A Review of Malt Whisky Glasses


 

Whisky Tumbler

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     Glencairn

Glencairn LA

 

Celtic Malts

 

Riedel

 

Classic Nosing

 

 

The choice of a single malt whisky glass is more important than you may think.  Whereas most drink glasses serve nothing more than to prevent your liquid from puddling onto your tabletop, a malt whisky glass is designed to maximize the senses of smell and taste of your malt.

 A good malt glass will be reasonably wide at the base to give the whisky a large surface area for the aroma to escape, and the taper off at the top of the glass in order to concentrate the into your nose.  The 'nose' of the whisky is important even after you've started your sip.  The smell and taste work together to create the full experience.  I should also note that adding water, even just a few drops creates a chemical reaction that will bring out the aromas, especially at cask strength.  At 40%, your malt will still be helped by a slight drop of distilled water.  Never add ice, however, because that hinders the whisky flavors (this could be a good thing in the event of a skunky malt).  Some glasses also have a lip that helps the malt reach the tip of your tongue where the 'sweetness' receptors are located.

The proper glassware is  as unique to the individual as the choice of whisky, so consider this nothing more than a guide.

 

 

'Classic' Nosing 

 

         

Nosing

Tasting

Durability

 

 

Good

Average

Average

 

 

Does a decent job

The narrow top makes it difficult to smell and  drink at the same time

It will survive a few tips, until the last one

 

 

 Riedel

Nosing

Tasting

Durability

 

Average

 

Excellent

 

Terrible

 

 

The shape doesn't do anything to concentrate the vapors

The curved lip sends whisky to the tip of your tongue

The glass is as tipsy as an Irishman and the lip is the first thing to hit the countertop.  The thin glass will shatter on verbal command

UPDATE:  Not safe for toasting

 

 

Celtic Malts p;

Nosing

Tasting

Durability

 

 

Good

Excellent

Good

 

 

The aromas are concentrated at the top, but some, hmm, manlier noses don't fit well when taking a sip

The lip hits the sweet spot like the Riedel glass

The heavy base makes it surprisingly stable, and it's thick enough to taka a few hits.

 

 

Glencairn 

   

 

Nosing

Tasting

Durability

 

 

Good

Good

Excellent

 

 

 

The shape pays a few respects to the nose 

Again, the simple shape works

Is tougher to drop than an Olympic wrestler and will bounce back if tossed on the right floor. 

UPDATE: This has been confirmed multiple times and is winning the Darwinian fight in my cabinet.

 

 

Whisky Tumbler 

   

 

Nosing

 

Tasting

 

Durability

 

Terrible

 

Terrible

 

Excellent

 

Big wide glass spreads the vapors to your ears in case you grow smell-drums in there.

Let's face it, the drammer that uses this is probably drinking a 3/4 mini-bottle of Dewar's found  in the parking lot of a Motley Crue concert.  Who'd want to taste that anyway?

It's a big-honking piece of Chinese glass