There are few things in life better than a glass of the best Scotch or Bourbon whiskey served at room temperature. A room temperature drink opens your taste buds and olfactory senses but for some folks, a quality dram goes down smoother when cold. For that, you can add some dense cubes of clear ice or, if you prefer a drink of the non-diluted variety, a few whiskey stones (sometimes known as whiskey rocks).
Whiskey stones (or rocks) are cubed or spherical alternatives to ice made using materials like soapstone or even stainless steel. They don’t melt, which means they won’t dilute your quality single malt, but an important question remains… do they actually work?
The good news is that whiskey stones – or whisky stones, depending on where you hail from – do work, generally speaking. The bad news is that most of them don’t work too well, and won’t sustain a chill factor with the same efficacy as ice. That said, some scotch rocks will actually bring the temperature of your dram down by 11.1 °C (51.98°F), and keep the drink nice and cold for a good while. We discuss all this and more in our complete guide below, which includes our list of the best whiskey stones money can buy.
How Man of Many Chose This List of Whiskey Stones
When it comes to our list of the best whiskey stones money can buy, it goes without saying, that expertise is key. While Man of Many has had the chance to test every whisky rock on this list (often thanks to our friends in the industry), they’ve also turned to the wider public for their overall ratings. Man of Many’s lists takes into account three major perspectives to determine the overall rating. In addition to their own opinions, they take into account reviews via alcohol retailer Dan Murphy’s and Amazon Reviews. They then collate the information together and measure the whiskey stones via overall effectiveness, style and price.
The Best Whiskey Stones
How to Choose the Best Whiskey Stones
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about whiskey stones in our guide down below.
Now, let’s check out our list of the best whiskey stones money can buy.
Best Stainless Steel Whiskey Stones
Many of the best scotch stones aren’t stones at all, but steel balls. Just be careful with stainless steel whisky rocks because you don’t want them seeping a metallic taste into your drink. To be on the safe side, stick with the ones below.
1. Georg Jensen SKY Icecubes
Kings of Scandinavian design, these SKY Icecubes by Georg Jensen are as aesthetic as they are practical. Constructed from a shiny stainless steel, they appear as sparkling pebbles and make for an alluring, if not, seductive, reusable ice cube. Contemporary design at its finest, the sculptural asymmetric shapes will no doubt be the centre of conversation if you take them with you to your next dinner party, and to that, we say — cheers!
Price: from $65 AUD
Materials: Stainless steel
2. Avanti Dice Whisky Stones
Not your regular whiskey stone, these ice cubes are sleek, geometric dice, but are a bit bigger, and made from a different material than any regular ol’ dice. They are made from high-grade stainless steel with food-safe gel on the inside that remains frozen for up to an hour, perfect for those who like to really sip on that whiskey. To keep with the themes, they even come in a velvet pouch for you to pop in the freezer when not in use.
Price: from $40 AUD
Materials: Stainless steel
3. BonBon Large Steel Whiskey Balls
Keep things simple with these shiny orbs from BonBon. known for their high-quality stainless steel material, you can rest assured that these balls will not get in the way of a delicious beverage. They incorporate the latest technology which means that they will not dilute your beverage or hinder it with a (dissatisfying) metallic aftertaste, thank goodness.
Price: from $50 AUD
4. Balls of Steel Whiskey Stones
Do you want to drink your whiskey in style, whilst also working towards a great cause? Well, now you can do both thanks to these whiskey stones by Balls of Steel. With each sale, a percentage goes toward testicular cancer research, what’s not to love? These brilliant whiskey balls will keep that drink of yours cold for up to a full hour, perfect for those who end up getting distracted away from their drink. Chilled whiskey and contributing to cancer research, I’ll drink to that.
Price: from $30 AUD
5. Stainless Steel Bullets
We can’t get enough of these stainless steel bullets from The Wine Savant. True to their name, these whiskey stones are shaped like bullets — perfect for your whiskey-loving (or gun-toting) friend. They don’t take long to freeze and they won’t dilute your drink. You may get some odd looks at first, but after a short explanation, we have no doubt everyone will be asking where you got them.
