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Our Guide to Whiskey Glassware

  • 2 min read

You can spoil a great bottle with a sh!%&y glass, or you can make a sh!% bottle better with a great glass.

Why is that? It's your nose.

"Our sense of smell is responsible for about 80% of what we taste."*

Each of the glasses below was designed specifically for the type of spirit contained within their delicate frame. We did a deep nose dive into our preferred whiskey glass styles to present you with their origin story, insights, and notes. Our advice, try them all with one of our whiskey bottles (a great activity with whiskey friends).

Tulip, Copita or Dock Glass

Typically used for sherry, mezcal, cognac, fortified wines, rum and whiskey.

This glass is based on the Copita "little glass" in Spanish. It’s become the choice of master distillers, blenders and true whisky connoisseurs around the world because, well, you can stick your nose in it. Beware, if it's a high proof spirit, inhale slowly and start small. 

If your hands tend to be of the aromatic kind (perfumes, colognes etc), we recommend a larger stem so your scent doesn't compete with the whiskey. Otherwise, shorter stems allow your hands to "gently warm" the spirit. 

Glencarn Whisky Glass

"Swirl away" with this glass as it allows you to easily contain your spirit while opening it up to the elements. The tulip shape allows for easy nosing to open all of its complexities. Its stable frame can withstand some rounds too.  

"In 2001 Glencairn Crystal solved the problem of identifying the ideal glass for whisky. Designed by Raymond Davidson nearly 25 years earlier, its development involved pulling together the master blenders from the five largest whisky companies and asking them to perfect his initial design."*

The Whiskey Tumbler, Rocks Glass, the Old Fashioned, the Lowball

If you only have one glass in your collection, make it a tumbler. It's the most versatile glassware for cocktails, on the rocks, or just neat.  

The Snifter, the Balloon, Brandy Bowl, the Cognac Glass

It seems, you must be wearing a tuxedo, smoking a cigar, and sitting in a leather chair to be using one of these glasses. The iconic snifter oozes class, style, and bravado. Cradled in-between your fingers, you can swirl as you look your date in the eye confidently and own any room without spilling your drink. While you may look like the bad ass in the room, it's not the best for tasting spirits as it often narrows the potency of the spirits rather than opening them up.  

The Neat Whiskey Glass

For those ready to step up their whiskey education (not for casual drinking) this neat glass was a whoopsies in the glass factory that recently become a main stay in tasting rooms for their ability to gently open the spirits without burning your nose hairs. It is a bit tippy so we recommend caution as you continue into your bottle.  

1. *Taste-Smell Connection, Science World, 2.