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The Forty Creek Guide
to Whisky Stones

In the last 20 years, Canadian whisky has emerged as one of the most complex in terms of flavour profiles. This is because our whisky laws allow for more freedom when it comes to blending techniques and leveraging unique flavour profiles.

Over the years, purists have claimed that all whisky is best served room temperature. But with the emergence of new and complex profiles, the use of temperature and dilution have reemerged as legitimate ways to experience everything that a whisky has to offer.

As such, whisky stones have emerged as a practical accessory to affect the temperature of your spirit without dilution. In this article, we’ll explore what whisky stones are, the history of whisky stones, their role in the experience and how they can enhance your favourite whisky.
In the last 10 years, Canadian whisky has emerged as one of the most complex in terms of flavour profiles. This is because our whisky laws allow for more freedom when it comes to blending techniques and leveraging unique flavour profiles.

Over the years, purists have claimed that all whisky is best served room temperature. But with the emergence of new and complex profiles, the use of temperature and dilution have reemerged as legitimate ways to experience everything that a whisky has to offer.

As such, whisky stones have emerged as a practical accessory to affect the temperature of your spirit without dilution. In this article, we’ll explore what whisky stones are, the history of whisky stones, their role in the experience and how they can enhance your favourite whisky.

What are Whisky Stones?

Whisky stones are simply that: stones of various kinds of materials that you can chill and place in your whisky to chill it. They offer a level of control that ice does not: chill the temperature but don’t dilute the spirit. They have been used in various ways since the stone age but have, most recently, made a resurgence as the ‘must-have’ accessory for any whisky-enthusiast.

The Historical Journey of Whisky Stones

  • Ancient Egypt: Egyptians used stones to keep drinks cold, often submerging stone jars in deep underground wells.
  • Rome: Romans, known for their love of wine, also enjoyed chilled drinks using snow or ice-filled bowls and underground ice cellars.
  • Middle Ages: Natural ice became a luxury for chilling drinks, primarily reserved for the wealthy.
  • 18th and 19th Centuries. The use of natural ice to chill drinks became more widespread with advancements in transportation and refrigeration.
  • Modern Times: The popularity of whisky stones has had a resurgence, especially with the rise of the craft whisky industry. It is the perfect way to lower the temperature of spirits without dilution.

Understanding Whisky Stones: What Are Whisky Stones Used For?

Whisky stones are designed for those who prefer chilled whisky but not watered down. They are handy for drinks with complex flavour profiles, like our limited release Cherrywood Reserve Whisky.

What Are the Best Whisky Stones Made Of?

Some of the most common materials for whisky stones include soapstone, stainless steel, and granite. Each has their own pros and cons.
  • Soapstone: Traditional and efficient in retaining cold. And for anyone who has broken their favourite glass by overzealously dropping in a granite stone, soapstone is also particularly gentle on glassware. 
  • Stainless Steel Whisky Stones: Arguably, the most modern and sleek option. And, if stainless steel wasn’t cold enough on its own, these stones often contain a cooling gel for extended chill.
  • Granite: The most durable and practical of the bunch. These granite stones add an elegant touch to your glass. That being said, an overzealous drop can cost you your favourite N-E-A-T glass. Instead, we recommend gently tilting the glass and sliding the granite rocks to the base.
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The Impact of Temperature on Whisky

Both the dilution and the temperature that whisky is served can significantly influence its flavour profile. But what if you only want to affect temp? Whisky stones are the perfect way to chill whisky without diluting it.
  • Chilling with Whisky Stones: Whisky stones allow you to adjust the temperature of your whisky precisely. Whether you prefer it slightly below room temperature or a bit cooler, you can have that level of control.
  • Temperature Preferences: The choice of temperature for enjoying whisky is subjective. Some connoisseurs believe that whisky should be served only at room temperature, but at Forty Creek we have found a chill can release new and exciting flavours in some of our longtime favourite expressions. 
  • Material Matters: Whisky stones are made from materials like marble, soapstone, granite, and stainless steel. If you prefer an extremely cold whisky, we would opt for a natural stone like marble or soapstone. These are the best at keeping you drink very cold as they are nonporous and excellent at cold retention.

Using Whisky Stones

Using whisky stones is a fairly straightforward process. Remove them from the freezer, carefully place 2-3 rocks in your favourite glass, pour in the whisky, and wait a minute or two for it to chill. If the temperature gets too low for your liking, remove a rock or two until you’re happy.

Cleaning and Maintenance

All whisky stones are easy to clean with warm water and a soft cloth. However, be wary of a dishwasher. While stainless steel and granite stones can handle it, the natural materials like marble and soapstone could get damaged in a steam cycle.

Exploring whisky stones, from their history to their use, can enrich your whisky experience and bring out completely new profiles in your favourite Forty Creek Whisky. Whether you go natural with soapstone or modern, with stainless steel, whisky stones are a practical choice for enjoying the delicate flavours of whisky. They are a testament to humankind’s (and whisky world’s) enduring creativity and resourcefulness throughout history.

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