Stout beer glassware has changed considerably since the Imperial Pint Glass or the Nonic Pint Glass were invented. The Imperial Stout Glass is what you would typically find your Guinness in. It looks like a regular pint glass but it also has a weird bulb shape near the rim of the glass. Since then, stout glassware has evolved into the use of tulip glasses or snifters.
A little Beer 101 for Stout Glasses seems to be in order. We’re going to leave behind the typical pints, beer mugs, and pilsner glass because yes, every beer has its glass soulmate. Just as there are several cocktail glasses, there are also different types of beer glasses to enhance the beer’s flavor profile. It’s not that regular pints and mugs don’t have their place, because they do. When talking about craft beer, it’s about the body, the viscosity, the aroma, the flavor, and the visual appeal.
Think about it. When you pour a beer, it seems to dance, sparkle, foam, and you get that hoppy aroma. That is why a snifter beer glass, tulip glass, or yes, even a wine glass (in a pinch) is perfect for stouts. The shape of these glasses allows the hands to gently increase the beer temperature. This in turn enhances and the beer’s head and in doing so, the head (or foam) is where the beer’s aroma comes from – those tiny bubbles trapping the beer’s fragrance.
The crystal glass snifter is made specifically to allow the beer to flow and avoid heat transfer from your hands. Think of it as hybrid-style glassware and a mix between a snifter and a tulip glass. This glass will allow you to draw out the depth of the beer’s aroma. You will be able to see as well as smell the structure of these delicious and complex beers.
Ok, call us traditionalists if you must but this JoyJolt Beer Drinking Glass is a wonderful vessel that will hold up to 19 ounces of your favorite stout. The style of glass is known as Nonik, or Nonic, and is made from thick glass. Originally they were designed with a bulge at the top for added grip, to strengthen the rim, and to not stick when stacking. Little did anyone know they would turn out to be one of the best glasses for the kind of foam thickness only found in stouts or porters.
This fine set of German-made beer glassware was created in 2014 by Spiegelau in partnership with stout brewers from the United States. Spiegelau had an IPA glass project that turned out so well, they decided to create a product for stout beers. After design work and a lot of research and development, they created eight custom shapes and this is the version that won out. The shape of the glass is not typical in pint glasses and it enhances the roasted malt, rich coffee, and chocolate notes of the stout-styled beer.
Another Luigi Bormioli glass is the Birrateque Stout Glass made from lead-free glass with a contoured chamber. This glass was designed to enhance the flavor, aroma, and creaminess so you can experience the roasted malt and scent profiles. The Foam Control System maintains a fine and continuous foamy head due to the etchings made on the bottom of the glass. This stout beer glass set was designed explicitly for stouts and as a porter beer glass.
The Holmesgaard has been in the glassmaking business since the 1820s and has been Denmark’s royal glassmaker ever since. This stout glass shape is created from mouth-blown lead-free glass, and is fire cut and polished by hand. It features a snifter-styled bowl with a large round shape designed to release the beer’s rich aromas and fragrant volatiles and allows you to swirl the beer and develop its profile even further. Once you take a drink, all of the aromas collect at the narrow rim of the glass filling your senses with complex flavor profiles.
This beer glass is made in Germany and is known as a Belgian glass. The tulip glass shape resembles a cross between a goblet and a snifter. It has a round bowl on a short stem and the glass tapers at the rim to capture aromas. The curve of the rim is perfect to create that foam known to stouts and allows you to swirl the beer to release its fragrance.
Made from titanium crystal, these glasses are made to bring out the best in your stouts. Schott Zwiesel uses Tritan Crystal technology that is barium and lead free. The titanium crystal is a crystal that is reinforced with non-toxic titanium metal and zirconium to make it scratch, chip, and break-resistant. Think of it as the glass being infused with titanium which typically involves nanotechnology creating a hard protective covering on the glassware or crystal. The deep base, the tulip shape, and the flared rim create the perfect environment for your stout to breathe and develop additional flavor.
It’s all about the experience. Same as when you dine out, you are there for the food but also the experience. The glassware enhances your experience and it’s much better than just sipping out of the beer bottle. Here are four quick tips on drinking a stout:
- Pour the beer into the glass slowly and don’t stop until you can leave about a finger’s width of beer in the bottle. This is to avoid the yeast from going into the glass.
- The stout should be between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit unless it has a higher ABV then you can have it chilled to 55 or 60 degrees.
- If your stout is colder, then let it breathe after you have poured it. Use your hands to warm it up a little. Cold beverages typically mute or mask flavors that weren’t intended to be hidden.
- Drink responsibly and enjoy one of the best beers out there.
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