Whisky is a dark art that relies on innumerable variables: from the mash to the barrel, and the glass — it all matters. Neat or on the rocks; if you’re a whisky connoisseur you know nothing tastes as good as an old good glass of aged whisky. And of course, there’s a whisky glass for every type of whisky fan, and the right glass can change your whole drinking experience.
The shape and texture of the glass plays a vital role in the sensory experience of a drink – and not only due to the aesthetics. A good whisky in the wrong glass can often leave you disappointed. From how the whisky gets aired to the feel of the glass while sipping the drink, the smaller elements add immensely to the experience. Whisky glasses are shaped to enhance the experience of drinking and nosing whisky.
Just like you can’t drink wine out of a mug, whisky can’t be had from a goblet. Many often preach that tulip-shaped glasses with a tapered neck are ideal for presenting the spirit’s aromas and flavours. Others prefer a classic Old-Fashioned glass for sipping whiskey, and some simply use a shot glass. While some are designed to highlight the spirit, others are versatile picks that can be used for cocktails, neat pours and beyond. But no matter what, a well-stocked bar should have a few different types of glasses. We’ve rounded up the best whisky glasses to help you pick the one best suited to your taste.
Looking to savour an exquisite bottle of whisky? Then the Glencairn Glass is an exemplary option. Apart from giving the world some of the best whiskeys, Scotland also gave us one of the most prevalent and respected glasses in the world of whisky – the Glencairn. A standard tasting glass at most distilleries, they are designed to maximise the aromas and taste.
Take in the aroma of aged whisky as you stock the bar with the Norlan Glass. Combining design and functionality, these double-walled glasses capture the complex flavour and aromas of whisky. The beauty of the double-wall is that it serves to balance perfectly the need for a whisky to breathe, while preventing the whisky from absorbing warmth from your hand. Tasteful in design with an edgy touch, the glass instantly elevates your drinking experience.
The most common of all whisky glasses, the Tumbler Glass — also known as the old-fashioned — comes in an array of designs. Not the best suited for nosing, due to its wide rim, but it is ideal for ‘muddling’ cocktail ingredients. If you’re someone who prefers to enjoy a glass of whisky at home, the old-fashioned is a must-have in your bar. A traditional glass for most whisky drinkers is the old-fashioned, also known as the Rocks glass. Commonly spotted in whisky bars across the world, this is the prototype of whisky glasses. As the name suggests, this type of whiskey glass is used to have whiskey ‘on the rocks’ and is also the go-to for whisky cocktails.
If you wish to keep it minimal, Ikai Asai’s version is a fantastic addition to your bar. For a more luxurious yet minimalistic appeal, opt for Christofle’s old-fashioned or add a luxe element to your barware with the Christofle Old-fashioned featuring gold detailing. Saint Louis’s tumbler with a narrow base is along similar lines is and finally, The Macallan Lalique Crystal Tumbler Glass is sure to elevate the opulence of your serve ware. However, if your bar boasts a contemporary appeal, Vista Algeres portrait glass that plays with the texture of cutting and creating graphical overlays is the perfect addition. Add for a dash of colour pick INVs Tumbler glass that brings sparkling sophistication to every sip.
The Copita Glass
A traditional Spanish glass used for sampling Sherry, the Copita glass is now a popular choice for whisky distillers. Being a stylish way to drink whisky, the Copita Glass with artistic design elements is just what you need to appreciate the flavour of single malts. It is a perfect glass for whiskey connoisseurs and enthusiasts who love to swirl their whiskey around in the glass. Known to enhance the aroma of whisky, this is an apt nosing glass. Let your guests be mesmerised as you serve them a glass of aged whisky in the Macallan copita glass.
Like to savour your drink slowly? The Snifter glass will be used repeatedly for your favourites. Also known as a balloon or cognac glass, the short stem makes it the optimum choice for aged spirits while promising a bouquet of aromas. The style of this glass is one used for spirits that deserve to be warmed slightly. So, if you prefer your whisky chilled, a snifter glass isn’t the best idea.
A favourite for mixologists around the world, the highball glass is one to turn to for your whisky-based tipples. The length of the glass makes it easier to prevent spillage and allows for plenty of ingredients, ice and fizz. Some often confuse the highball glass with a vodka glass, but what makes it unique is its thick base. A staple choice for cocktail concoctions, it gets its name from the simplest whisky cocktails in the world — scotch and soda. If you like your whisky stirred with water or any other mixer, this will make the experience more pleasurable. Explore your bartending skills as you serve up a delicious cocktail in the Macallan Highball Glass or let the beauty of the Marly highball glass design take centre stage at your bar. For an opulent appeal, Vista Alegre’s highball glass adorned with textured diamond-shaped can transform humble family gatherings into lavish events.
The newest addition to the range of whisky glasses is the NEAT glass – Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology. Contrary to what the same suggests, it’s not how you should enjoy your spirit. The scientifically designed glass offers a wide mouth to diffuse sharp alcohol fumes and let you detect the hidden tasting notes. If you’re a whisky newbie, we would highly recommend investing in a good NEAT glass.
So, the next time you sit to savour your whisky don’t forget to carefully pick your glass – and thank us later!