Only Losers Ruin Their Scotch.. on the Rocks
I must admit, I do still drink a good scotch on the rocks about 50% of the time. But the flavor experience is certainly superior when drinking it neat.
A good article. Most American whisky lovers I know, myself included, started by drinking on the rocks. As the article notes, that's how we take our drinks in the US. For me, there came a point where I was continually trying to get more flavor out of the glass and realized the ice was getting in the way, so I ended up going neat, and once you go neat, you never go back...except on a really hot day, or maybe in a cocktail.
Interesting... I've interviewed a lot of master distillers, and master blenders in the whisky trade, and they all have a different story. Some are 'neat', some like a splash of water, some like one cube- one (but just one so far) from a fairly well respected single malt distillery mixed his with ginger ale.
But every one so far has said - "drink as you like it" which I take to mean "there is no wrong way".
Everyone has a different mouth, different tastes...
I've always thought try it neat first, then try with water, and then add ice. But don't just add ice or water without tasting. And please if you are going to drink my single malts don't take as a shot or mix with soda.
My dad usually drinks his scotch with ice or water because I likes it cool and enjoys crunching the "scotch flavored" ice at the end of his drink. I drink it neat because I usually drink scotch in the winter when I want something warm. Margaritas or G&T's in the summer when I want something cool and refreshing.
I'm of the "little bit of water" school, often in the form of one or two cubes of ice, depending on the ice machine. I think it makes a big difference in the appreciation of a whiskey's (or whisky's) flavor. Clearly a glass full of ice and/or lots of water or seltzer is a bad idea, but I don't often see Americans drinking fancy single-malts that way. Blends, sure, but don't self-respecting single-malt lovers consider blended Scotch drinkers beneath contempt, regardless of what else goes in the glass? Put the snobbish attidtude on ice, and educate people.