There are a plethora of choices when it comes to glassware to enjoy your Whisk(e)y. Certain glasses funnel the aromas and enhance the flavors and the nose with their unique shape to make your Whisk(e)y even more enjoyable:
One of the most iconic whisk(e)y glasses ever made. This patented shape was designed by several Master Blenders from Scotland. The design characteristics include a base that is separated from the bulb so that your hands do not warm the contents. The bulb is wide enough to be able to swirl the contents but narrow enough towards the top to help funnel the aromatics to your nose.
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2. The Neat Glass
The design of this glass started with the traditional “tulip” shape glass, but then diverges away from the classic Glencairn shape. This design removes the stem so that the hand can warm the contents to increase the release of aromatics. It retains the narrow neck to concentrate the evaporating contents. However, in contrast to other glasses that have a narrow opening, this rebel widens it. The wide rim allows the ethanol to dissipate away from the center of the glass where the placement of the nose can more readily appreciate the fine aromas. When drinking it facilitates the separation of liquid from the fumes, so that the pallet gets delivered the liquid but the nose does not get overwhelmed by fumes.
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This glass design has been around for a long time, originally borrowed from the Spanish for drinking sherry, it earned the name “dock glass,” as it was used at the wharf as buyers tasted goods to verify quality prior to payment. It resembles a miniature wine glass. The long stem keeps the hand away from warming the contents as well as for keeping any orders that might be on the hand away from the nose, the long neck allows for swirling without the contents from spilling and the tapered neck allows for concentration of aromas for nosing.
This design is similar to the classic Glencairn, however this glass is double walled and specifically designed to allow you to inhale and drink the spirit without tilting your head back too deeply. Its thin glass means that it is dedicated to drinking your whisk(e)y neat, however they do make a version heavy enough to accomodate ice.
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5. Tumbler/Rocks/The Old Fashioned/The Lowball
This glass is well suited for serving your whisk(e)y over ice, hence the term “rocks” used in one of the names. However it can also be used to drink your drink neat. It is wide enough to accomodate enough ice to keep the liquid cold and not dilute it too much and it is short enough to accomodate sipping as opposed to taking a full drink. It is large enough for many mixed drink recipes. The thick bottom allows ingredients to be “muddled” without fear of breaking the glass.
6. Canadian Glencairn
This glass design is very similar to the traditional Glencairn but was intended for drinking Canadian whisky (no “e”) to allow for ample room to accommodate ice.
7. Denver and Liely
Named after its designers: Denver Cramer and Liely Faulkner this glass combines the features of the Canadian Glencairn and the Rocks glass. The design allows for better gripping the glass and provides more weight in the hand.
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8. Snifter (aka the balloon, the brandy bowl, the cognac glass)
The large surface area of the contained liquid helps evaporate it, the narrow top traps the aroma inside the glass, while the rounded bottom allows the glass to be cupped in the hand, thus warming the liquor. Most snifters are designed so that when placed sideways on a level surface, they will hold just the proper amount before spilling. Commonly used for brandy, it’s now very much a glass for the consumption of dark, aged spirits in general.
This glass is a cross between the classic Glencairn and the Denver and Liely glass.
This is a tall glass that is mainly used for mixed drinks that require lots of ice.
Whatever you choice of beverage is you will be able to find the right glass for it, however, no matter what glass you choose you can’t go wrong as long as you enjoy its contents!