Saturday, May 14, 2011

Getting Stoned – Teroforma Whisky Stones

Teroforma Soap Stones

Since first hearing about these little babies from Teroforma many moons ago by The Secretary they have been on my mind ever since. I have had a packet of my own on back order for many months and they finally arrived on a few days ago. These stones are of particular interest to me as I do not put ice or water in my whisky, though in summer a cooler dram of whisky (Bourbon especially) is enjoyed so these stones give the best of both worlds.

It should be said at this stage that this product has been already reviewed by The Colonel-in-Chief back in January of this year. It should also be noted these whisky stones were up for grabs as part of our Dapper Dan Hat Competition at our end of year  2010 D.T.W.C club meeting (duly won by The Alchemist).

Ok so on with the show now formalities are out of the way. These Whisky Stones are retailed by Teroforma out of the USA and manufactured in a workshop from Vermont. Teroforma also retail many other crafted items not just whisky related, though the mouth blown Avva Tumbler Set designed specifically for the whisky lover looks pretty hot.

With such appealing items on the site mores the pity Teroforma does not actually ship outside of the US. Luckily for me our local Peters Of Kensignton (God bless 'em) does hold some stocks of the Whisky Stones from time to time. Purchased locally at $24.00 AU + $7 delivery I saw these stones on my doorstep within 24hrs of hitting the online purchase button. Not bad at all!

Packaging for the stones needs to be recognised in its own right. Very well presented, compact, to the point yet simple and creative. The product is so well presented if you were going to be giving it as a gift (which I recommend) it would be a shame to apply any wrapping. Inside the stones are very snuggly packed in 3x3 rows and covered with a soft foam layer of shielding.

Whisky Stone packaging complete with calico draw string bag
Also found in the package is a small calico draw string bag just big enough to hold the 9 stones either for transport or storing in the freezer.

Visual appeal in exquisite. They look hand crafted, weathered and worm while being tactile enough to roll in the hands. The finish is smooth and cool to touch but slightly porous making it very velvet like on the skin (note soap stone is primarily talc so the texture will always be nice). No sharp edges to chip off or deliver undue scratching to your favourite dramming glass.

Using the stones is simple enough. Place and retain in freezer until usage is required. Remove however many stones you require to cool or chill your whisky into a glass and pour the water of life across them. When the dram is finished rinse off the stones with water, air dry, and then place back in freezer. Easy.

It should be noted though the stones do add considerable weight to you glass so if you using a heavy glass tumbler you may want to go for something a little bit lighter if your prone to handling the glass while dramming.

Historically speaking the world over cold stones have been used to chill a drink and only since ice manufacture had become so accessible has the concept gone by the way side. Teroforma outline that their inspiration for the concept had derived from a Scandinavian tradition which is sound and the story quite interesting. It should also be said that cold stones has (had) been a long tradition in Scotland to chill whisky for many a century and hence the term "Whisky On The Rocks". Regardless of where the idea has come from and when the simple fact is that this reinvented concept works and it works exceptionally well.

I found the stones very effective to cool my dram but not chill it to be ice cold which would remove a lot of the characteristics I like so much in whisky. Sure you could add many more stones and really get the the bite of cold but then you may as well add ice to your dram if that is what you are truly looking for. If you purchase these stones and expect them to be the same as ice, think again and hold off as you will be disappointed with the result.

Hats off to Teroforma for such excellent presentation and craftsmanship behind the stones and I am proud to be another owner of such fine items.

Getting stoned can be fun and not illegal sometimes.

The Baron