Price: from $18 AUD
Best Natural Stone Whiskey Rocks
When most people hear the words “whisky stones” or “whisky rocks”, they picture the nonporous soapstone variants (assuming those people aren’t picturing ice cubes, that is). While not as effective as stainless steel, soapstone has a rugged aesthetic going for it, in that each whisky stone quite literally consists of chiselled rock. Meanwhile, because the soapstone is nonporous, no harmful flavours or aromas will get into your whisky. Here is our list of the best soapstone whisky stones.
6. Rocks Whiskey Stones
Enjoy whiskey at the perfect temperature the natural way with these handcrafted Whiskey stones from Rocks. Made from handcrafted granite, these solid round stones are not only bold and aesthetic, but will cool your drink without diluting your precious whiskey. Crafted by hand with love for the whiskey connoisseur, elevate your drinking experience or buy as a gift for your whiskey-loving friend, they have plenty of gift sets to choose from!
Price: from $60 AUD
7. Teroforma CLASSIC Whisky Stones
Teroforma is the OG whisky stone maker, and their classic whisky stones are a long-time favourite. The light grey stones are a unique stone, each one is handcrafted in the oldest soapstone mill in America. and are downright eye-pleasing as a result. It is recommended to use three stones to a glass, which will keep your drink nice and cool and also exude an aura of unrivalled sophistication.
Price: from $20 USD
Made in: USA
8. Avanti Crystal Whisky Rocks
Easily mistaken for actual ice cubes, Avanti Whisky Rocks are much more high-tech. Whilst they are designed to emulate the look and feel of an ice cube, they are made from high-quality Quartz Crystal which is much better than plain old ice, as it means you can keep your favourite spirit drink chilled without diluting it and weakening that unbeatable whisky taste. They are reusable, non-porous and odourless and affordable, need we say more?
Price: from $20 AUD
9. Teroforma Whiskystones MAX
The bigger the whisky rock, the better the chance it will keep your drink cold, and this is about as big as you can get. The Teroforma MAX is not for the faint-hearted, and whilst it won’t fit in all glasses, it does promise the long-lasting chill to your whisky that you crave.
Price: from $22 USD
Made in: USA
What are Whiskey Stones?
To better understand how whiskey stones work we’ll start by explaining the science behind chilled beverages in general. You see, it’s all about the transfer of heat. When a cube of ice lands in a delicious dram, it’s not the low temperature of the ice spreading into the warm liquid that makes the drink cold, but rather the alcohol’s heat escaping toward the ice and causing it to melt.
Whiskey rocks work in a similar manner – they absorb the heat from your boozy beverage. However, because the stones don’t melt, the cooling period commonly stops sooner than later. As a result, most whiskey stones are usually less effective than solid ice cubes or spherical moulds. Usually, but not always, as some of the best whiskey rocks (namely the ones made of steel) won’t just get your dram down to ice cold levels, they’ll keep it at those levels for a respectable amount of time.
Do Whiskey Stones Actually Work?
If you prefer your drink to be ‘neat’ and completely uncompromised (meaning a few drops of water at most, and absolutely no dilution from ice) then scotch rocks might sound too good to be true. Indeed, in some ways they are.
Nearly all whisky stones take longer than ice to chill your dram in the first place, most of them don’t get the dram down to ice-cold levels, and only a precious handful can keep the dram cold for extended periods of time. All of these shortcomings hold especially true when you’re dealing with traditional soapstone or granite whisky rocks.
Naturally, there are exceptions to the rule, most of which come in the form of stainless steel whisky balls. Yet it should be noted that even the steel variants won’t activate with the same expediency of ice, meaning you’ll be waiting longer for your drink to chill. In our opinion, that’s a small sacrifice to make, but still one worth mentioning. Of course, if you’re the kind of man who actually likes a discernible amount of water in his whisky, then you should skip scotch rocks altogether and stick with the ice cubes.
What are whiskey stones made of?
Whiskey stones are traditionally made of non-toxic soapstone. Today, you will likely find whiskey rocks in a variety of materials. Including stainless steel, granite and the traditional soapstone.
Do whiskey stones work?
YES! Since the stones can't melt they are perfect for chilling your dram without the intervention or dilution associated with ice. The stones will chill the drink slower than ice.
Do whiskey stones affect taste?
Whiskey stones are unlikely to affect the taste of the whisky. Of course, if you opt for a stone that is made of poor quality materials you are likely to impact the purity of the dram. We recommend stainless steel or quality soapstone stones.