|Displaying a wide range of glassware all with a 30ml dram fill. Image courtesy of Dramnation.|
For myself over time I have collected a fair range of glasses for personal use and or collected as gifts from distillers. What I have always found is that I narrow back towards one particular glass. My personal favourite is the fluted stem glass otherwise know as a Copita. We shall get to why that is my personal favourite later on.
There are many glasses on the market that will reign confusion, but what you really need to consider is how you hold a glass, nose the contents, and take your whisky ie. neat, iced, watered or stoned. Following are primary considerations for glass choice:
1. Do you like to hold your whisky to the light to look at the colour and viscosity (the legs that form around the sides of the glass)? Eyeballing the glass contents is a beautiful experience and one most whisky appreciators do naturally.
2. You may also be refilling your glass many times in a sitting so keeping the glass clear of finger prints can be important also (return to item 1. eyeballing). Who likes a grubby glass filled with a 21yo you Glenfiddich?
3. When holding a glass heat will also transfer into the liquid from your warm fingers. Typically fine crystal and brandy balloons are specifically designed to do just that but not everyone likes warm whisky.
4. Neat, on the rocks, ice balls, icebergs, and whisky stones to name but a few, will also determine the durability, weight and mouth opening of a glass. It is embarrassing to pour a glass of whisky only to fined you can’t fit a whisky ball into the opening or the ice swarms up the edges and blocks the mouth at every sip. Wide mouths open the aromas and dissipate intense alcohol burn while a narrow mouth intensifies flavours and alcohol.
These factors, regardless if you care for them or not, will pull you choices one way or the other. When you start attending whisky tastings (if your not already), watch how often others offer extensive experience manage the glassware as it can make for interesting viewing and education.
|The Ardbeg tulip copita, Glenmorangie stemmed copita, Riedel Whisy tumbler. Image courtesy of Dramnation.|
|The Glencairn Whisky Glass, Riedel Cognac XO, Riedel Single Malt Whisky Thistle. Image courtesy of Dramnation.|
Look towards the images displayed through out this article. Each glass holds exactly the same measure of 30ml liquid. This displays a visual consideration as some are full while others look almost empty. When you have a guest over and wish to pour them a precious dram of your much loved whisky, you certainly don’t want them feeling stiffed after being handed a near empty tumbler. Considering what you should use at these times also can have consequences.
Glass vs crystal? Honestly that is your preference. Glass is durable while crystal can either be thick and heavy or fine and very breakable. This really comes down to a personal choice. Chances of lead leaching is not a factor though urban myths fable that you will slowly poison yourself.
|The Glenmorangie Tumbler, Classic 120ml Stemmed Copita, SMWS Society Glass. Image courtesy of Dramnation.|
In time you will find what is right for you and I am sure you will also build up a nice collection of glassware to share around. Fill your shelf with six of your favourite style as this will often be enough combined with a few special occasion glasses to see you through a few drams with mates.
Matt Wooler - Dramnation
Note: This article was originally written by Matt Wooler for Dramnation and has appeared on Watch & Whisky.