What’s the Best Whiskey Glass?


It’s a question all whis(e)y drinkers ask at some point — what do I drink this damn stuff out of? With the profusion of glasses and styles to choose from, it’s not always clear cut. Many whiskey aficionados favour the classic Glencairn  style, while the media frequently portrays it being sipped out of rocks glasses, and more than one bar opts to serve it in brandy snifters. So which is the best? You can watch the video above, where I taste Alberta Premium Dark Horse rye to find out, or read on.

3rd Place: Rocks glass

While you might feel like you’re in Mad Men sipping  from a bulky crystal rocks glass, it’s certainly not the best for a dedicated tasting. The fumes of the alcohol are potent, while the distinct scent notes are not. It almost seems to muffle the smell of the whiskey, which is probably not a good thing if you enjoy what you’re drinking. That said, hefting a heavy, ornate glass and sipping from its broad rim is far from unpleasant. I’d save this glass for cheap whiskey, or old favourites you’re very familiar with.

2nd Place: Glencairn (Mine is a stemmed version of the Glencairn-style of whisky glass)

There’s a reason this is the preferred glass of many scotch tasters. The tapered glass concentrates the scent into a powerful bouquet, and is spite of the potent alcohol fumes, it’s perfect for picking out individual notes. My only complaint is the small brim isn’t as nice to sip from, but as long as you’re not sessioning whiskey, a Glencairn might be the perfect glass to taste from.

1st Place: Snifter

It’s truly a best of both world’s scenario — the wide bowl and tapered brim serve to really concentrate the nose of the whiskey, while the breadths of the glass seem to soften the fumes a bit. Additionally, the wider crystal brim is luxurious to sip from, and there’s nothing quite like the feel of holding a snifter in your hand. All in all, for form and function I prefer the snifter. Not just for brandy, apparently.

1 comment

Add yours
  1. 1
    Allessa Wells

    Picking the right glass for our drink is essential. But it also depends on how do we want to enjoy our drinks. If like you said, the drinks we are familiar or old favourites, it’ll be okay if we use wider brim glass, as we are already familiar with how it taste. But if we are trying out a new whisky and we want to savour the taste and the smell, when we need snifter. Sure it depends on what we need and how we like it. Each of us, of course, have our own preference. Nonetheless, all of us enjoy good drinks, aren’t we? Cheers for a good and helpful article you have here, or just because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Cheers!

+ Leave a Comment