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Whiskey stones are divisive in the spirits world. Some whiskey purists would never; they think the stones ruin the integrity of the spirit. However, “It’s almost impossible to find something that annoys me more than whiskey that’s served too warm,” says Westland Distillery’s Chris Riesbeck. “It makes everything taste out of balance and accentuates the alcohol over all the other raw materials.”
A whiskey stone is an excellent way to chill down a drink, but why not ice? As ice melts, it dilutes your drink, and next thing you know, you’re sipping a watered-down version of your spirit. A whiskey stone’s appeal comes in multitudes. Use them for liquor, but also wine on a hot day or a cocktail you are drinking slowly.
Below are the best whiskey stones for all your sipping needs.
Best Overall: Teroforma Original Whiskey Stones
Muslin storage bag
Whiskey stones come from an ancient Scandinavian tradition of using frozen rocks to cool liquids. The brand Teroforma revived this technique in 2007 by introducing tiny rocks for chilling spirits. Soon after, they became a go-to gift for spirits enthusiasts.
Teroforma produces stones crafted from soapstone, all hand-carved in America’s oldest soapstone mill using closed-loop milling processes. Drop three into your drink and your beverage will be chilled in five minutes.
One of the big criticisms of whiskey rocks is that poorly made versions add unwanted notes of metal or rock to your sip, but the draw of soapstone is that it won’t impart any additional flavor. After you have finished your first drink, wash quickly with water, air-dry, and place in the freezer. In four hours time, the cubes will be ready for your next dram. The six rocks in this set come packaged in a handy muslin storage bag.
Size: 0.88 inch | Material: Soapstone | Number of Cubes: 9
Best Metal: Rabbit Whiskey and Beverage Chilling Stones
Can be clunky in drinks
These jumbo stones are designed to cool drinks quicker than many of the smaller options on the market, plus their larger size is easier to keep track of—no losing them in a dishwasher or down the sink. Measuring 1.5 inches on each side, you only need one for each drink. The other can be shared with a friend.
The set of two comes in a sealed case, which is particularly excellent, as it protects the stones from any flavors your freezer may add. (After all, you don’t want your whiskey tasting like your frozen leftovers.) Forgot to put it in the case? Never fear—the cubes are constructed with odor-resistant stainless steel.
When you’re done drinking, these cubes are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. For an excellent gift option, Rabbit offers custom engraving.
Size: 1.5 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Number of Cubes: 2
Best Granite: Uncommon Goods On The Rocks Set
Useful tray for serving
These granite rocks embedded with recycled glass were first found on the beaches of New England and then carefully carved into rounded rocks. Like true nature lovers, the designers replace every rock they take with a quarry rock for a fully closed-loop creation process. Note that because of this upcycled process and handmade nature, each rock will vary in color and shape.
For the full experience, designers Arra David and Anne Johnson include six granite rocks, a tray, and two sleek glass tumblers to the set. Even the hardwood used to create the beautiful tray comes from ethically forested sources. When entertaining, use it to serve whiskey stones to your guests. After sipping, rinse the stones or throw them in the dishwasher, then pop them back into the tray, and set them in the freezer for easy chilling.
Size: 1 inch | Material: Granite | Number of Cubes: 6
"[When sipping whiskey] I want the overall temperature of the whiskey to be slightly below room temperature (mid 60-degrees).” — Chris Riesbeck of Westland Distillery
Best Design: Areaware Drink Rocks
Acts as drink distinguisher
Over a decade after the first square whiskey stones hit the market, many discerning drinkers have owned their fair share of whiskey stones. These stones from Areaware bring a unique design into the category, with sculptural shapes that play double-duty. They chill drinks quickly and look really good doing it.
This hand-finished set includes a selection of chunky soapstone and marble shapes—a pyramid, a sphere, a rectangular prism, and a cylinder—in a range of hues like granite rose, crisp white, and pale teal. Pro tip: The varying colors and shapes also act as a marker to distinguish whose drink is whose at a party or gathering.
