The Perfect Whiskey Glass

Lately I’ve been doing some re-discovering of many of the whiskeys I have in the bunker.  That is a big benefit of being the brother that does the bulk of the whiskey reviews, once you do the review you still have lots of whiskey left for sipping and enjoying later.  I currently have about 30 whiskeys in the bunker and have been enjoying them immensely since the holidays.  Of course the holidays being what they are I was pretty low on cash afterward so I began to explore my whiskey collection and was incredibly pleased when I got my Christmas gift from my brother Jim.  He took to heart what I had been saying on the blog about gifts for the whisk(e)y drinker and a few days after Christmas, this showed up on my front porch…

A set of four crystal Glencairn glasses appeared in a box.  I was very pleased with the gift, but I had no idea what it actually would do for my whiskeys.  I have drank from a Glencairn before when I was in Portland Oregon at the hotel bar.  I had several great whiskeys that I had never had before, so I wasn’t processing what the glass itself was actually doing for the drinks, but I must say when I got my own set and began to drink whiskeys I was familiar with from them, I was blown away.

It is no wonder that this glass has won the Queens award, the highest award for business and industry in the UK.  It is truly an amazing drinking experience.  When I say re-discovering I really mean it.  This glass is the perfect shape for enhancing the whiskey drinking experience.  The large bowl at the bottom allows the whiskey to air properly, the fluted top is like a smoke stack with aromas billowing out the top, and the heavy base is perfect for holding and making sure the glass stays upright (this can be important after a few).  Finally the flavor of all whiskey is enhanced because you are getting such a concentrated nose from the neck of the glass these aromas become an integrated part of the flavor experience, more so than any other glass I’ve ever used.

I know we have had a couple of discussions about glass wear on this site before, but I have never had a glass be such a critical part of the flavor experience.  If you love whiskey, and I know many of you do, get a set of these glasses.  They are an amazing accompaniment to the whiskey drinking experience.  Thanks Jim!


UPDATE: We have gotten an extraordinary amount of traffic to this post today 1/21/11 from Facebook, only we can’t tell from who.  If one of you would be so kind as to let us know in the comments that would be greatly appreciated.  We’d like to thank whoever reposted this and drove so much traffic to our site.  Have a great weekend!


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35 Comments on “The Perfect Whiskey Glass”

  1. January 12, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    You’re welcome.

    And you have just made your gift twice as expense as I realize I need a set of these puppies, too!

    • Don
      January 12, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      Speaking od which I do have your gift here, but I am just too damn lazy to package and send, but I will. It is my goal for January!

    • Don
      January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      You would love them too, Jim. Their best feature is how the integrate the nose into the drinking experience, it greatly enhances the flavor. I was just blown away!

  2. January 12, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    I couldn’t agree more!
    When I first decided to get into whisky (it was a conscious decision rather than happy accident for me) I decided that I needed the right glasswear. To this end I bought a variety of glasses (inc the classic tumbler rockers/ fishbowls, snifter etc.) and tried the same whisky from each of them in turn. I was, like you, absolutly blown away by the difference to Glencairn glass made to the taste! I have since found similar shaped nosing glasses which deliver the same taste sensation but as they have a stem rather than the sturdy stub the Glencairn glass has, they feel too delicate for my liking. I havee also found the Glencairn to be more robust on the odd occasion where I have accidentally dropped them (and the bowl shape keeps most of the liquid in the glass when tipped, bonus!).
    Fo me it is Glencairn all the way (though my collection of 20+ is getting excesive) and I am glad you have found this too

    • Don
      January 12, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Matthew. I know I sould like a broken record, but it actually shocked me when I first nosed a whiskey out of the Glencairn glass. It was like the aroma was blowing or billowing from the neck of the glass. You have no choice but to smell your drink when it is in this shape of glass. Its just unbelievable to me that a simple glass could make such a huge difference.

      • smokyvalley
        January 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

        Good Afternoon Beer and Whiskey Bros,
        To answer your question, I was led here via a link on Maker’s Mark facebook page, where there was a mention of you & a whiskey-wonder glass. As I happen to be a Maker’s Mark Ambassador I had to find out more about a glass that enhances the enjoyment to be found in the indulgence of two fingers. After reading the post of your experience and those of others found here, I’m sold – I’m going to order a set today. I’m already looking forward to that first two fingers from my own whiskey-wonder glasses.
        Thanks for the heads-up, Beer and Whiskey Bros – have one on me.

