WATER AND WHISKEYFebruary 10th, 2021 | Water and Taste
THE WATER OF LIFE
“Uisge beatha”, the Gaelic term for whiskey, means “water of life”. So when drinking whiskey, there has always been a link joining them – completely new taste experiences when you add water to the gold-coloured spirit
A WORLD OF FLAVOUR WITH JUST A DROP OF WATER
Pure or diluted? Whether water belongs in the whiskey or not, the spirits reliably diverge. Some see adding water as a sacrilege, others pipet with conviction, drop by drop. The result of this combination is a silent explosion, a symbol of taste genius.
Joe Magowan knows this spectacle all too well in the nosing glass. The Belfast native has turned his passion into a profession. Since 2017, he has been working as an Irish whiskey ambassador with triple distilled spirits, before working for a long time in the whiskey trade.
How, everyone decides for themselves. Joe is completely individualist in this regard. And above all tolerant. He doesn’t set any guidelines. But the fact for him is: “The addition of water changes the taste of whiskey.” Not least because the process reduces the alcohol content. At the same time, water unleashes facets that would otherwise remain hidden from the taste sensors. “A drop of water can open up a whole new world of flavors in a glass of whiskey,” says Joe.
This perception has also recently been confirmed by science. A Swedish research duo was able to prove that the taste carrier Guajacol, is located on the whiskey surface with an alcohol content of about 40 percent by volume. At a higher alcohol content, the substance tends to swell down the glass. The water lowers the alcohol content, it allows the Guajacol to rise further and helps it to develop better. The whiskey tastes more intense. Even before it is bottled, the alcohol content of whiskey is usually reduced with water from 60-50 to the usual 40-45 percent volumes.
“I love whiskey, I love discovering it in its diversity, bringing it closer to people. In the end, however, it is above all a drink – made to be drunk and experienced.”
WATER? BEST DRUNK NATURAL AND PURE!
While the amount of water drops in the tumbler is a variable, it is based solely on personal preferences. “The choice of water should be made carefully”, Joe Magowan warns: “I would necessarily reduce pure whiskey with still water, which has as little of its own taste as possible, so it is cautiously mineralized.” “Water!” Joe Magowan sums up, “is the key to good whiskey”.