Drinking whisky (like the magnificent bastard you are) is an art that needs to be enjoyed. Not only is there a whole world of whisky to learn about, with several countries around the world producing bottles with their own unique tastes and textures, but just being able to relax in a chair (an Eames, ideally), savour the taste, and enjoy a cigar or two is every gentleman’s idea of paradise.
But the whole look can be ruined if you drink your whisky from the wrong glass. Yes, when it comes to drinking the oesophagus-burning good stuff, there are distinct rights and wrongs with regards to glassware. You can’t simply reach for any old tumbler in your cupboard. Instead, you need a proper whisky glass. Don’t argue with us.
When shopping for whisky glasses, you’ll likely come across the terms old fashioned and double old fashioned. The naming comes from the classic whisky-based cocktail, but with regards to the ‘double’ prefix, this type of glass is usually two ounces (60ml) larger than its single rocks glass sibling.
The larger size lends it to be better suited to cocktails with ice, whereas the single rocks glass is what you want when you’re sipping on a neat pour. It’s not wrong per se to drink a neat pour from a double glass, it will just look slightly out of proportion.
However, there are also other whisky glass variations, with official titles, that have their own respective properties. Old fashioned tumblers have a wider opening at the top, which whisky boffins claim doesn’t focus on the aromas of the spirit so well.
In order for your sense of smell to be truly satisfied, you should be looking for glasses such as the Glencairn, developed by Glencairn Crystal in Scotland, UK. The Glencairn glass fuses together the best of everything in whisky glassware, with a heavy bottom akin to the old fashioned rocks glass, with a curved upper to focus the aromas, similar to a nosing copitas glass.
Mini Glencairn glasses are commonly used at distilleries for serving samples.
And when you’re spending good money on a bottle, you shouldn’t settle for some cheap glassware either, but something that is just as much a piece of art that can be displayed through a glass-fronted cabinet, as it is a functional glass.
Whisky Glasses FAQs
A snifter is commonly used for consumption of dark, aged spirits like brandy, whisky and bourbon. It is a short-stemmed glass with a wide bottom and narrow top. Definitely. Whisky glasses are shaped to enhance your drinking experience. They should influence the smell and taste you perceive, concentrate vapours and allow you to “nose” the whisky. A standard whisky is 1.5 ounces for a shot. For a near or rocks pour, it should be two ounces. For double, its three ounces.
What is a whisky snifter?
Do whisky glasses make a difference?
How much whisky do you pour in a glass?
A snifter is commonly used for consumption of dark, aged spirits like brandy, whisky and bourbon. It is a short-stemmed glass with a wide bottom and narrow top.
Definitely. Whisky glasses are shaped to enhance your drinking experience. They should influence the smell and taste you perceive, concentrate vapours and allow you to “nose” the whisky.
A standard whisky is 1.5 ounces for a shot. For a near or rocks pour, it should be two ounces. For double, its three ounces.
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Here are the best whisky glasses for whisky worshippers to add to their collections.
A large portion of Waterford's range are the double old fashioned style, but this duo of Lismore Connoisseur Diamond glasses are large enough to hold whisky-based cocktails, ice or whisky with a splash of water, but not so large that a neat pour will look out of place. They're hand-crafted from "the finest crystal" and have some real heft to them making them feel all the more substantial.
The Cupa Rocks glasses are designed and produced to fit perfectly in the hand, allowing you to swirl your whisky to release its aromas with ease. The edge upon which the glass can lean on provides a perfect 2oz/60ml pour, so no need for a jigger or other measuring device, and they're hand-blown in Florenc,e, Italy. Simply stunning.
The Boris tumblrs, bought as a pair, have a 250ml volume, putting them bang in the middle of the ideal size for a single rocks glass. The nature of the design means they have a base with some real heft, which only adds to their appeal. You don't want whisky glasses that are flimsy and feels like they could break at any second, do you?
The Eva Solo glass is mouth-blown and sports an unusual sloped design. It's not just to make it look pretty though, as the slope allows the flavours of your whisky to really come to the fore (and provide an easier route into your mouth, of course).
Clearly being a company to encourage dinner parties, their Mode whisky glasses set comes with six glasses and a decanter, so you can channel your inner Don Draper and offer a drink to your friends. Design-wise, they're perhaps more modern in their approach than you would expect from a company such as Royal Doulton, but it provides more universal appeal.
Nonetheless, this Vinum glass is said to be the perfect suitor for single malt whisky. The result of several design workshops conducted in 1992, the Vinum rocks an out-turned lip that claims to highlight the sweet flavours of your single malt.
This set of whisky glasses was designed by Rikke Hagen for the brand, and exhibit a typical Nordic style. A wide opening helps to emphasise the natural aromas of whatever whisky you pour in and being mouth-blown, are of incredibly high quality.
The Whisky Wedge is Corkcicle's modern take on whisky glasses. You get an Old Fashioned glass and a wedge-shaped separator. With that inside the glass, simply fill the glass with ice, freeze it for a few hours and you're left with a perfectly solid wedge-shaped piece of ice that you can pour your whisky onto to enjoy chilled, without diluting too much.