The Best Whiskey Stones (Review) in 2020
Nothing is worse than watered-down top-shelf whiskey. You spent a pretty penny to get this bottle, and we’ll all be damned if you’re going to tarnish it with ice (even if it’s a scotch ball). Instead, it’s time to consider the alternative that’s been right under your nose the entire time: whiskey stones.
Designed to prevent watering down your expensive liquor, the best whiskey stones can come in soapstone, granite, or stainless steel to keep your drinks ice-cold during serving and consumption. Whether it’s for a tasting event, to impress the in-laws, or you just want to enjoy your whiskey in a perfect way, you owe it to yourself to make this necessary addition to your liquor shelf.
100% true soapstone design doesn’t flavor your drinks
Holds a nice chill for longer
Comes in a velvet bag that prevents wear and tear from storage
Literally gold-plated, titanium and stainless steel construction for a regal look
Comes in a wooden box with velvet lining to prevent scuffing and damage
Includes tongs that are designed to reduce damage to stones
Comes 10 to a pack for a low cost
Completely FDA-approved soapstone
Odor-free, taste-free, and dishwasher safe
The Best Whiskey Stone
Whiskey stones could be the best addition to your liquor cabinet that you make all year, and nobody ensures that it’s done properly like Quiseen. From cost-effective pricing to the quantity of cubes you get, it’s a steal.
Soapstone whiskey stones last for ages (usually one purchase per decade), and are naturally non-porous, so there’s no way that even the strongest alcohol on your shelf could penetrate it and leave behind a flavor or scent. They come in a velvet bag that’s designed to hold these stones while they freeze, giving you a safe space so that it can’t attempt to absorb flavors from open containers or loose food in your freezer. While it won’t absorb those flavors, they can linger on the surface if you aren’t careful. Quiseen made simple, inexpensive whiskey stones that get the job done. Nothing fancy, nothing over-the-top, just cold whiskey with no watered-down effect. I’ll drink to that.
Comes in a pack of nine
Pure soapstone construction doesn’t flavor your beverage
Comes in a velvet bag to reduce scuffs and damages from storage
Whiskey rocks are usually, you know, actual rocks. Spirit Stones uses FDA-approved soapstone that’s completely food-grade and food-safe. Not only is soapstone non-porous, but it’s also extremely easy to clean.
In fact, these are so easy to clean that you’ll be able to remove all trace elements of flavoring or odors on the surface in about ten seconds with some warm water. Then they can either go back on your shelf, or right back in your freezer. While they are easy to clean, they’re also easy to freeze. You don’t get a velvet bag from Spirit Stones, but you do get this canvas/burlap bag that still helps to block out odors. Easy to clean, FDA-approved, and dishwasher safe—what more do you need?
Transfers absolutely zero odors or flavors from previous drink/use
All 10 in the bag are completely dishwasher safe
FDA-approved 100% soapstone design
Whiskey cubes aren’t only made of stone, you know. Kollea’s stainless steel cubes are among the best on this list, and it’s because they’re simple. It’s a solid block of smooth steel, and they freeze quicker than most stone cubes of the same size.
Not only are these food-grade and food-safe, but they’re extremely effective. Stash them in the storage tray and plop them in the freezer, and then use the included metal tongs to remove them when you need them. The only issue here is that they’re a little slippery if you aren’t using the tongs, which have grippy edges. Hold onto a chill for longer than soapstone, and get presentation points when you place one single cube in your guests’ drink. You should be able to get away with one cube per drink with these, effectively saving your remaining cubes for more drinks in the evening.
Comes with tongs and storage tray for ease of use + presentation points
Stainless steel is food-grade and safe to use
Holds onto a chill for longer than some soapstone counterparts
These are technically stainless steel whiskey stones, but they’re cooler than that because they’re in the shape of bullets. I love the way they slide into the revolver chamber, which doubles as a storage tray—it doesn’t get much more American than this.
The only issue is that they’re not in a bag, so you’re going to have to freeze them after ensuring there’s no open food in your freezer. These are pretty big, so you’re going to have to have larger glasses to get full use out of them. Zero odor retention, zero flavor retention, but they are a bit tricky to clean with all the grooves. Hand clean and dry these only, and after that, slip them right back in the tray. It’s definitely a conversation piece for you and your guests.
Comes six to a pack in a revolver chamber-style freezing tray
Oversized for larger glasses
No odor or flavor retention whatsoever
Scotch rocks and whiskey stones are basically the same thing, especially when they’re stainless steel. These simple cubes come in an eight-tray, which can be popped into the freezer whenever you want, or kept on your shelf for a glorious look to bring that liquor cabinet together.
