Tulip To Tumbler, Get To Know The Different Types Of Whiskey Glasses
If you’re a whisky lover, then it might surprise you to know that the glass you’re drinking from plays a big role in how your drink tastes. So if you’re still drinking from the same old tumbler every day, it might be doing a huge disservice to the flavour of your drink.
It’s estimated that about 80-90% of what we perceive as ‘taste’ is actually rooted in what we can smell, and that holds true when you enjoy a glass of premium whisky. Choosing the right glass can change your drinking experience, so it’s important to understand how even small differences can have an impact.
Anatomy Of A Whisky Glass
The diameter of the outer edge of the glass plays a crucial role in revealing the subtle aromas of the whisky. Glasses with a smaller rim diameter concentrate the aroma, while wider rim diameters disperse alcohol into the air, keeping it away from the nose. For everyday whiskies, a wide-rimmed glass should suffice, but if you are planning to savour something special, be sure to opt for the more narrow rim.
The body of the glass not only influences the taste but also the aroma. Round, bowl-shaped glasses channel aromas towards the nose through their tapered rims. Furthermore, their design allows for gentle swirling, promoting aeration. This makes them a popular choice among whisky connoisseurs.
The stem is the base of the glass, and it serves a purpose beyond mere aesthetics. A longer stem facilitates effortless swirling, ensuring that your hand doesn't interfere with the whisky's aroma by getting too close to the rim.
Types of Whisky Glasses
1. Rocks Glass:
Also known as the old-fashioned glass or tumbler, the Rocks Glass is a familiar sight in bars. This robust glass provides a secure grip and is ideal for adding large ice cubes or giving your whisky a good swirl. If you prefer your whisky on the rocks or with a dash of water, this glass is perfect. Its simple design allows the drink to speak for itself, whether you're enjoying neat whisky or whisky cocktails.
2. Glencairn Glass:
One of the most coveted glasses in the whisky world, The Glencairn Glass is the go-to glass for whisky tasting, and for a good reason. It’s sturdy with a short, thick base, which makes it easy to swirl and nose the whisky. Its unique bulbous shape directs the whisky's aromas towards its narrow rim. It’s a must-have for any whisky lover.
3. Tulip Glass:
For those who want to fully appreciate the nuances and depth of single malt whisky, the 'Copita' or Tulip glass is the go-to choice. Originally used in the sherry industry in Spain, it's now popular among master distillers and blenders in the whisky world. This glass widens in the middle and tapers towards the rim, concentrating the aromas. Unlike the Glencairn glass, the Copita has a slightly longer stem, preventing your hand from warming the liquid.
4. Snifter Glass:
Also known as balloons or cognac glasses, the Snifter Glass is perfect for seasoned whisky drinkers who like to savour their drink slowly. Its short stem, wide bottom, and narrow top create a connoisseur's delight. The narrow mouth directs the aroma to the top, enhancing the tasting experience.
5. Norlan Glass:
Designed with true whisky connoisseurs in mind, the Norlan Glass is a stunning blown glass vessel. Its double-walled construction captures the whisky's complex flavours and aromas, delivering them to your senses. The outer tumbler ensures an easy grip and prevents the whisky from warming in your hand.
6. NEAT Glass:
The NEAT Glass (Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology) is a newcomer in the whisky glass scene. It's scientifically designed for nosing and tasting with a wide tip and base. This glass is said to eliminate nose burn and numbing, allowing the more subtle aromas to shine. However, its unconventional shape may take some getting used to when drinking from it.
7. Highball Glass:
The Highball Glass, taller than the tumbler, derives its name from the classic scotch and soda cocktail. Its thick base provides balance and prevents spills. Due to its height, this glass is best suited for cocktails with a higher proportion of non-alcoholic mixers.
Common Materials Used For Whisky Glasses
- Glass: The classic choice that imparts a sense of sophistication, making you feel like a worldly aficionado.
- Crystal: The epitome of elegance, crystal glasses offer clarity, lustre, prestige, and style.
- Tritan Plastic: While a bit less extravagant, this material is impact-resistant and budget-friendly.
- Stainless Steel: Shatterproof and rust-resistant, stainless steel glasses maintain the correct temperature of your drink and can even double as improvised musical instruments, should the mood strike.
Choosing the right whisky glass is more than aesthetics—it can significantly influence your tasting experience. So, as you embark on your whisky journey, consider the glass as an essential companion in your quest for the perfect sip.