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Where to buy Whiskey Stones?

s
sliver Dec 8, 2009 07:11 AM

Does anyone know where I can buy whiskey stones, the rocks you put in your whiskey to cool it without diluting it? I know the Globe had a story about some place in the north end that had them but I don't know where that was and I'd prefer some other options as well.

  1. home style Mar 29, 2010 04:01 PM

    --- ___

    1. Bob Dobalina Dec 9, 2009 12:46 PM

      Science aside - can have fun with your friends, when you ask them if they want their drink on the rocks and serve these up -

      Hey, they bottle water too, you know what I mean?

      1. v
        Velda Mae Dec 9, 2009 12:02 PM

        I bought them yesterday at Sur la Table in the Chestnut Hill Mall.

        1. l
          LDoll13 Dec 9, 2009 07:36 AM

          www.uncommongoods.com

          1. t
            teroforma Dec 8, 2009 02:23 PM

            Hello! Just trawling through Chow, came across this thread and thought I'd chime in. We make the Whisky Stones and can confirm they are for sale on line at a number of places - delight.com, thinkgeek.com and, of course, on our site at teroforma.com to name a few. They are for sale in the Boston area at Acquire as noted in another reply to this thread and also at Lekker Home in South Boston.

            In terms of the always-fun question of if/how to use the stones... Whisky is similar to a number of other cask-aged liquors in that it takes on important flavor characteristics from the barrel it is aged in. It's why you read about Whiskies which are rum cask, port cask, sherry cask or (most commonly) bourbon cask. The natural oils in the wood leach into the whisky over time and contain a large part of the residual flavor character that will mark that particular whisky. These oils will congeal and "close down" if the temperature of the whisky falls below a certain point. Rather than freezing the whisky which would eliminate a large amount of that flavor entirely, the stones are a great compromise precisely because they take the edge off (think 25 degrees down from room temp) without diluting or closing down the flavors.

            Anyway, there you have it. Happy drinking - and happy holidays!

            ~Teroforma

            16 Replies
            1. re: teroforma
              cannedmilkandfruitypebbles Dec 9, 2009 03:09 AM

              interesting. can you comment on the possability of the stones altering the flavor of the whisky? I can't imagine the stones are flavorless and they have to alter the flavor a little, no? and since stones are pourous, wouldn't they filter the booze through them as they sat in the liquid?

              1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles
                t
                teroforma Dec 9, 2009 09:01 AM

                Hi. To your question above, the stones are crafted from soapstone which is entirely non-porous, thus it does not trap flavor or odor. It is in effect "inert" and will not react with any household solvent - thus its wide use for countertops and other work surfaces. The thing that could carry flavor would be any residual stone dust from the cutting process which is easily removed with a wash or two when you first get the stones. Making sure they are dry when the go in the freezer will eliminate the possibility that ice can form around the stones in the freezer which could then convey unwanted flavor/odor. Used as directed, you should be able to enjoy them odor and flavor free - forever.

              2. re: teroforma
                MC Slim JB Dec 9, 2009 04:20 AM

                Probably getting into Spirits board territory, but: the science here strikes me as more than a little dubious.

                Adding an ice cube or two doesn't "freeze" whiskey: thanks to its 40-66% ethanol content, whiskey has a much lower freezing point than water. Bar ice (i.e., ice stored in a bucket at room temperature) could never chill a glass of whiskey below 0° C. So ice brings the whiskey's temperature down some (how much depends on the amount of ice and time it's allowed to sit) and adds some level of dilution (ditto). At what temperature do wood oils "congeal"? My understanding from experts as well as my own personal experience is that a little chilling helps mask the "hot" flavor impression lent by ethanol, and that a little dilution opens up the flavors of a whiskey, not closes them down.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  StriperGuy Dec 9, 2009 05:57 AM

                  Nevermind if you don't want the dilution that ice brings, you get the exact same effect by putting the bottle in the fridge and your glass in the freezer for a 1/2 hour before using...

                  I think whiskey stones are not the zhou zhou's for the drinking crowd, but rather the pet rocks for the drinking crowd ;-).

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    g
                    grant.cook Dec 9, 2009 06:22 AM

                    You could probably make a mint with WHISKEY BALLS! Just go buy some huge (marble sized or larger) stainless steel ball bearings and put some fancy packaging around them..

                    1. re: grant.cook
                      ScubaSteve Dec 9, 2009 08:19 AM

                      i've had Whiskey Balls. but i don't drink that much anymore.

                      1. re: ScubaSteve
                        StriperGuy Dec 9, 2009 09:59 AM

                        Hmm I always heard that happens a bit further down the stem of the glass.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB
                    t
                    teroforma Dec 9, 2009 08:47 AM

                    It's not about the alcohol, its about the flavor. Whisky is always tasted in two ways - neat and with water. With water, it is almost always tasted at cask strength. The water interacts with the oils I refer to in the way you would imagine - offering a varied flavor profile that tasters document in their comments. All you need to do is open your fridge and look at a bottle of organic salad dressing with real oils in it to know that oil congeals at a far higher temp than alcohol freezes. A little chilling is exactly what we intend with the whisky stones and its what they do perfectly. Hope that helps.

                    1. re: teroforma
                      MC Slim JB Dec 9, 2009 09:16 AM

                      Your science still seems a bit junky, or at best your example is a bad one.

                      Let's assume I actually buy bottled salad dressing. The separation of oil in that bottle isn't the result of "congealing" due to a drop in temperature. Rather, it has naturally dropped out of an emulsified state because it's at rest and the oil is insoluble in the other liquid ingredients. (For chemistry fans, the oil is a lipid whose long-chain molecules make it immiscible in water and watery solutions like vinegar and lemon juice.)