The display case that they come in is pretty nice, but once again, there’s no bag to prevent odors and flavors while they’re in the freezer. One awesome aspect of this small kit by Amerigo is that you get some similarly designed coasters included in your kit, bringing everything together. While these aren’t dishwasher safe, they’re easy to clean and retain no odors or flavors from whatever drink you left them in. With an average chilling time of 3 ½ hours, it’s a little bit less than average for granite or soapstone rocks.
100% stainless steel cubes with rounded edges to prevent glass damage
Includes similarly designed coasters with your purchase
Zero odor retention or flavor transference between drinks
Chilling stones are usually cubed, but these act completely different. These whiskey chilling stones are circular discs, kind of luck pucks, and they’re made out of four different types of granite. While the exact look of each stone can vary from the sales page photos, they’re guaranteed to be stunning.
The non-diluting round edges of each stone help prevent glass damage, but also aid in sealing off the granite to prevent odor or flavor retention. I like that these come on a solid wooden display shelf. You can put it in the freezer with the stones, but I recommend keeping it somewhere else to prevent moisture from expanding the wood. Still, it’s a solid set that could last you for decades.
Average of four different all-granite designs per package
Includes a posh wooden display to keep them when not in use
Non-diluting round edges prevent glass damage and flavor retention
Whiskey chillers come in many shapes and sizes, but one of the best is miniature cubes. This set is designed for two people to enjoy some whiskey or scotch, and comes with a lot. You get an ornate wooden storage box with a simple latch, and inside of that is a velvet pillow that holds your eight granite stones, as well as two crystal glasses. It’s a full kit.
The cubes are small, so they freeze in about 2 ½ hours instead of the standard 4. On that note, you will need four per glass, so this is really a two-person set. Not the best for entertaining, but definitely good to sit down with someone important and have a victory drink together.
Comes with wooden storage box, velvet storage, and two crystal glasses
Eight stones made entirely of granite
Velvet bag is freezable to prevent odor retention in freezer
These simple steel whiskey cooling stones come in a silicone tray, and they have rounded edges to prevent glass damage while you’re enjoying your scotch or whiskey. They’re a bit big, so you can get away with one per glass and still make it work.
I will say this: four cubes for this price is a bit high, but they’re completely sealed and food-grade quality, so it’s worth it to chill your drinks the right way. Everyone comes in a silicone freezing tray, so you can just pop the whole thing in the freezer at once. There’s no bag system, so I recommend putting them in a half-gallon Ziploc bag as well just to prevent flavors from sitting on the surface.
Fully stainless steel cubes w/ rounded edges
100% sealed—no leaks, no flavor retention
Comes in a silicone freezing tray
These are the most personalized whiskey stones you’re ever going to get, because most people aren’t going to even know they exist until they get into your parlor and watch you drop them in the glass.
They’re gold-plated and titanium-plated, and they’re still sealed, so you can treat them like any other metal whiskey stones. The base material under that plating is stainless steel, just like many of the other ones that we’ve reviewed. It’s not overly pricey, but it is the premium pick for this list. You get eight stones, a velvet inlay to hold onto them and your tongs, all inside of a bright wooden box with a sleek, dark finish on the exterior. It’s certainly going to turn heads.
Completely gold- and titanium-plated stainless steel cubes
Includes specialized tongs to reduce abrasions or damage to these regal stones
Velvet padding in an ornate wooden box provides the perfect storage and display
Last but not least, we have this simple set that gets the job done, but it’s not wildly different from other brands on our list. For that, they earned the bottom spot, but they still come with complete food-grade assurance and durability.
You get a tray with a lid so you can freeze them, which is good since it prevents flavors and odors from sticking to the outside of your cubes. On top of that, you’re also going to get a pair of metal tongs with some pretty good traction, so you won’t drop your stones in the bottom of the glass and crack it. Eight cubes, a tray, tongs—it’s everything you need, all in a simple white box with the UCP logo right on the front. Two cubes per drink should do the trick.
Tray includes eight spots to chill cubes
Mini tongs included with purchase with good traction
100% stainless steel cubes are food-grade and completely safe
Best Whiskey Stone Buying Guide & FAQ
Factors to Consider When Buying Whiskey Stones
Price - These are not overly expensive additions to your liquor cabinet. You can choose from simple soapstone, or ornate gold-plated stainless steel cubes. The price is largely dictated by the full value of the kit, which can include tongs, trays, cases, and in some cases shot glasses and wooden storage boxes.
Quantity - The amount of cubes you get in the set versus their size is extremely important. If you’re planning on getting these to host a poker night, you’ll want to ensure you can chill two drinks per person for the whole night. Smaller cubes (0.6” or under) will still chill your drinks, but you’ll need 3 or 4 of them, and they’ll lose that chill faster. Standard size stones (0.8” or above) take longer to chill, but you only need one or two per drink.
