A fine whiskey, scotch or bourbon is best enjoyed slowly, so that its aged perfection can be appreciated. For some people, experiencing that drink at room temperature is the only way to pay homage to a favorite, aged brew. For others, cooling down the drink is preferred, but adding ice cubes dilutes the taste. That’s where whiskey stones come in.
Whiskey stones will not bring down the temperature of a drink the way ice can, but used properly, they will introduce enough cooling to satisfy most palates. This alternative to the classic ice cube can be made from a variety of materials such as stainless steel, granite or soapstone. They are also available in a range of sizes to suit different needs and of course, glass sizes.
Convenient, easy to use and re-usable, whiskey stones are a great way to keep a drink cool without watering down the taste.
We feature four different whiskey stones you can buy online. Read on to find the ones that best suit your needs.
1) Top Pick Best All-Around: Balls of Steel Whiskey Drink Coolers
Whiskey stones are made from different materials, but of all the choices available, there is little dispute that the ones constructed from stainless steel are the best for holding the longest chill.
If you are looking for a dependable set of whiskey stones that won’t disappoint and that support a good cause, then you may want to consider Balls of Steel. These round stones are the perfect size to fit in any whiskey glass, even the tulip-shaped Glencairn. With non of the sharp edges found in square-shaped stones, they won’t scratch your fine drinking glasses.
Easy to use, just freeze them for 90 minutes and drop one or two into your favorite drink. An arctic core proprietary technology is used to make these stainless steel drink coolers deliver a long-lasting chill without diluting your drink. This set comes with a pair of tongs and a bag in which you can store the whiskey balls when they are in the freezer.
Plus, a percentage of each Balls of Steel sale goes toward testicular cancer research. Cool your drink and give to a good cause at the same time – it’s a win-win, right?
- Round shape has no sharp edges to scratch your glass
- Stainless steel keep colder for longer
- Percentage of purchase goes toward cancer research
- Only two whiskey stones
- More expensive than other products
Top Pick Best Versatile: XINLI Granite Whiskey Rocks
You enjoy the full strength of whiskey at room temperature, your partner likes it chilled without diluting the flavor, and your best friend likes it on the rocks, lots of ice, please. If you’re looking for versatile whiskey stones to please everyone, then consider this set.
Granite is a good conductor of cold, but doesn’t last forever. With four stones, you can put one or two into a glass and after 20 minutes, simply replace the stones with fresh ones from the freezer to keep your drink chilled. The stones have rounded edges to protect your glassware and are easy to clean. Just rinse with water and dry, then pop them back into the freezer.
The convenient FDA-grade silicone tray is versatile and can be used to hold the whiskey stones or you can fill them with water, juice, coffee or tea. Pop it into the freezer and voilà, you’ve got 1 ¾-inch sphere ice balls for the person who prefers a drink with ice, or the guest who doesn’t drink spirits at all and wants to keep their juice, coffee or tea chilled. The silicone tray makes taking out the ice spheres an easy task.
- Includes four granite whiskey stones
- Versatile silicone tray can hold whiskey stones, water or other liquid to freeze
- Reusable whiskey stones
- Includes a stainless steel tong
- More expensive than other sets
Top Pick Best Large Size: Rabbit Whiskey and Beverage Jumbo Chilling Stones Set
You like your spirits chilled but are not into how ice cubes can bring the temperature of a finely distilled drink to a level below what you desire. Plus, you want to capture the full, rich flavor of that aged scotch you received as a gift, so ice is really not an option. Nonetheless, you do like your drink slightly cooler than room temperature.
If you drink whiskey in a large glass and don’t want to be fussing with a lot of small-sized whiskey stones, then consider these jumbo-sized chrome stones. These whiskey rocks go straight from the freezer to your glass, chilling your beverage in seconds. And since they are so large, only one stone is needed to chill your drink, leaving the second to share with a drinking buddy.
The unique jumbo design prevents accidental drops down the drain. A handy storage case is included to keep your stones clean in the freezer. Simply put them inside the case in the freezer, come back in an hour and they will be ready to chill your favorite drink.
Stylish and made from durable stainless steel, these chilling stones are built to last and are odor-resistant, so the flavors of your beverage won’t ever leach into the material. Oh, and did we mention that they are dishwasher safe? Bonus.