                      I can't say I've studied the chemistry of whiskey (at least not in the scientific sense), but I'm open to a more scientifically rigorous explanation of how chilling and dilution (or their lack) affect whiskey taste.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                        t
                        teroforma Dec 9, 2009 10:06 AM

                        I'm not a scientist - and nobody should know that much about salad dressing:) It was obviously a simple example. The point remains valid - you do not want to take whisky below a temp of about 50F as it effects the flavor. You also do not want to dilute it unintentionally. Melting ice is not - for most people - a very precise way to add water to something. You are better served by separating the processes - add your water if you want it; chill the whole thing with something other than ice. Unless you like those plastic floaty things, we're the only game in town. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy whatever it is you have in your glass.

                        1. re: teroforma
                          MC Slim JB Dec 9, 2009 10:31 AM

                          Actually, any reasonably skilled home cook has a basic understanding of emulsions from making sauces like mayonaisse. Hollandaise is another one, an emulsion of butter (there's your lipid) and lemon juice or vinegar (your water-like solution) with egg yolks as an emulsifying agent and a fairly narrow temperature range at which, if you've successfully, slowly whipped it together, it stays emulsified. Get outside of that range, too hot or cold, and the sauce "breaks", i.e., loses emulsion and maybe coddles your yolks -- a sad thing to behold.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          1. re: teroforma
                            StriperGuy Dec 9, 2009 11:24 AM

                            I mean seriously $20 for a small bag of rocks, seriously?

                            1. re: StriperGuy
                              MC Slim JB Dec 9, 2009 11:26 AM

                              This is the risk you take when you promote a product on Chowhound: Hounds are not the gentlest of consumers.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                t
                                tdaaa Aug 2, 2010 12:38 PM

                                I just got a set of these as a gift. I too am a single ice cube in a glass kid of guy, and I like the change in flavor that occurs as the bourbon concentration changes over time. Haven't tried the stones yet for whiskey, but I had a long run scheduled for saturday AM and had a very tight schedule - needed to get a cup of coffee in my body fast before the run. I dropped a handful of the cold stones in the black coffee and it was chugable temperature fast. Did not develop the bitterness that I associate with refrigerated coffee (also not that cold).

                                Probably voided the warranty, however.

                        2. re: teroforma
                          StriperGuy Dec 9, 2009 09:58 AM

                          Uhhhh, actually this is not true when you are talking oils that are alcohol soluble. And there is no alcohol in a salad dressing.

                          Any oils in whiskey are obviously dissolved in the whiskey so your salad dressing comparison is simply not true and irrelevant. If you would like some pointers on solvent based extraction from some natural product chemists a few of my co-workers would be happy to enlighten you and relieve you of the need to bandy about faux scientific jargon.

                          Any oils in whiskey dissolve in the alcohol, otherwise they would in fact separate out. I for one, even with whiskey in the freezer, never see the oils separate.

                          Finally, if you want chilled whiskey without further dilution (even cask strength whiskey has water in it) chill the whiskey and chill the glass.

                          Whiskey rocks may be the the pet rock for the whiskey set, but we don't need to justify 'em with scientific sounding jargon with no basis in fact. If you manage to get people to pay cash money for rocks I am very impressed. I've got this bridge I've been trying to sell...

                      2. re: teroforma
                        g
                        GB2112 Dec 18, 2009 11:10 AM

                        Teroforma, any idea where I can find these in the New Milford/Danbury, CT (06776) area? I need to ship tomorrow so too late for catalog delivery... thank you!!

                      3. nsenada Dec 8, 2009 11:49 AM

                        I usually get them free with my boilermakers - along with the beer goggles.

                        Actually, Acquire at 61 Salem Street in the North End supposedly has them.

                        1. MC Slim JB Dec 8, 2009 10:33 AM

                          Weird: I just learned of the existence of these things in a catalog last night.

                          My own feeling is that most whiskeys, even really rare ones, benefit from a small amount of icemelt, so I just use a cube or two.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          1. Bob Dobalina Dec 8, 2009 08:41 AM

                            Sounds like a DIY project if there ever was one.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Bob Dobalina
                              cannedmilkandfruitypebbles Dec 8, 2009 08:45 AM

                              Here: http://www.teroforma.com/Set_of_9_Whi...

                              there is also a company making stone whisky glasses you put in the freezer. Don't remember the name though.

                              It's a fad nonetheless and if you want cold undilluted booze, put it in the freezer. Whisky is always best neat or with a literal drop or two of water.

                              1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles
                                g
                                grant.cook Dec 8, 2009 09:00 AM

                                Maybe you could just go out into your local garden supply store and pick some up for 30 cents.. or go to a local beach and get some nice polished ones for free..

                            2. s
                              Splendid Spatula Dec 8, 2009 08:38 AM

                              Gosh, I feel like I've seen these in every general gift catalogue that has arrived at my house for the past month. Google 'em, they're all over the cyberworld!

                              1. h
                                hklmnrtz Dec 8, 2009 07:32 AM

                                Abodeon on Mass Ave in Cambridge: http://www.abodeon.com/

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hklmnrtz
                                  Calico Jack Dec 9, 2009 06:55 AM

                                  yup. $20 if i recall correctly.

                                2. StriperGuy Dec 8, 2009 07:22 AM

                                  Gosh, you could put the whiskey in the fridge ;-).

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                    mtm7654 Dec 8, 2009 08:10 AM

                                    Whiskey Stones-the Zhou Zhou pets for the drinking crowd.

                                    1. re: StriperGuy
                                      s
                                      sliver Dec 8, 2009 11:44 AM

                                      I need a gift for someone who is impossible to buy for! of course he'll also get whiskey.

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