It has long been a question asked amongst experts and whisky snobs, does adding water make the flavour more intense?
Apparently, we now have the proof (no pun intended!).
For a more intense flavour, whisky should be diluted down to 27% proof from 40%. We are told that the reason for this is because of a complex interaction between the main ingredients the main one being the compound that provides the smoky taste, called guaiacol.
In the latest research, it seems that water and guaiacol compete to for the attentions of ethanol.
Adding more water, its appears to release more of the smoky flavour, which is then said to give the drink a more intense flavour.
Bjorn Karlsson and Ran Friedman were the lucky people to conduct the research at Linnaeus University in Sweden.
Guaiacol is “a substance that develops when the grain is dried over peat smoke when making malt whisky, providing the smoky flavour to the whisky”, Karlsson explains.
“A continued dilution down to 27% resulted in an increase of guaiacol at the liquid-air interface,” he said.
It appears that it is actually the aroma that plays a large part in how we perceive taste and this is highly individual.
Dr Karlsson said, “Some people choose to add ice cubes to their whisky, to cool it down and give it a milder taste. Thus, there is no general answer to how much water you should add.”
H/T: Science Daily