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Take It to the MAX
The makers of the original Whisky Stones (see the Related Products tab above) bring you the extra-large MAX version, also made in Vermont. The original Whisky Stones proved the power of soapstone to enhance your favorite spirits with a slight chill that doesn't dilute your drink.
Why would you use one big rock per glass instead of three small ones? It's all about surface area to volume. The physical world only deals in heat, not "coldness." Whiskey stones absorb heat from your drink. The original smaller Whisky Stones have more surface area in contact with your Scotch, so they absorb heat more quickly...but having less volume limits the amount of heat that each cube can soak up. The larger Whisky Stones MAX chill your liquor more slowly (less surface area), but their greater volume can absorb more heat so they stay cold longer.
Original Whisky Stones are great for those who will finish off a drink relatively quickly or who take their liquor in single shots straight up. Whisky Stones MAX still won't work for very large volumes like beer or soda, but they work better than original Whisky Stones if you prefer your spirits with a splash of water, or if you like to pour a double, or if you sip your drink very slowly.
The FDA says that soapstone is generally regarded as safe. It doesn't react with water, alcohol, detergents, or mild acids, and because it's nonporous it won't harbor bacteria. We recommend using Whisky Stones and a tumbler when you want your whiskey to open up over time, and use soapstone shot glasses when you want to keep the flavors concentrated.
Are You Curious...?
Soapstone is mostly made of the mineral talc, which is the same stuff talcum powder is made from. It's so soft and smooth that it feels a little slippery, hence the soaplike name. Of course it doesn't taste anything like soap; in fact, it has no taste or odor. What geologists call steatite is a metamorphic rock produced by heat and pressure in areas where one tectonic plate slides underneath another. Besides cooling your best single-malt Scotch, soapstone is also used as an electrical insulator. Its softness (as rocks go) makes it easy to work, and it's long been a favorite for carving and decorative inlays. The same ability to absorb and redistribute heat that makes it perfect for your liquors also makes soapstone useful for fireplace surrounds and woodstoves. Some native American tribes favored soapstone for their cookware and for making pipes. You can smoke a soapstone bowl for a long time without it becoming too hot to handle.