Nick Guy posted an update to his ice cube tray post on Sweet Home, following the challenge from Dr. Drang:
I wanted to prove or disprove if using different ice cube sizes from our recommended Tovolo trays (big and small) would make a difference in taste.
I’m glad this came back up again because I have some additional points to make on this subject. In Guy’s test two out of three people could taste the difference, saying that the smaller cubes were diluting the drink more. Now this test is flawed for a few reasons:
- The tester group was too small.
- Allowing ice to melt and re-freezing the ice can/will cause a taste problem with the ice and is not a real world situation to begin with. A better test would have been multiple setups where the ice need not be removed at all.
- It’s unknown how familiar the testers are with whiskey, or the flavor profile of the particular whiskey they were tasting.
The last bit is important, because slight dilution of whiskey with water can actually improve the flavor of the drink. Much like allowing red wine to breathe, good whiskey will need the same thing. It is not uncommon for a whiskey drinker to add a drop or two of water to the drink to “open up” the flavor profile.
You can read a bit more about adding drops of water to whiskey on Quora.