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Whisky Stones. Good idea?

1 Oct
When I heard about the Whisky Stones, I thought it was awesome even if I do not like my whisky even remotely cold. Have you seen these things?

Are those ROCKS in your glass, dude?!

You got it. You put them in the freezer and get them nice a cold. RIDICULOUSLY cold even. I mean, leave those suckers in the freezer in their cute little velvet carrying pouch for days or even months and let them get as cold as possible.

Now put them in your drink. Don’t they look awesome? You bet they do! You just put soapstone rocks into your straight liquor! Even if you are a woman, you seriously just took a terribly manly step by drinking straight booze with ROCKS in the glass. Bad. Ass.

Cool velvet pouch storage
But there is a catch. They DO NOT WORK.
Repeat.
THEY DO NOT MAKE YOUR LIQUOR COLD.
One of the stones slid down the glass and was a little chilly, but that lasted a good minute or two. The liquor warmed up the stones in no time and did almost nothing in the meantime. I think that the picture below is a better use for them, actually:

The extent of my arts and crafts capabilities.

“Hey Bret. Cool stack of rocks.”

Thanks. Since I was a small child I’ve dreamt of having small gray stones stacked like kiddie letter blocks displayed as a sweet tchotchke on the living room coffee table.
“Um. Sweet.”
Avoid these things unless you are trying to impress someone. The utility for these suckers just are not worth the $20-30 they cost. Amazing thought (make your drink cold without watering it down!!!). Bad execution. They need to figure something else out. They must have spent a fortune on PR because the reviews out there rant and rave about how awesome these things are! I had a room full of people that all tried my liquor with these freezing cold stones in it and no one could tell a difference beyond a “I think it’s a little bit colder. Maybe?” These stones were in my friend’s freezer for a long time.
They didn’t do a damn thing but look cool.
10/1/2010 UPDATE: The following is a response from “Andrew” at Teroforma

Andrew here from Teroforma – we make the Whisky Stones and always appreciate hearing our customers’ reactions – good, bad or indifferent. On the few occasions that we have heard this type of feedback, it is invariably because of unrealistic expectations, all due respect. The stones work perfectly every time (simple physics) if they are used as intended – 3 stones chilled in the freezer for 4 hours to 2-3 ounces of liquid, leave 5 minutes swirling occasionally will reduce the temp from 73F (average room temp) to the mid- to lower 50s. This type of complaint arises if the expectation is that the stones will mimic ice which takes pretty much any liquid to near freezing. I am a firm believer that if you buy the booze, you can drink it however you want, but most whisky aficionados agree that a temp near freezing closes down all the flavors in the oils from the cask in which the whisky was aged. Not to mention, the ice eventually melts, returning a muddled drink back to room temp with time. The Whisky Stones offer a different – and we think better – way to enjoy your favorite dram for all the reasons I’ve said. And while we would hope you think so too, at the very least it’s our responsibility to help clear up any inaccuracies or misunderstandings. Anyway, hope that helps a bit – and please do keep the comments coming.

MY RESPONSE:




Mr. Andrew,
I sincerely appreciate the response and have taken these exact thoughts into mind when I tested them! I would absolutely not want to a frosty cold scotch whisky in my dram no matter what, but a slightly chilled dram would have at least shown that the rocks were doing something.
Alcohol (aka ethanol, the drinkable alcohol) freezes at a temperature of -114 Celcius (-173.2 Fahrenheit). Using a 0 degrees Farenheit freezer as a measure for the common home freezer, I am not sure how the stones are supposed to noticeably reduce the alcohol temperature. It could affect the other portions of the whisky (water and other), but a high-concentrated alcohol such as whisky, is something else. Common ice melts and becomes a chilling factor of cool water in your dram, which also undesirably dilutes the drink.
Anyone who has stored their favorite (ahem) bottle of vodka in the freezer knows that even then is the alcohol mildly cooler than usual and warms to room temperature within a few minutes of sitting out.
Let’s face it, I’m not physicist (and I’d love to have a third-party someone with more experience with actual physics than I have take a swing at this argument with actual supporting data). I pulled the rocks from my glass approximately 5 minutes after putting them in and they were room temperature already.
I am honestly not knocking the concept of which I find brilliant! I would just want them to do what they are put out there to do: chill high alcohol concentrated beverages.
Thank you again for contributing to the conversation!
Best regards,
Bret C. aka Scotch Finder