I usually drink neat but have no problem with ice. I enjoy bourbon with a couple of cubes quite a lot while grilling or hanging out with friends. When trying new whiskeys I like to start neat, then add a little water. Then, I'll pour in a little more and try it with a cube. The fun is in experimenting to see what happens when trying the whiskey different ways. I've found some that were fantastic on ice and wouldn't have had I restricted myself to only drinking neat.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
Currently drinking PHC Wheated with a cube of ice. Very good. It's a bit early for the barrel proof and ice cools it down after a hot day and brings the proof down. Love it.
If I'm trying something new I always get it neat. If it's a bottle I own I try it neat and with a splash, and if it is still rough around the edges I move to whiskey stones then ice. It's funny how each expression seems to call for a different approach. You need the right tool for any job, imo.
Did you guys see the KBF poster for this year by the way? "On the Rocks" is the prominent first descriptor with the biggest font and the accompanying photograph.
In summer I trend towards bourbon with one or two regular size cubes, cools the drink down nicely. I'm also usually not drinking anything too exotic, OGD BiB and 114, 4RYL, EWSB, etc. When the weather is cooler, I tend to drink "better" bourbons neat, and in midwinter I'm usually in the mood for scotch or one of the really chewy bourbons like the 4R SmBLE. When at a social event with only the usual caterer bar, Beam or JD on the rocks is just fine (and the catering bar people usually don't bring any whiskey glass smaller than an Old Fashioned or even Double Old Fashioned).
While I'll add water to scotch, for some quirky reason I usually add only frozen water to bourbon. It might be because my grandfather always added ice, and it makes me think of him.
I always try neat first with my first pour of a new bourbon, then almost always add water to where I think that pour is drinking right for my tastes on any particular evening and tend to like it to stay there. I usually don't add ice - I drink pretty slowly and find that the ice will overly dilute the drink before I finish it.
Generally, when I want it cool I'll stick it in the 'fridge or freezer for a bit.
Unless it is a barrel proof that I want/need to dilute a bit I tend not to use ice. But even then I prefer to cut it with a specific amount of chilled water rather than ice. I might put a few drops in a bourbon (and even more often in scotch. I keep an eyedropper bottle of water around for just such a purpose) just to see what impact it has.
But if I want a cooler drink (generally never cold) I just put either the drink or the bottle in the refrigerator for a brief spell. Do have to be careful not to get any other food aromas attached to the drink which is why a sealed bottle works better than a poured glass unless it is the bar fridge which only has sealed bottles in it anyway.
Although I have also been known to put a drink in the fridge with a bit of saran wrap over the glass. Doesn't seem to cause the drink any problems although it doesn't allow it to "breath" much either. Not sure that really matters much anyway.
That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…
Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
Ne Illegitimi Carborundum