Whisky glasses are designed to enhance the enjoyment of whisky tasting and drinking. Most glasses have a bulbous shape, which allows for aromas to gather and be directed through the narrow rim.
The right whisky glass is essential for enhancing the drinker’s enjoyment. There are many styles and shapes to choose from. There are many options, from the small Glencairn to the large snifter. This guide will help you find the right one. They make a great gift, and you can personalize them to give to the whisky lover in your life. These are the most popular whisky glasses:
The tulip-shaped (also known as the capital style glass, or the dock glass)
The capital is the traditional Spanish glass that was used to taste sherry. This glass is based upon the capital. It is the preferred choice of master distillers, whisky blenders, and true whisky connoisseurs all over the globe. The ‘dock glass’ was named once because merchants used it to sniff wines and spirits at docksides.
Its long stem prevents the drinker’s hand (Cool shot glasses) from coming too close to the nose, while its bowl shape concentrates aromas through the slightly narrowed rim. It can be easily held so that the spirit can be warmed. This glass is perfect for showcasing the unique nuances of single malt whisky.
The Glencairn whisky glass
The Glencairn’s shape is similar to that of the tulip-shaped glasses, but it’s equally suitable for appreciation. The glass’s solid, the short base makes it a popular choice for those who don’t like stems. It is also a bit thicker, which makes it more suitable for social drinking.
The Glencairn’s size makes it ideal for learning how whisky is swirled. This practice is commonly used to fully appreciate the whisky’s aromas. Another bowl-shaped glass channels the aromas towards a narrower edge. This glass is the modern, more ‘showy’ cousin of the tulip shape, and it’s dedicated solely to whisky.
The whisky tumbler (aka the rocks glass, the old fashioned glass, the lowball)
This is the most popular of all whisky glasses. The tumbler’s wide rim makes it difficult to use for tasting, but it’s not a bad choice for drinking. The tumbler’s robust base is ideal for mixing cocktail ingredients. Its simple design allows for easy drinks to speak for themselves. This timeless glass is a must-have for whisky lovers who want to enjoy the full spectrum of the spirit.
The taller brother to the tumbler, and the glass that is associated with the Scotch and soda. This allows you to add plenty of spirits, ice, and mixer making it a long, relaxing drink. The highball is also popular with fans of whisky and ginger ale, whisky and lemonade, and other simple whisky drinks. It is especially popular in Japan. The shape of the highball doesn’t matter, but it would be a mistake to serve Scotch and soda into a pint glass with a dimpled bottom.
The snifter (aka the balloon, the brandy bowl, the cognac glass)
This glass is firmly rooted at the Gentlemen’s Club. It exudes class. Think whisky and cigars after dinner. It is commonly used to make brandy but it can also be used to drink dark and aged spirits. The glass is often held horizontally so the spirit doesn’t spill out. These opulent associations do not necessarily make them a better drinking vessel. The snifter can be overpowered by other aromas due to its large body and narrow rim.
The NEAT whisky glass
The NEAT glass, a new product and one for technical minded people is an ironic result of a manufacturing error in a glass blowing plant. The unusually shaped vessel was found to be able to disperse harsh alcohol vapors from the nose. NEAT stands for Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology.
It squeezes out the lighter molecules of alcohol from its opening and leaves behind the more attractive molecules in whisky. This glass is great for tasting, but it also works well for those who are new to spirits because of its ability to neutralize harsh smells. Its unusual shape may require some time to get used to.