- Large size so you only need one
- Made from stainless steel which stay cooler longer
- Comes with a handy case for storage in the freezer
- Dishwasher safe
- Does not fit well in a smaller glass
Top Pick Best Soapstone: Quiseen Soapstone Chill Rocks
Soapstone is the original material used to make the first whiskey stones in an effort to chill spirits without diluting the taste. Quality soapstone is non-porous, making it odorless and tasteless. It is also inexpensive, so if you are looking for affordable whiskey stones, then these may be for you.
This set of Chill Rocks, which comes with a velvet carrying pouch, includes nine chilling stones, enough for an evening of drinking with friends. These chilling rocks, made from natural soapstone, provide a smooth chill that doesn’t overwhelm the character of your drink.
Just rinse before using them the first time and put them into the freezer until you are ready to use them. When they have reached the desired coldness, add two or three stones to your glass and fill with enough liquid to cover the stones. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the stones to properly chill your drink. Then sit back and enjoy.
When you’re done, rinse and dry the stones and pop them back into the freezer for the next time. Perfect for whiskey, vodka, wine, bourbon, cocktails or any other beverage. It’s important to note that Chill Rocks are not meant to cool a a drink as quickly or as much as ice. They are intended to provide a slight chill – between 8 and 15 degrees – to protect the taste without drowning the quality.
- Made from natural soapstone
- Come in a gift box
- Nine in a set
- Never chew or attempt to eat them
- May scratch glassware
Things to look out for:
Before choosing whiskey stones, here are some things to consider to help you decide which ones work best for you.
Many whiskey connoisseurs and purists prefer their drink neat, with no ice in their glass to dilute the experience. And that’s okay. But for many people, especially on a hot night, adding some ice to their drink brings them pleasure, even if it does water down the liquid. That’s why whiskey stones were invented, for the drinker who prefers a chilled drink but wants to capture the full flavor of their beverage.
That being said, it’s important to realize that while whiskey stones will chill a drink, they will not bring the temperature down to the level of cool that a few ice cubes can. This is because as ice melts, its coldness integrates into every fold of the liquid and keeps it there longer. With whiskey stones, the cold stays in the stone, lowering the temperature of the drink without infiltrating the liquid or diluting it. So before you decide to purchase whiskey stones, think about how cold you want your drink to get – if you want it ice cold, then it’s best to go with ice and move away from chill stones.
Now that you’ve decided that whiskey stones are for you, you may want to consider which material they are made from as each one offers up different attributes.
Soapstone: This is the material from which the original whiskey stones were made. This natural product has a rugged aesthetic going for it, in that each whisky stone quite literally consists of chiseled rock and is a good choice if you want an all-natural material in your drink. Meanwhile, because the soapstone is nonporous, no harmful flavors or aromas will get into your whisky. Soapstone stones are usually smaller in size, so you may need to use more in a glass, but they are usually less expensive than stainless steel, chrome or granite stones, making them accessible to everyone. Finally, soapstone does not hold the chill for very long so you may have to replace them after 20 or 30 minutes to maintain the coolness.
Stainless Steel: If you want your liquor to be cold, then stainless steel is the way to go. They get colder than any other material and maintain that coolness longer. The downside of stainless steel is that some low-quality products can impart a metallic taste into your drink and they can be clunky in your glass.
Quartz: Whiskey stones made from this material are similar to soapstone as they are a naturally occurring material and will cool your drink, but won’t stay cold as long as those made from stainless steel. They are, however, attractive and very aesthetically pleasing, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Shape and size:
The shape and size of a whiskey stone may not seem important but in reality, it has a lot to do with choosing the right stones for your needs. Most whiskey stones are either square or round, although some are conical and shaped like bullets. Square or cube-shaped stones are convenient, but their rough edges may scratch your glassware. You won’t have that problem with stones that are round. Those shaped like bullets can also scratch your glass, and they can stand upright in an awkward way. If you want your drink as cold as possible for as long as possible, go for cube-shaped chillers. This shape puts the most surface area in contact with your spirits, which gets it colder more effectively.
With smaller whiskey stones, you may need more than one to keep your drink cool, which means you will have to purchase more of them, especially if you are hosting a party with guests who like to use stone chillers. That being said, smaller stones fit into almost any size glass, including a Glencairn or a tall, thin glass. A large whiskey stone – and some are jumbo sized – are convenient because you only need one for your glass. However, they may be too big to fit into a smaller-sized glass.