Whiskey is the sophisticated man’s drink of choice. The complex aromas, the wide-ranging flavor profiles, the varying origins, and the rich traditions are all reasons why it’s a spirit that deserves special accessories. In a nutshell, if you’re drinking any type of whiskey out of standard bar glassware, you could be doing you and your high-priced booze a disservice.
Whether you’re a whiskey snob or only occasionally indulge in a nightcap of bourbon or scotch, it’s essential to know how to drink whiskey properly. It’s also good to know your options regarding the different vessels available to elevate your whiskey drinking experience. There’s a staggering amount out there to choose from. Some are aesthetically pleasing, some are designed based on the science behind the spirit — giving you the best experience, and some are a little of both. We’ll get into how to choose the perfect whiskey glass for your specific needs a little later. First, let’s go over some terrific glasses we found out there.
We’ve also got you covered with the best whiskey quotes from writers, actors, athletes, and other celebrities to inspire your next drink.
This glass is a perfect combination of functionality and fashion. It has a gorgeous design, and there’s no other glass out there that will do more for your whiskey to give you the best drinking experience possible.
You won’t be able to tell from the darkened outside, but holding the new VAILD Edition of Norland Glass creates a recursive infinity mirror within. Stray photons find their way into the “light trap” and bounce around, taking with them the distinct notes of your favorite whiskey. In other words, whiskey nerds will go HAM over this glass, $58 for a set of 2.
“Through specially developed protrusion forms inside the glass — adapted through studying bio-mimicry — when swirled around the glass, the fluid (whiskey) forms a standing wave shape which increases the surface-to-air ratio and rate of oxidization. The effect here is that considerably more ethanol evaporates. This resulting increase in volatility allows the whiskey to become significantly more expressive,” say experts at Norlan. These guys really did their homework, comparing their glass to other shapes in an epic test of quality and aromatics.
The only downfall of this glass is not seeing your beautiful brown liquor from the outside. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, Norlan offers a clear version set. The only difference is you won’t get the infinity mirror benefits.
Best Glass for Neat Whiskey: “The Experience” by The NEAT Glass – Official Competition Judging Glass
Yes, these unusual glasses are used in official spirits competitions thanks to their hidden scientific design. After meticulously researching the science of how alcoholic spirits drift to the nose, NEAT was born. “Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology,” and a distaste for the burning “ethanol vapor” that “tickles” your nose before taking a sip of whiskey. Opting for an open-mouth shape that helps diffuse sharp alcohol fumes, NEAT lets you enjoy the sweetest aromas of the spirit and detect hidden tasting notes. Made in the U.S. with super-flint, lead-free crystal, this glass can work overtime with tequilas, cognacs, and types of rums, too. It also comes in a fancy burgundy soft-touch box with a silver foil hot stamp. You can pick up a set of two at a reasonable price of $31.
You are not a true whiskey connoisseur until you own your own set of traditional Glencairn-style glasses. The tulip-shaped bowl was revolutionary when introduced, letting its drinker savor the complexity of fine whiskeys (suggested use being sipping aged bourbon or single malt Scotch.) Said to bring out the spirit’s full value and aroma, the Glencairn is for the whiskey lover fascinated with the art of distilling and the subtle nuances of each barrel and bottle. The glass sits comfortably in hand with a tapered pedestal sham.
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If you’re looking for stability in your whiskey glasses, look no further than the Nude Chill
Nothing says the good old days better than these fluted, double old-fashioned glasses from the Macy’s Hotel Collection. Although not so much these days, fluted glassware was all the rage back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There’s a good chance your grandparents have a set of these tucked away in their liquor cabinet. If you can’t get them to part with theirs, you can pick up this elegantly-etched set for just $62. Although you can use them for any spirit, since these are designed for an old-fashioned, this is one of the best bourbon glass sets.
Well Told takes your favorite places and puts them on glassware. While you can get your hometown or favorite city on a pint glass, coffee mug, and wine glass as well, our favorite is the
Get tilted in more ways than one with this 10oz Diamond Whiskey Glasses from Dragon. Despite how these may look, they are anti-rocking and spill-proof. However, anyone can figure out a way to spill some whiskey after a few rocks pours. Another advantage to these glasses is that they aerate while you pour, making the aroma of your fine scotch or bourbon bloom.
A one-two punch, this package contains not only a glass but also a steel ball for chilling your whiskey (as well as a pair of tongs for getting it in and out without breaking the glass). For those who like some mild, repetitive entertainment with their whiskey, the Rox and Roll glass is for you. Enjoy rolling the steel ball around the bottom of the glass (which is shaped to facilitate this) while simultaneously giving you something to stare at while deep in contemplation, and keeping your whiskey cool.
