We've been talking about appreciating whiskey and how to get your whiskey appreciation to the next level. And one of the things that is often a complaint in the industry is whether you add water or not to your whiskey. Many of you know that adding a drop or two of water can help to open up your spirit, and that's a good thing. You'll get different flavor profiles that come off.
When I do my Advanced Appreciation classes, I encourage people to not stop at those first couple of drops of water. When you add those couple of drops, take another sip, compare it to flavor profiles you got from the neat pour. Then, go back and add more drops of water, and taste again. Add more water and taste again! See how your spirit changes as you add more and more water--diluting that spirit down. In fact, keep adding water until it doesn't taste good any more.
You'll see a broad range of flavors and notes that come from the spirit, that you may not have seen if you dropped an ice ball in or created a highball with your whiskey.
A lot of times in spirits competitions, the whiskey is proofed down to 40 percent or lower, just so you can get the true essence of the spirit being judged. I've said this before, but Booker Noe often drank his bourbon in a water glass, and the glass would be half filled with water on top of the bourbon.
There's really no wrong way to experience your whiskey, but there are ways that you can step your game up and appreciate that whiskey or that spirit as you continue your journey!