A Drop of the Good Stuff: Water’s Starring Role in Whiskey Production
by Gary Quinn
Whether you are in the pro or anti "addition of water to your whiskey" camp, it can be easy to forget the huge importance this life-giving liquid brings to whiskey.
The whiskey gatekeepers try to convince us that water and whiskey don’t mix – conveniently ignoring the fact that water is the biggest part of this three-ingredient elixir. Water is possibly whiskey’s greatest companion and no amount of whiskey snobbery can change the fact that it’s is a powerhouse in whiskey production. Around 60% of whiskey is water after all.
The simplest test of water’s power is at the very end of production when you release a single drop of water into a glass of whiskey. The affect that this tiny amount can have on the aroma, flavour and sometimes the texture of the resulting liquid is quite remarkable and testament to the layers of alchemy that create it.
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