Plate : sweet, and yes, mellow. The abv helps a lot. Easy drinking stuff, if you are looking for something sweet but you do not like the rye in your bourbon, choose this. With water : no, no no...drink it as it was bottled. The 50% helps a lot. Easy stuff, nothing special but sometimes you do not need any special stuff in your glass, just something easy what you can enjoy. It's ok. IMHO better als many scottish young grain whiskies.