I've just noticed the item on the science behind adding a splash of water to Scotch: http://blogs.discove...er#.WZdUua2ZMxc
Seems to make sense, but perhaps most for the Islay malts (e.g. Laphroaig and - my own favourite - Bowmore) that have such a high concentration of phenolics. I just wish these American journos could spell Scotch whisky correctly.
I've just got back from a week in Scotland, which involved climbing a mountain - Ben Arthur - beside a rushing burn, cascading the brown, peaty water that gives these malts their distinctiveness. I'd forgotten how magical an experience it can be. Even better in the evening, when sipping one of these malts after the climb. I was taught at university to add a little splash of water - still or sparkling - to good Scotch. Nice to see after all these years that it has a basis in fact.