A lot of guys are naturally clumsy, and a nice bourbon only enhances that trait. Suppose you fall into this category and are tired of replacing fancy glasses that are $20 and up. In that case, these Curvina shatterproof glasses may be the way to go. Made out of Tritan plastic, these whiskey glasses give you the elegance of a classic rocks glass without the worry of lost investment. Or, maybe you’re not clumsy at all but just want some glasses that can travel easily with you on your next camping outing. These glasses fit that description as well. They’re also affordable; a set of four is only $30!
These wild-looking rocks glasses are hand-made by a family company in Ukraine. Every glass they make is different and has its own unique twist. They use medical titanium elements that cover the outside of the glasses; thus, the light refracting from different angles makes your whiskey appear to be multi-colored. Want to play a prank on your friends? After a few drinks, switch a regular rocks glass with one of these bad boys and record their reaction.
These Farielyn crystal whiskey glasses don’t have any high-tech features that enhance the flavor. Still, they’re elegant, sturdy, and affordable. The thick, lead-free crystal design will keep your whiskey colder longer than your average glass while also giving the glass a nice weighted feel. You can get this set of six, old-fashioned x-patterned glasses for under $30! So stock up on these now for this year’s Christmas gifts for your friends, family, and co-workers.
Do you need a constant reminder to conquer your “Everest,” whatever that might be? If so, these Huckberry Whiskey peaks glasses are perfect. This image depicts Mt. Everest, but you can choose from six different topographical impressions to emerge from the bottom of your whiskey. Choose from famed peaks as Denali, Grand Canyon, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Everest, Mt. Rainier, and Mount Washington. You can pick up a set of two at Huckberry for $30.
A decanter set reflects a person’s style and personality. There are thousands of decanter sets out there with different themes, designs, and prices. Picking the right set relies heavily on personal preference. We chose this Viking horn decanter set from Atterstone because, well, it’s cool. I mean, just look at it. What more needs to be said? It’s an excellent combination of unique design and functionality. The decanter holds 750ml, and the vertical base won’t take up much space on your bar.
Now that we’ve touched on some excellent options, let’s talk about choosing the best
Do you Prefer Whiskey on the Rocks or neat?
If you like your whiskey untainted by foreign substances, your best bet is a Glencairn-style glass or the featured “neat” glass. You can also have it cold, minus the ice, if you chill a soapstone glass or get one that comes with a chillable “rocks feature.” If you like the slow dilution that ice provides, any glass could do. But, to best keep the flavor profile of the spirit intact, it would be in your best interest to use a circular ice mold. The larger surface area of round ice causes it to melt slower, thus watering down your beverage less. The featured DUO
What Type of Whiskey Do you Prefer?
The answer to this is tied into the question above. Some types of whiskey, like scotch, lend themselves to be better on-the-rocks. While others, like bourbon, are typically best enjoyed neat. If you don’t play by the “rules” that whiskey snobs play by then this may not matter to you. But, if you drink your whiskey the way the distillers suggest, you will want to get the glass best suited to the style in which the spirit should be imbibed.
How Much are you Willing to Spend?
For most of us, the unfortunate reality is that money is a factor in determining what we purchase. Some of the glasses we suggested are pretty pricey, and the cost escalates if you’re looking to have enough matching glasses to entertain guests. Before you get that one really nifty glass for yourself, consider if it matters to you whether or not if your friends are okay with drinking out of SOLO cups.
Need more help deciding? Maybe the answers to some of these commonly asked questions will help.
In a word, yes. Whiskey glasses, like the Neat or the Norlan glasses mentioned above, do provide added benefits through scientific design that are said to make your whiskey taste better.
You can drink whiskey out of anything — a coffee mug, a plastic solo cup, even an old boot. However, it’s not advisable. Drinking any spirit, especially whiskey, is an experience that is supposed to be special. There’s the ritual of grabbing your favorite glass from the cabinet, the click dropping a single ice cube, the sound of the whiskey gurgling out of the decanter, and finally the weight of the full glass in your hand.
If the delivery system for the whiskey isn’t a concern and you just want that delicious brown liquor in your system as quickly as possible, we say forgo the glass altogether and just take slugs straight from the bottle.
As we mentioned, aside from specially designed glasses that refract, ionize, and direct aromas to enhance flavor no one glass has proven to be better than the other. Style, price, and sturdiness are just a few factors that can affect a person’s
Crystal whiskey glasses, especially leaded crystal, will be heavier due to the composition of the glass. Whiskey glasses made from normal glass, yet still seem heavier than usual, are made that way because most people simply prefer the added weight. Although weighted whiskey glasses feel (and in many cases often are) sturdier than an average glass, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more durable.
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