Appearing in earnest a little over five years ago the Whiskey Stone is a novel approach to the old question of 'how do I keep my drink cool without diluting it with ice?'
The approach is elegant in its simplicity; find a material which is solid, non-porous and won't mess with the flavour of your drink and then pop it in the freeze. And soapstone fits the bill perfectly.
These little rocks sit neatly in the back of the freezer until you're ready to use them then just pull them out and plop them in your drink.
For a relatively standard sized 'pour' of whisky manufacturer 'Sparq Home' say their whiskey stones will cool the drink by about 12 degrees.
There are many purists quoted online as saying these are not as useful as you would believe however I think, in the Australian climate, the true use of these really shines through.
The ambient temperature in many Australian homes easily reaches the thirties in summer and (I don't know if you've ever experienced it) drinking a whisky that has been sitting like this for the entire day is not the most pleasant of experiences. Ice seems like the obvious choice but, again, the higher temperatures will cripple you here - causing
your ice to melt rapidly so you have much less control over the dilution of your drink.
Personally I like my scotch neat but to be able to control, exactly, the dilution of your drink without having to worry about how quickly you sup it was enough to get me to pick up a set. And I use them regularly.
Whilst scotch is the obvious drink to use these stones with their range is not that limited - a white wine or champagne will benefit equally from their cooling ability and whilst some cheaper brands are prone to crumbling the higher quality soapstone (such as the ones we stock by Sparq) are resilient enough that you can even microwave them for a few minutes and use them to keep a mug of tea or coffee warm. I quite often do this when drinking tea and smoking cigars (a combination you have to try) as I don't drink nearly as quickly.
Wether you're a convert already, picking them up out of curiosity or are stuck for the perfect little gift for a scotch drinking buddy for $19.95 these are kind of a no-brainer.
You can find the Sparq Whiskey Rocks on the Devlin's website here: http://devlinsonline.com.au/products/sparq-whiskey-stones