There is a persistent myth that suggests drinking pure whisky may be dangerous.
This article will get to the bottom of this common belief.
Is it safe to drink whisky neat?
Drinking whisky neat is as safe as drinking any other spirit neat.
Enjoying straight Scotch whisky is the same as drinking straight tequila, vodka, rum or any other spirit.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks, including:
To be called a “Scotch whisky” a spirit must be distilled in Scotland, have a minimum alcohol by volume (ABV) content of 40%, and aged for at least 3 years.
However, some Scotch whiskies are even stronger, with an ABV as high as 50%.
When drinking such a strong spirit neat, it is much easier to drink a large quantity of alcohol within a short time period.
Knocking back a dram of delicious Scotch whisky is very easy after all!
Unfortunately, this heightens the risk of over-indulging and suffering from alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body cannot process the large amount of alcohol that a person is consuming, causing their blood alcohol levels to reach a dangerous level.
It can cause confusion, vomiting, slow or irregular breathing, loss of consciousness, seizures, and hypothermia.
Avoid alcohol poisoning by always drinking in moderation.
Drinking a few drams of Scotch Whisky in a short period will rapidly lead to intoxication.
In many cases, you won’t realize how quickly your blood alcohol level has risen.
This can cause you to become inebriated and suffer from impaired judgment well before you expect it — causing you to make irrational decisions or undertake risky actions.
It’s always important to take it slow when drinking whisky neat.
If you drink large quantities of whisky for many years, you may open yourself up to chronic illnesses including:
Cirrhosis of the liver Cirrhosis of the liver occurs when the liver forms scar tissue and begins to harden. It becomes difficult for blood to flow through the liver, leading to a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. In severe cases, a liver transplant may be required. Again, this can be avoided by only drinking in moderation.
Addiction As with any alcoholic beverage, there is a small chance that you will become addicted. The easiest way to avoid alcohol addiction is by drinking in moderation and having multiple days where you don’t drink each week.
Interference with medication Alcohol can interfere with the function of certain types of medications including beta-blockers, antibiotics, pain relievers, antidepressants, anticoagulants, diabetes medication, and sleeping pills. If you are taking any of these medications, ask your doctor if it is safe to drink whisky.
May exacerbate other illnesses Certain medical conditions can be made worse by drinking alcohol, including depression, cancer, and liver disease. If you are already ill, ask your doctor if it is safe to drink Scotch whisky.
What about the benefits of drinking Scotch whisky neat?
It’s not all bad news! There are also many benefits associated with drinking Scotch whisky neat. They include:
Whisky has some anti-cancer properties
During the aging process, Scotch whisky obtains high levels of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that is also found in wine.
It has the capacity to neutralize rogue cells within the body, reducing your risk of cancer.