Review of glassware for drinking whiskey.
I recently watched some videos on You Tube of folks giving their opinions of different type of glassware that can be used to drink whiskey. They used the popular (and in some cases, expensive) glasses most commonly available. For my test, I used 8 types of glasses. In reality, it was only 7 but I used a variation of one glass. My spirit of choice is J.P. Trodden 6 year old bourbon.
The glassware I tested was an odd type of shot glass, a whiskey sipping glass used by many establishments, a rocks glass, a Glencairn topless, a Glencairn with a lid, an Ashcroft twist glass, a balloon wine glass and a brandy snifter. I rated the glassware on 5 things. First is looks, everyone like a bitchin’ glass. Second is hour the glass does for nosing. Third is heat exchange, the less contact with the part holding the whiskey, the better. Forth is drinkability, is the glass easy or a pain to drink from. And last is does the glass improve the taste. I firmly believe that what I drink my spirit from can improve the taste. Below are my ratings, low to high.
Last on my list is the rocks glass. It rated good for looks and drinkability. Heat exchange was poor and it sucked for nosing and taste. This would be fine for a cocktail, not for drinking whiskey.
In 7th place was the Ashcroft Twist Glass. The ratings were very similar to the rocks glass except it rated a bit higher for nosing. This was likely due to the greater capacity than the rocks glass. This is my go to glass when I’m drinking gin.
The 6th place glass was the whiskey sipping glass. It rated very high for looks and drinkability but was below average on the other 3 ratings.
To me the 5th place glass was a surprise, it was the shot glass. Having a shape very much like the much larger Glencairn gave this particular glass high rating for nosing. The only place it failed was heat exchange, this is made from thin glass and will transfer warmth easily. This little guy is only 3 inches tall.
There was a tie for 3rd between the wine glass and brandy snifter. This is likely due to the similar shapes. They both score high in the nosing category. For me, neither is particular easy to drink from, you are staring at the ceiling while drinking from these glasses and it’s hard to control how much you sip.
In second place was the Glencairn without the lid. I gave the Glencairn with the lid a bonus point for taste, the lid does make just a slight improvement in the taste. The only category that Glencairn’s are a bit behind is the drinkability. Like the 3rd place glasses, you have to look at the ceiling to take a drink. They are easier than the wine glass and snifter for judging how much to sip.
The winner! There is a reason the Glencairn is such a popular glass for drinking whiskey.
Type Looks Nosing Heat Exc. Drinkability Taste Total
Glencairn with lid 5 5 4 3 5 22
Glencairn without lid 5 5 4 3 4 21
Brandy snifter 4 5 5 2 3 19
Wine glass 4 5 5 2 3 19
Shot glass 4 5 1 4 3 17
Whiskey sipping glass 5 2 2 5 2 16
Ashcroft twist 5 2 2 4 2 15
Rocks glass 4 1 2 5 1 13
Below are some of the glassware tested by others on You Tube. Just search for whiskey glass reviews and you will find the videos. I didn’t include some of these in my testing, they are either too expensive or I would probably never use them. Other that a couple types of glassware I own, I use the cheap bastard method of acquiring my glassware, dollar and thrift stores. The little shot glass I rated above was only 19 cents at a small thrift shop.