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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Choose Your Chill: Comparing Whisky Stones, Giant Cubes and Small Ice

I almost always prefer ice. Good read at the link

photo credit George Hodan CC0 Public Domain

If you enjoy an occasional whisky on the rocks, congratulations! You’ve already made the first of many difficult decisions whisky lovers face. The next question: Which type of ice should you use in your drink of choice? Years ago, most bars served that hollow “cheater ice” designed to melt on contact and fill your glass. Today, large, square ice cubes that melt slowly are de rigueur for both bars and at-home drinking. At the extreme end, whisky stones promise to chill without dilution. We tested each of these methods to evaluate the ways in which they cool and dilute whisky over time, so you can select the right fit for your whisky the next time you’re chillin’.

LAWS OF WHISKY THERMODYNAMICS Iskender Sahin, professor and associate chair of mechanical engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, explains what’s happening in the glass.

The Smaller the Ice, the Colder the Whisky The verdict is in—the smaller ice made our whisky freezing cold—actually even colder: 23º F! That’s because the heat transfer, or the cooling process of the whisky, is proportional to the surface area of the ice. The same volume of small cheater ice or crushed ice has much greater surface area than a single cube, therefore enhancing the cooling of the whisky.

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