What are Whiskey Stones? We’ve Got the Lowdown

The Ultimate Guide to Whiskey Stones

Whiskey stones may have been played out overlooked in the past, but for whiskey connoisseurs, they’re quintessential. Its real strength lies in its form that no other whiskey accessory is able to achieve, and that is to let you really enjoy the drink in its purest form—keeping your prized dram at the perfect sip-ready temperature without dilution. If you ask us, that is an art form. Add in the fact that they’re reusable and eco-friendly—just pop them in the freezer and they can be used over and over again. They also look insanely cool no matter if they’re the granite, polished, or stainless-steel kind. That said, we’re diving into all things whiskey stones—the basics, the different types, how to use ’em, and the dos and don’ts. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite whiskey or Scotch, and let’s get into it!

Whiskey Stones Gift Box Set
Whiskey Stones Gift Box Set

What are Whiskey Stones?

What are whiskey stones made of? They are traditionally made of non-porous soapstone or more recently stainless-steel versions have also become popular. These stones can be chilled to keep your drink cold without diluting the drink itself. They are a deceptively simple bar tool that perfectly blends form, function, and a whiskey drinker’s affinity for timelessness.

Scotch Whiskey Rocks in an Engraved Box
Scotch Whiskey Rocks in an Engraved Box

Whiskey stones, or whiskey rocks, are small cubes of clean, cut natural stone (typically soapstone) used to chill whiskey and other spirits. These stones, available in a variety of sizes, are designed to be stored in the freezer, and added to straight shots of whiskey, bourbon, or scotch, in order to chill them without the risk of diluting the drink. Typically, these soapstone stones will lower your drink 15-20 degrees. However, the best whiskey stones for keeping drinks ice cold are the ones that are made of stainless steel. These chilling stones of steel have gel inside them that freezes allowing them to stay colder longer than traditional stones. However, many purists would swear regular soapstone whiskey stones are the best. To that we say, to each their own.

Personalized Whiskey Stones and Glasses Set
Soapstone Whiskey Stones and Glasses Set

1. Stainless Steel Whiskey Stones

Staineless Steel Whiskey Stones
Stainless Steel Whiskey Stones
Staineless Steel Whiskey Stones

While it’s true that different drinkers have varying preferences, including some who prefer to have a little water added to their drink, stainless steel whiskey stones such as this set create the possibility to quickly lower the temperature, while preserving unadulterated straight-from-the-bottle taste. Since good whiskey is aged over many years, a nice bottle isn’t cheap. Maintaining the distilleries’ desired balance for flavors is important, and too much water can lead to a watered down taste. Whiskey stones eliminate any and all danger of too much moisture, and still give you a tasty, chilled beverage.

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2. Redefining “On the Rocks”

Sphere Whiskey Rocks
Round Sphere Whiskey Stones
Whiskey Sphere Rocks

Whisky stones appeared in the first decade of the new century, around 2007. They were originally made exclusively from soapstone, a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. Soapstone is the perfect type of rock to make a whiskey stone, due to its soft composition. Once the stones have been cut and tumbled to remove sharp edges, a whiskey stone can be placed in a glass without the worry of scratches or breakage. Throughout history, soapstone has been used to create many types of kitchen ware, from mixing bowls, to fireplace surrounds, to sculpted works of art, so it’s a natural fit inside an Old Fashioned glass of whiskey. Some soapstone whiskey stones feature a semi-polished finish, retaining the muted look of natural rock. Others are highly polished like these spherical whiskey stones, with a shiny, slick black surface. Both types of finishing work equally well, so it comes down to the individual drinker’s preference in looks.

Handsome man posing and holding a whiskey glass

3. Soapstone Whiskey Stones

Custom Whiskey Rocks Set
Custom Whiskey Rocks Set

Whiskey stones also make enjoying a cold drink easier than before, especially when they come with unique whiskey glasses like this. Prefer a chilled whiskey but didn’t put the bottle in the fridge or freezer? Simply drop a few of the soapstones into your glass and you’ve got pure unadulterated and chilled whiskey without having to add ice and risk watering down your expensive bottle of Glenmorangie Signet or Michter’s.

