The twinned senses of taste and smell are inextricably linked and when it comes to whisky tasting, the shape of the glass you use makes a huge difference in the quality of your experience. Using the right glass enhances the aroma allowing you to detect subtle hints of flavour when you nose your fine Scotch even before you take that first sip. Here are eight of our favourite whisky glasses.
1. Classic Glencairn
There’s a reason why Glencairn glasses are so popular and make it onto everyone’s list of favourites! Even if they didn’t look great (which they do), the shape is exactly right when it comes to concentrating the aromas of the whisky and then funnelling those intoxicating scents up to your nose so you can fully appreciate what you are about to taste.
Lead free, these glasses are crystal clear which allows you to fully appreciate the nuances of colour and light in your dram.
2. Denver & Liely
Designed by Denver Cramer and Liely Faulkner of Melbourbne, these unique glasses are meant to bridge the gap between tumblers and whisky snifters (glasses with a wide bowl, narrow top and short stem). Elegant and functional, the Denver and Liely whisky glass received high marks from a panel of glass-testers put together by ExecutiveStyle.
3. Cradle Glass
The cradle glass has a heavy, rounded base that feels lovely when nestled in your hand. The rounded shape narrowing to a smaller lip minimizes the alcohols when nosing and accentuates the fruits,florals, and spices. The heat from your hand helps gently warm the whisky and releases even more subtle layers of scent.
Also known as an old-fashioned glass or a lowball, there are many variations of the classic whisky tumbler. Some have smooth sides while some are crystal cut. You can choose a single-walled glass or opt for others that feature a double-walled design intended to keep your drink cold. Sun’s Tea Manhattan Style Glasses are a classic, straight-sided double-walled tumbler with absolutely clear glass free of any imperfections. Other glasses take the classic tumbler shape and enhance it with a unique design feature like the miniature Matterhorn found in the bottom of each Matterhorn Glass.
5. Lucky Shot Hand-blown Whisky Glass
A fabulous design if you enjoy a little humour with your whisky is the Lucky Shot whisky glass which comes complete with its own embedded .308 bullet. Definitely a glass to get the conversation rolling!
6. Final Touch On The Rock Glass with Ice Ball Mould
If you prefer your Scotch on the rocks, have a look at this rocks glass. With a silicone mould that makes a perfect ice ball, the shape of the ice perfectly complements the shape of the glass bowl. Nestle the glass in your hand and swirl and sniff to your heart’s content without worrying about spilling.
7. NEAT Glass
A sometimes controversial recent addition to the whisky glass offerings, the NEAT glasssports a very wide rim, a narrow neck and a generous bowl. The shape is unorthodox and though reviews are fabulous when it comes to the way the glass concentrates aromas (the good ones reach your nose while the stronger ethanols slip away over the broad rim), not everyone likes the appearance or what it’s like when it comes to taking a sip of your favourite dram. Narrower rims are thought to do a better job of delivering flavour to the palate and a NEAT glass will never be accused of having a narrow rim. We are all in favour of innovation and experimentation, so our advice is to give the NEAT glass a try and see what you think.
8. Highball Glasses
These taller, straight-sided glasses are meant for mixers. This is your glass of choice if you want to make a Scotch and soda served over ice.
Of course, the best glass is the one that you love and which delivers the the whisky you enjoy most to your lips! Let us know what your favourite glass is and we’ll return the favour and share our favourite whisky picks with you. Subscribe to the Whisky Loot service and receive samples of unique whiskies delivered to your door each month.