Material - We’ll get into materials below, but the material is going to heavily sway your decision. Most people will choose stainless steel because it’s familiar, although granite and soapstone are perfectly viable choices that won’t flavor your beverages.
Types of Whiskey Rocks
Soapstone - Soapstone is completely non-porous, so it won’t absorb any flavors or odors from neighboring food or drinks in the fridge/freezer while you’re chilling them. Soapstone is also pretty durable, so bangs and scrapes won’t ruin them.
Granite - Granite is dense, and in some instances it takes longer to chill than soapstone, which is why granite whiskey chillers are usually smaller. They’re a solid choice that should last you for decades to come.
Stainless Steel - Stainless steel is generally a food-grade material (depending on the gauge), and conducts temperatures faster than granite or soapstone. You can usually chill these much faster than actual stones.
Benefits of Using Whiskey Chilling Stones
- Drinks Stay Colder for Longer: Instead of standard ice, these chilling stones keep your drinks cold for a lot longer. No more getting up to get more ice cubes because your drink is heating up; these stones will maintain an ice-cold temperature for quite some time.
- No More Watery Liquor: Ice can ruin good quality whiskey or scotch. It’s a crying shame, but the whole point of these cubes is to keep your drinks chilled without ever having to worry about them getting watery.
- Saves Money: Even if you make ice at home, that’s your water bill. You can get inexpensive soapstone whiskey rocks for cheap, and over time, save money on at-home ice and a ton of money versus buying bagged ice from the store. Consider it an investment in your kitchen.
Best Whiskey Stone FAQ:
Q: How do Whiskey Stones Work?
A: Even dense objects are still subject to temperature changes. Soapstone, stainless steel, and granite are the most common whiskey stone materials, and they chill just like your countertops would if you forgot to turn the heat on: slowly.
The exterior of each cube begins to chill, and that temperature is conducive to the rest of the stones. It’s not exactly clear what the temperature in the direct center of a 0.8” cube of granite is, but we know that the chilling temperatures do start from the outside and work inward.
That means that your stones are ice-cold to the touch, and when you place them carefully in your drinking glass, they release that cold into your beverage. The goal is to do this without watering down your high-end alcohol, whether it’s whiskey or scotch. Whiskey stones are generally used on higher-tier alcohol when scotch ice balls won’t do.
Q: Are Whiskey Stones Safe?
A: They are safe in terms of what you are exposing yourself to (which is nothing, provided that they are sealed properly), but that’s for your health. For your glass, stones could be a mistake if you aren’t careful.
Ice cubes will clang around in a glass and not do much harm, but if you’re negligent and stack four or five chilling stones in one single drink, tilting the glass too much and too fast could cause microfractures all along the inside of your glass.
While this doesn’t sound like much, microfractures are small divots in glass that are unseen to the naked human eye. These change the way that glass can shrink or expand in accordance to the temperature affecting it, so in short, ice-cold stones in a glass with hundreds of microfractures could cause the glass to either crack/split, or shatter entirely.
Stones are safe, just keep one to three in the bottom of your glass and don’t stack them like a tower.
Q: How Long Does it Take Whiskey Rocks to Chill my Drink?
A: On average, whiskey rocks are going to be 0.8” on all dimensions (height, depth, width), meaning they’re not overly thick. That being said, stainless steel, granite, and soapstone are very dense, so conducting that sort of temperature isn’t exactly an easy feat.
It will take four hours to chill most stone and stainless steel cubes. As a quick rule of thumb without delving too deep into the science behind it, for every 0.1” on the dimensions, add an additional 30 minutes of chill time. If you get 1” cubes, chill them for five hours, and so on.
Q: Do Whiskey Cooling Stones Change Taste?
A: No, they’re designed to just chill your drinks. Whether they’re made of soapstone, stainless steel, or have titanium plating designs, or they’re made of granite, they’re intended to be used with food, and have to pass strict FDA regulations for being sealed and food-safe.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that the FDA isn’t exactly the biggest enforcer when it comes to quality checks, so I’ll base it off personal experience of using whiskey stones for the last decade. Whiskey stones do not change the taste of your beverage, provided that you clean them properly and freeze them in acceptable containers (velvet bags or silicone trays with lids, for example). If you don’t freeze them properly, they can take on the flavors and scents of open food containers in your freezer.
Our Top Pick
Quiseen not only provided one of the lowest prices on this list per stone, but simply outputs a wonderful product without many stipulations at all. You get nine soapstones, and a velvet bag to place them in while they freeze so that they don’t absorb the flavors of open food in your freezer. This is especially helpful if you’re just keeping these in the refrigerator. From the anti-odor design and longevity of these stones, it’s safe to say you’ll have these for ten years or so.