Best Glasses for Whiskey
Whiskey is enjoying renewed popularity as the variety of fine artisanal whiskeys continues to increase. The spirit has developed a following not unlike the community that surrounds wine. No longer are whiskey connoisseurs content to slug down shots of whiskey at a local bar. Because of the depth, character, and complex flavors present in modern craft whiskeys, fans of the spirit would rather drink them slowly and relish in their full flavor.
Much as in the case of wine, whiskey is best served in glasses that are appropriate for the drink. While in the past any glass would be considered sufficient, aficionados of the brown liquor now have glasses better suited to the style of whiskey or cocktail consumed. Read on to learn more about a few of the most common glasses and how they pair with whiskey experiences.
For years, the image of whiskey in a shot glass was emblazoned on the consciousness of drinkers everywhere. Whether it was a cowboy in a movie slugging down a shot or soldiers entertaining themselves with shots from a flask in foxholes, shooting whiskey was equated with masculinity. The problem is that the typical shot glass is ill-suited for drawing out the complexity and beauty of craft whiskeys. The whiskey experience isn’t all about taste. As is the case with wine, the vapors and aromas inform the palate and round out the flavor of a particular vintage. With a shot glass, those vapors are lost. A shot glass may be suited for getting down middle-tier whiskeys when flavor isn’t a strong point.
A rocks glass is another traditional type of glassware used for the last century along with whiskey. It is much better suited than a shot glass to present the whiskey to the taster in its full glory. With a rocks glass, you get a face full of fumes as you sip the liquor, which can provide you with a much fuller whiskey tasting experience. Though the olfactory experience enhances the flavor of whiskey consumed from a rocks glass, the flavors can also sometimes be muted. Therefore, rocks glasses are perfect for mixed drinks and cocktails that include whiskey.
The Glencairn glass was made for whiskey. It was created by Glencairn Crystal of Scotland and was modeled after the types of glasses used in whiskey labs attached to the world’s most famous distilleries. It features a tulip shape that allows the vapors to be collected in the glass. When the glass is tilted for a sip, the powerful fumes spill out and greet the nose as the liquid is tasted. The Glencairn glass draws out the maximum flavor from the spirit and is the perfect glass for drinking whiskey neat.
When you consume fine craft whiskey, it only makes sense to properly pair the spirit with proper whiskey glasses. Depending on how you drink your whiskey, you should choose which types of glassware best meets the flavor needs of your drink.