Presenting the alcoholic beverage meticulously is of secondary importance. What really matters is the effect that a particular glass has on different types of whisky. It is the shape and thickness of the whisky glass that exert an extensive influence on the taste. Now it cannot be generalised which glass is the right choice, as it largely depends on your personal taste and individual drinking habits.
Here, we introduce you to the most important distinctions and some exquisite whisky glasses, which can help you enjoy your whisky.
From Quaich to modern whisky glasses
One of the oldest drinking vessels for whisky is the so-called Quaich. It originates from Scotland and is still traditionally used for the Scottish national drink. It is a bowl, which is usually equipped with one or two handles. Its historical mention dates back to the 16th century, probably even further back. The name comes from the Gaelic word “cuach” and means “cup”, which was originally made of wood, and afterwards out of silver and tin. The most exclusive club in the Scottish whisky industry is called “The Keepers of the Quaich”. It is an association dedicated to the task of making Scottish whisky more widely known and prestigious around the world.
Whisky glasses and their shapes – what truly matters!
As already mentioned, the most important criterion in the choice of glass is the shape. It determines the overall design and has a significant impact on the drink. For instance, a broad, curved rim allows the spirit drink to flow widely into the mouth, allowing for optimal taste to work its magic on the tongue. With a clear, uncoloured glass, you can see the colour of the spirit drink, which tells you a lot about the type of whisky, which is why connoisseurs like to opt for crystal clear glasses. Today, there are a number of modern glass designs that are suitable for these exquisite droplets of whiskey and have been specially developed for it.
A very popular and widespread type of whisky glasses are the so-called Tumbler glasses. They usually have a straight shape, are made of thicker glass and have even thicker bottoms. They go best with good bourbon or blend whisky. However, the large glass opening causes the flavours to not flow evenly out of the glass. If anything, it makes the drink gush out much faster, which is why you should refrain from the tumbler glass in case of some whisky varieties. It poses no problem whatsoever with a blend, but is a huge waste of potential when it comes to a single malt. The commonly used terms “whisky tumbler” or “rocks glass” mean the same. Thanks to the larger opening of a tumbler, ice cubes are easier to fill and they melt away only slowly due to the thick-walled glass and that is precisely why a tumbler is recommended for a “Whisky on the rocks”.
Tapered tumbler glasses
As an alternative to the classic tumbler glass, there is a tapered tumbler, where you lose fewer flavours.
Lamour Heart Tumbler from Stolzle*
Nosing glasses or tasting glasses are particularly well suited to taste fine whiskys, such as single malts, and to savour their fragrance notes. They are reminiscent of a sherry glass, are tulip-shaped – slightly bulbous – and taper towards the top. The bulbousness allows the liquid to bounce, releasing the aromas. Thanks to the tapering of the glass, the evaporated aromas can be better absorbed by the nose, which helps in identifying complex undertones of the flavour. Some glasses have an upwardly curved glass edge, so that the whisky can flow more widely over the tongue and the aromas can spread better. These glasses are also known as “Catavino” or “Copita”. At professional tastings, they are often served with lids, which capture the aromas and bring out more nuances of flavour.
A special form of Nosing glass and an absolute classic is the so-called Glencairn glass. A bulbous, tulip-like shape and a short thick stem at the bottom of the glass are the characteristics of this glass. It is very popular amongst whisky connoisseurs, because it can contribute to the aroma due to the narrow release from the rim. In addition, the Glencairn glass rests comfortably on hand. It is much more stable and break-resistant than the Copita. The glass wall is often slightly thicker than conventional Nosing glasses.
New design for a pleasurable drinking experience
The Norlan glass is a very special whisky glass, because it combines the two properties of nosing glass and tumbler. The special double-walled glass form on the inside affects the ratio of surface to air when the spirit drink bounces, thereby increasing the oxidation rate. The ethanol evaporates and the aroma of the whisky develops to its optimum. The ice cubes for “Whisky on the rocks” are also easy to put in the manually tempered borosilicate glass, similar to the tumbler glass. The intensity of the colour is an added benefit of the double-walled structure.
If you are looking for more such fun stuff to read on the whisky glasses and want to learn more about this spirit drink, we recommend the book World Whiskey, which is like the bible for whisky connoisseurs and even rookies. Feel free to browse through our category Glasses for more such glasses of other spirit drinks. Clink clink!
Whisky glas from Zwiesel available at Amazon
Posted on 03.04.2018
- *It is a partner link. By clicking on the link “Go to shop now”, you leave Red Dot 21 and are transferred to a different website or an online shop, where you can purchase this product. Red Dot 21 receives a fee for placing the link to the product. This does not affect you, and no additional costs are incurred.