Size: 1 x 2.75 inches | Material: Soapstone | Number of Cubes: 4
“Single malt Scotch is often perceived as a spirit drunk neat. That’s not entirely true, as in Scotland, they will often add water and, yes, even ice and whiskey stones." — Sean Josephs, Master Taster for Pinhook Bourbon
Best for Gifting: Amerigo Impressive Whiskey Stones Gift Set
Suave carrying case
Full set for gifting
Experienced drinkers may not want full set
This gift set is classy and decently priced. A handcrafted wooden box provides simple, yet attractive storage for two old-fashioned crystal whiskey glasses and eight granite cubes in a velvet pouch. Not only do they maintain the perfect temperature for your beverage undiluted by water, but your spirit will sustain 100 percent of its original flavors, too.
This attractive set makes a memorable present for drinkers who are just getting started in the whiskey world and, simply, anyone who wants their drink to stay cooler for longer without compromise. It's also a fantastic birthday, housewarming, or wedding party gift. The recipient will also get a free e-book for "The Art of Whisky" as an added bonus.
Size: 0.75 inch | Material: Granite | Number of Cubes: 8
“Stainless steel whiskey spheres are, in my opinion, awesome. They put a solid chill when I feel like cooling down a whiskey, but do not want to water it down. Whiskey stones gained a lot of popularity over the past 10 years, but unfortunately are not very effective. The steel spheres are very nice, chilling down whiskey for 30 to 45 minutes." — Juan Fernandez, Beverage Director at The Ballantyne
Best for Home Bartenders: Uncommon Goods Wine Chilling Coasters With Glasses
Use the coasters separately or together
Versatile for all drinks
These aren’t exactly whiskey stones, but they are of similar construction and perform the same task: getting your drink chilled down with minimal effort. Made with reclaimed granite countertops, these granite coasters and chilling stones lock in the temperature of your drink, whether it’s wine, whiskey, or a sipping spirit. Simply place your coasters and stones in your fridge, let them chill, then fill your with wine or whiskey. The coasters have precise bores that prevent your drink from tipping and keep your beverage cool for longer. Foam at the bottom keeps the chill isolated and prevents condensation from ruining your coffee table. The set includes two white wine glasses, two reclaimed granite coasters, and two chilling stones. All are handmade in New Hampshire.
Size: 1-inch cubes, 3.88 x 3.88 x 1.25-inch coasters | Material: Granite | Number of Cubes: 2
“The main purpose of whiskey stones is to chill down your cocktail or whiskey if you’re having it straight, without diluting the final product. So you’re getting the cold experience without adding water that you may not need.” — Branden Torpey, Founder and Owner of Shaken & Stirred Mixology
What to Look for in Whiskey Stones
Look for whiskey stones that are made with nonporous material, like soapstone or stainless steel. The former is more affordable, but won’t chill a hot drink—it just keeps your drink at a consistent temperature. Stainless steel is lighter and will chill down a drink quickly, though it is more expensive.
Whiskey stones come in a range of sizes and shapes. You can opt for a few smaller ones in a glass or use one large one. Keep in mind the larger one will be a bit clunky in your glass.
Note that many of the options on this list come with a convenient carrying case or bag to ensure the stones aren’t loose in your freezer.
How do you use whiskey stones?
Keep whiskey stones in your freezer. When you’re ready for a drink, pull them out and place them in your glass. The rocks will keep your drink cold without diluting the liquid.
How long do whiskey stones stay cold?
Whiskey stones will keep your drink cool for approximately an hour.
How do you clean whiskey stones?
After use, wash stones with warm water and dish soap. If your stones have picked up odd odors from a particularly fragrant scotch or the aromas of your freezer, soak in warm water and vodka.
Can you use whiskey stones in other drinks?
Yes. Use whiskey stones in any sipping spirit of your choice or use larger ones to keep cocktails cool on a hot day.
How many whiskey stones do you need per glass?
It depends on the size. Two 1-inch cubes or one larger cube should do the trick.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Kate Dingwall is a sommelier and spirits writer. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years and has her BarSmarts and WSET certification. She interviewed one whiskey expert for this article.