The sheer number of whiskey glasses available can be overwhelming and confusing. Surely if it holds liquid it will do?
Old-fashioned Whiskey Glasses
The Old-fashioned glass, otherwise known as a rocks glass, is the glass that most readers will be familiar with when they think of whiskey glasses. The ‘old-fashioned’ name comes from the cocktail of the same name, whereas the term ‘rocks glass’ is used as the whiskey is usually served on ice in this glass.Short and round with straight edges, there is nothing especially of note about these glasses except for a thick base. The solid base is designed so that cocktail ingredients can be mashed together before the liquid is poured in.
The old-fashioned glass unfortunately does not allow adequate nosing (smelling) of the whiskey, which is important for connoisseurs who want to appreciate all aspects of the spirit. In addition, purists will say that a whiskey should be agitated (swirled around the glass) before drinking to release all the aromas and flavors. It’s quite difficult to do this with a glass of this shape.
Tulip Shaped Whiskey Glasses
The tulip shaped glass is the glass of choice for whiskey purists. It can do what the old-fashioned glass can’t – allow swirling of the whiskey. The narrow nose ensures that when the nose is pressed to the glass, all of the aromas are smelled. If you are not yet at the point in your whiskey drinking adventures where you can drink whiskey without ice, it’s better to stick with a rocks glass, as the top of tulip shaped glasses can be very narrow.
The Glencairn whiskey glass, pictured below, is the glass of choice for almost all whiskey drinkers.
Snifters are glasses that are commonly associated with brandy, and increasingly so with boutique beer. They also make decent whiskey glasses. Remembering that the most important aspect of a whiskey glass is the ability to swirl the whiskey around and for a narrow top, the snifter does the job well.
Don’t Want To Buy Specialist Whiskey Glasses?
Some people just want to enjoy their whiskey without buying all the paraphernalia. You can get away with using wine glasses if they are the right shape. Not all wine glasses will do, but ones that look like these will do the trick. Remember – if they have a narrow opening and allow for the whiskey to be swirled, you have yourself some decent whiskey glasses.