 percent, the guaiacol is released from solution and start "float" to the surface. Here it evaporates with some of the ethanol go enhance the whisky's aroma and taste.

So, since a little goes a long way when it comes to adding water, add some water to your Helden spirits and see how the full aromas springs to life.

Well what if you are the typical on the rocks type? Or if you're not that into the neat style? Well the good news is you can pour your double Helden Single Malt and then add one or two ice cubes. This slowly cools the whisky and the melting water also releases the guaiacol.

So, try you next Helden whisky with a small splash of crisp water or an ice cube and let us know if you also experience a more intense whisky experience.

So, go be different - be exceptional!


by Pieter van Helden
Founder and Lead Distiller at the Helden Distillery

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