Whisky has been consumed and enjoyed for literally ages. Because it has been a beloved spirit for generations, there are several different glasses that can be used to enhance the experience. When it comes to whisky, the glass is not just the vehicle for getting the liquid into your mouth, but a device to enhance the aroma and the taste.
The simple tumbler has been a favourite of whisky connoisseurs throughout time, in fact it was the original vehicle for consuming the “Gentleman’s Drink”. The tumbler is usually made of cut glass and is a mid-height, often squared style. The weight balance is usually about 80/20 from the base of the tumbler to the top.
In the old West the rocks glass is generally how whisky was consumed. Many don’t see much of a difference between this and the tumbler, but the rocks glass is generally smaller than the tumbler. This is often the preferred glass type if you enjoy ice is your whisky, putting the rocks in the name rocks glass.
The Snifter grew in popularity when there became a greater variety of malts available to distilleries, as the shape of the glass is meant to bring the aroma of the whisky up into the nose of the connoisseur, enhancing the experience. The snifter has a short stem with a wide base that tapers up into a narrow top.
While many whisky drinkers enjoy one type of glassware or another, many whisky aficionados will only consume their favourite varieties from the Glencairn. The glass is truly dedicated to the enjoyment of whisky, as it was the mastermind of master blenders that work for the five largest whisky producers in Scotland. A short stem, a wide base, and a narrow top allow the connoisseur to enjoy whisky as it was meant to be enjoyed. The Glencairn is often considered the industry standard by those who judge whisky and enjoy the full experience from the nose to the palette.
The Denver & Liely glass is a hand blown whisky glad designed and produced in Melbourne, Australia. These glasses are superb quality and its unconventional design helps the nosing experience in the same fashion as the Glencairn’s narrow nose. Beautifully packaged these glasses are only available in limited release.
Looking at the whisky glasses and wondering why many have a stem? The stem is essential for proper swirling. The swirling is what allows for the aromas to waft up and greet your senses beautifully. The stem allows for a low centre of gravity so that you can safely swirl your glass, not only enjoying the smell, but seeing the run and the body of the whisky.
If you are new to whisky you may be overwhelmed by all of the different options. Who knew that consuming such a popular spirit would be so involved? The Glencairn is the most popular and will really allow you to enjoy whisky the way it was meant to be, but if you plan to test different whiskies, you should always stick with the same type of glass so you can judge them consistently, as the shape of the glass will really affect the nose and the taste.
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