        • Don
          January 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

          Glad you liked and that it generated a bit of excitement. These glasses work! Amazing little things. If you love Makers I would highly recommend the Makers 46. I think that would be outstanding in these little beauties. 🙂

  3. January 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm #


    You are so right. The Glencairn glass kicks ass! My neighbors and I “liberated” a couple of these beauties from a Macallan tasting that we attended last year. It’s just like you said… the shape of the glass gets your whole nose into the tasting experience. It makes a huge difference!


    • Don
      January 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Yo G-LO!

      It was, and has been, such a pleasure to rediscover some of the whiskeys in my bunker with these little beauties! I love trying whiskies I am familiar with and seeing what nuances I pick up on with the new glass. Only way to go!

      • January 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

        Your post inspired me to pick up a set of these glasses. I bought them through

        All I can say is Slainte! 🙂

        • Don
          January 13, 2011 at 10:05 am #

          Lemme know G-LO how it goes…I think there is a rhyme in there somewhere…did it again.

      • January 13, 2011 at 10:49 am #

        My set was hand delivered last night. Nothing like a nice glass to class things up a bit! And by the way, you should check out the Whiskycast Podcast. Highly informative and very well done. I think you’d enjoy it, especially now that you’re in whisk(e)y mode. 🙂

        • Don
          January 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

          Did you use them yet? Let me know what you think.

    • January 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      Geez Don… of course I’ve used these glasses before. My first comment said that “The Glencairn glass kicks ass”. They are soooo worth the money! Drinking and posting again? 😉

      • Don
        January 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

        As usual…

  4. January 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    This will be on my gift list for my husband. We cornered the market on specialty beer glasses but have no proper whiskey glasses. Can you suggest a proper bottle of whiskey to go with them?

  5. January 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Of all the posts I needed to read, it was that one and I missed it. Thanks for the suggestion. As you know, I can’t get the AAA 10 star but I have seen Knob Creek at our state controlled stores. There’s a good chance that they will have Jameson too. I’ll let you know. This plus the glasses will make a nice Valentine’s gift for my husband –he’s going to see Anthony Bourdain with me on Valentine’s night so he might want to drink it ahead of time.

  6. January 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    I shall be putting these on my birthday wish list.

    • Don
      January 13, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      Good idea John. They are amazing little goblets.

  7. January 13, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Don – I’ll admit that I use the Glencairn almost exclusively when drinking whiskey. You know whiskey is my thing and my comment regarding the glass is that the glass provides a different experience, not necessarily better (taste being a subjective thing). I’ve used rocks, snifter and Glencairn and the reason I prefer the Glencairn are the reasons you listed. Among the enthusiast crowd, there’s even an argument being made for the effects glass vs. crystal have on whiskey. Drinking bourbon from a rocks glass or a Glencairn produces different results pure and simple.

    • Don
      January 13, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Without a doubt Greg, it is a different experience. I knew it would be better, but I wasn’t expecting such a huge difference. They really enhance the experience.

  8. January 13, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    I just ordered a four pack of crystal Glencairn’s on Amazon. $35.99 with shipping. I figure that’s the cost a middle-shelf bottle of hooch and it’ll make a big difference in the enjoyment I get out of Bourbon. A no brainer, really.

    • Don
      January 13, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      Post the link genius!

  9. BP
    January 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Maker’s Mark linked to you on Facebook.

    • Don
      January 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks for letting us know.

  10. Tom Millin
    January 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Thanks for the info. Can’t wait to try this glassware
    fyi……… Maker’s Mark posted this on their Facebook today. Maker’s is the best

    • Don
      January 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      It makes a huge difference Tom. My brother ordered himself a set and he agrees. They make bourbon better!

  11. January 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Maker’s Mark posted it on FB – that’s how I got here 🙂

    • Don
      January 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

      Thanks for cluing us in Bob. I appreciate it. Nice blog by the way.

  12. casey Hines
    January 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I came to your page from facebook following a link posted by Maker’s Mark distillery. They have Facebook posts most every day.
    You might check their post, it has so far 51 comments and 61 “likes”, Maker’s Mark themselves have over 80,000 “likes”.!/makersmark

  13. Dan
    January 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Maker’s Mark posted it on Facebook.

  14. Stefan
    January 22, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    Maker’s Mark posted it on Facebook


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