People enjoy whiskey at host of different ways. Some like it neat, some with a little ice, or mixed in a cocktail (check out my blog post on the different ways to drink whiskey). No matter how you like it there is a glass for the method of choice. I am only going to explore a few of those glasses today.
The Glencairn whisky glass is a style of glass developed by Glencairn Crystal in Scotland for drinking whisky (in Scotland it is whisky without the “e”). The glass has a capacity of over 5 ounces but it was designed to hold 1.5-2 ounces of whisky or bourbon. The glass was designed to give you the maximum aroma from the spirit you are drinking. You will find these for sale at many of the distilleries with their logos engraved in the glass. They can also be found at most nicer liquor stores like Hi-Times, Bev-Mo, and Total Wine. Amazon even has a selection of them.
I enjoy tasting bourbon neat in Glencarin glasses. They aren’t really sized for any ice in them. What I like most about Glencairn glasses is how light and smooth the glass is. It really helps to get the full aroma of the whisky I’m tasting.
The next glass I want to discuss is the traditional style whiskey glass, an Old Fashioned tumbler. This is a glass you see in every bar. They come in a variety of sizes. The first one I have pictured I bought at Old Pogue Distillery. It is a standard smaller size old fashioned glass that they had their logo engraved on. You can find similar glasses (without the engraving) at a lot of home stores with a barware selection. The real advantage of this size and style over the Glencarin glass is you can add a small amount of ice, or whiskey stones to open up your whiskey. I will sometimes start a new bourbon neat and then add a very small ice cube to open it up and change the experience.
The next glass is my favorite. A Rogaska mouth blown, hand cut and polished by an expert craftsman, crystal rocks glass. I like this glass because first of all its very pretty, and very heavy. It has the feel and look of quality. It will hold the large round ice cubes, or big square cubes. You can drink neat out of this glass but it has such a large opening you lose a lot of the nose. This type of glass is great for cocktails as it holds a lot of liquid. I use it to make our Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. These glasses are available at Bloomingdales for $60.00 a pair.
It would take volumes to discuss all the glasses designed to hold mixed drinks. As anyone who follows my blog knows, horse racing season and Mint Juleps are upon us. There are 2 main ways to drink a mint julep: the traditional silver julep Cup or the Libby glass mint julep tumbler. But I will go into more detail in April about Mint Juleps, specialty cocktails, and Kentucky in the spring.
There are a ton of great options out there for enjoying your bourbon (or whiskey in general). You can find old fashioned glasses and other fun barware at just about any home store these days. You will find just as there are, “Different horses for different courses,” there are also “Different glasses for different bashes” (made that up – not sure I’ll use it again).