Related: Best Whiskey Glasses

4. New Innovations

Engraved Set of Bullet Whiskey Stones and Rocks Glasses
Engraved Set of Bullet Whiskey Stones and Rocks Glasses
Set of Bullet Whiskey Stones

There are those that prefer certain types of stones over others. For example, the connoisseurs who prefer stones made of steel versus natural soapstone claim that the steel stones stay colder for far longer. This is true for some stainless steel stones because they have a freezable gel inside that stays frozen for a bit longer than stones made of actual stone or solid stainless steel. Some whiskey lovers even prefer their stainless steel whiskey rocks to be crafted into unique shapes, such as the bullet shaped whiskey stones included in this set. These badass whiskey stones are incredibly cool and, of course, will make your whiskey cool, too!

Extra Large Giant Whiskey Stones

Over the last decade or so that whiskey rocks have been around, new ideas have been introduced that offer high levels of style and usefulness. Each drinker now has the option of using a few small whiskey rocks, or one large whiskey stone to add to their glass. Large, round whisky stones are available, paying tribute to the sister 21st century trend, round ice cubes. Stainless steel whiskey stones are also being made, which offer the handsome look of brushed silver. Many scotch drinkers, however, prefer the stainless steel cubes because of the brightness it brings to their tumbler and how it chills their drink.

Whiskey tasting set with glasses
Engraved Whiskey Tasting Set

Another huge advantage of whiskey stones is that they work in every glass imaginable. Unlike ice molds or other chilling methods, the small stones are perfect for every kind of glass from an old-fashioned to a Glencairn, you get to choose exactly how you want to experience your chilled drink.

5. Geometric Art Chilling Stones

Geometric Set of Whiskey Stones
Geometric Set of Whiskey Stones

These distinctively shaped geometric chilling stones are modern and fun, owing not just to a whiskey connoisseur’s preferred aesthetic upgrade, but its versatility to fit into any kind of whiskey glass. This set includes big, chunky soapstone and marble versions in a pyramid, sphere, rectangular prism, and cylinder shape. The pyramid is kind of a nod to ancient elegance while the sphere’s vibe is modern minimalism. Meanwhile, the rectangular prism offers classic lines, and the cylinder is pure sophistication. It’s like having a piece of stone art in your whiskey glass.

6. Diamond Shaped Whiskey Stones

Black Diamond Whiskey Stones
Black Diamond Whiskey Stones

While most whiskey stones are either cubical or spherical, you’ll see more unique shapes like this set! Technically called tetradecagons, these stones have 14 sides each. The unique shape is largely for aesthetics as these stones are made of Basalt, but the increased surface area will help keep your drinks cooler for longer than some cubical stones. These are often called “diamond whiskey stones” because they’re somewhat shaped like a classic diamond. They’re a little bigger and heavier than traditional whiskey rocks, so you won’t need as many in your drink either.

Whiskey Stones and Glasses Boxed Gift Set
Whiskey Stones and Glasses Boxed Gift Set
Man in dapper suit holding a whiskey glass

How to use Whiskey Stones

Using this innovative drink accessory is very simple. Simply place in the freezer for 4 or more hours. When you are ready to drink, place your desired number of whiskey stones into your glass (or glasses, as the case may be). Reach for your favorite bottle of bourbon, scotch, or blended whiskey, and pour as usual. Wait a minute or two for the temperature of your drink to go down, and poof! You’re ready to sip. The best whiskey stones will last a lifetime, so it’s worth the investment.

FAQ

How long do whiskey stones last?

Whiskey stones will last a lifetime. However, if you’re wondering how long they will chill your drink, whiskey stones are typically good for chilling one to two drinks before needing to be re-chilled in the freezer. Buy a set of 9 or more so you can chill multiple drinks.

Are whiskey stones safe to use?

Whiskey stones are made of inert soapstone so yes they are safe to use in all drinks. All they do is conduct/transfer heat without changing the whiskey or flavor

Do whiskey stones work?

Yes and no. If you intention is to make your drink colder then yes whiskey stones work great. If your intention is to have a drink that’s ice cold then you’re best to stick with a big ice cube or stainless steel stones. Traditional soapstone whiskey stones are made to take the edge off the drink lowering the temperature 15-20 degrees for those whiskey enthusiasts who don’t want to dilute their bourbon, whiskey, or scotch. They are a classic way to cool your whiskey but are not the same as ice. Each has its own place in your home bar.

Do you wash whiskey stones after use?

Yes, always wash your stones with warm water after use so they don’t transfer flavor to your next drink. You can soak them in a cup for 15-30 minutes with tiny bit of soap, then wash with clean water and air dry before putting back in the freezer.

Where do you keep whiskey stones?

Keep them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Bourbon glasses with stones in it

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