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If you’ve ever had someone ruin a fine scotch by serving it to you in a coffee cup, then you know what we’re talking about: When it comes to whiskey, it’s all in the presentation. The glass makes or breaks any whiskey. We’ve had hyped, renowned spirits disappoint us, and we’ve seen ho-hum bourbons come bursting to life—all because of the glass in which they’re served.
The experience of drinking whiskey differs with different types of glasses—it’s that simple. We’ve listed 11 below that rank 4.5 or more stars on Amazon. But first, a few things to consider before choosing the right whiskey glass for you.
Appearance – The design and composition of the glass has a strong effect on the whiskey inside it. Look for the overall quality of the glassware, as well as the cup’s physical properties such as weight, girth, and grip.
Drinkability – Drinkability is the ease of drinking from the glass. It’s dependent on the base weight, wall slope angle, and the diameter of the brim.
Nosing – Nosing is an essential aspect of a whiskey glass. Some drinkers prefer glasses with a narrow mouth, so the liquor’s aroma smacks them right in the, er, nose when the glass is lifted. Others prefer to let their spirit breathe, which allows the ethanol fumes to escape and mellows the whiskey’s overall feel.
There are several basic types of whiskey glasses. The Tumbler is the most common. It has straight, thick walls and a heavy base that prevents it from breaking easily. Its drinkability is fantastic, but the nosing is somewhat compromised. The delicate Snifter is tulip-shaped, with a thin stem and broad pedestal. Used mainly for cordials, it’s well suited for sipping fine whiskeys and spirits thanks to the narrow mouth that accentuates the nose. A Glencairn is a specially developed whiskey glass that maximizes the three main facets of glassware mentioned above with an easily drinkable mouth, a thick glass pedestal, and a tulip shape that lets the liquor breathe but directs the aroma right into your nose when you drink from it.
And remember, there’s nothing wrong with having a few different styles in your cabinet, to suit any occasion. Here are 11 whiskey glasses that whiskey lovers rave about.