Best Whiskey Glasses – Choosing The Best Glass To Drink Whiskey

Whiskey Glasses Buying Guide

Long gone are the days of thinking a shot of whiskey at the end of the night will do you good. For true whiskey aficionados, choosing the best glass to drink whiskey at home takes a lot of thought. Having spent years drinking Irish whiskey in Ireland, having spent time touring scotch whisky distilleries in Scotland, and having drank many Old Fashioned’s I’ve learned a lot about what makes the best scotch glasses for every drinker. 

Best Glass To Drink Whiskey

Best Whiskey Glasses – How To Choose The Best Glass To Drink Whiskey

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Buying Whiskey Glasses Online

This Whiskey Glasses Buying Guide will answer every question you have about how to buy whiskey glasses online. First, I walk through the various types of whiskey glasses there are as well as talk about the difference between whiskey, whisky, and bourbon. The goal here is to help people understand the difference between a whiskey tumbler, snifter, and tulip shaped glasses, among others. Then, I offer recommendations for various whiskey glasses for each of these types of glasses. I also make recommendations for whiskey glass gift sets. Many of these glasses will make incredible gifts, either for whiskey connoisseurs or for budding whiskey lovers. 

We recommend Amazon for purchasing most home wares and even gifts. Most of our recommended glasses are Amazon Prime, which means free and often super-fast delivery. Plus, they make returns really easy. 

The Best Glass To Drink Whiskey

We include detailed descriptions for all of our recommended whiskey glasses below, but if you are short on time, use the the table below for our top pics.

Why Use A Whiskey Glass In The First Place

Until the last few years, I didn’t give much thought to what glass I used for drinking whiskey. I started with cheap whiskey shots in college, which is the gateway for many people. When I was a practicing attorney, I graduated to blended and single malt scotch and realized I needed a proper glass. At the time that meant a heavy whisky glass because I thought that meant quality. 

It wasn’t until I started drinking whisky in Scotland, that I really started to learn more about what it means to truly enjoy a good whisky. This means making a decision as to whether to use ice. It also means finding a glass to let you smell, sip, and appreciate the quality of the beverage in your glass. This means not only drinking whiskey, but appreciating the quality, aroma, color, and flavor of what is inside the glass. 

Check out the Best Whisky Tasting Glasses on Amazon

Whiskey Versus Whisky Versus Bourbon

First, a little bit about nomenclature. Scotch is whisky that is produced in Scotland. Whiskey with an “e” is whiskey produced outside of Scotland, including Ireland. Whiskey with an “e” can also be used to refer to American whiskeys. Bourbon is produced in a similar fashion but is from the United States, generally from Kentucky. Scotch whisky is produced from malted barley whereas bourbon is distilled from corn. In this post, I will use the word whiskey the most, unless I am referring to bourbon or scotch whisky in particular.

Whiskey Glass Types 

We were once collectors of glasses. We owned all different types of wine glasses and cocktail glasses. If this is you, then scroll along the post and look for a pair of cool whiskey glasses that appeal to you. You’re done. But if you are wondering how to choose a whisky glass based on your needs and how you drink whiskey, this guide will help. These are the things to consider when choosing a whiskey glass.

First, think about the shape of the glass. Whisky should have room to breathe and you should be able to dig your nose in to take in the aroma of the whisky. Nice whiskey glasses should look appealing as well, but don’t let looks overtake the structure or feel of the glass. You want to ensure the glass makes the whiskey drinkable. Keeping this in mind, here are the most popular types of whiskey glasses you will see. 

the glencairn whiskey glass

The Glencairn Whisky Glass – Snifter Glass

We came across the Glencairn whisky tasting glass when we started traveling to Scotland. I was familiar with the shape, but didn’t know the Glencairn name. Often known as the Glencairn nosing glass, it is short, solid, and made for drinking scotch whisky neat (without ice). It’s meant for being able to swirl whisky to open up the aromas of the whisky. 

The Glencairn Crystal Ltd company in Scotland developed this glass. It’s the glass that is used for most tastings at the distilleries all over Scotland. This glass is the only one endorsed by the Scotch Whisky Association. It usually holds 6 ounces (175 ml) but is meant to hold 25-50 ml drams or 1.7-3.4 oz of scotch whisky. This is the perfect glass for a no nonsense scotch whisky drinker who respects tradition. 

There are other snifter-style glasses that are not produced by Glencairn crystal glass company. Any short glass that is wider at the bottom than the top would also fall within this category. The wide bottom allows you to hold the glass and warm the whiskey, to release the aromas. They are really whiskey nosing glasses meant for serious tasting and enjoying quality scotch. They also bring up connotations of old men’s clubs where the powerful sat around drinking cognac or brandy. 

How To Use Glencairn Scotch Glasses

  • Drink whisky neat
  • Most traditional Scotch drinking glasses 
  • Approved by the Scotch Whisky Association – making it almost an “official” whisky drinking glass
Buy A Glencairn Glass On Amazon
copita glass

Tulip or Copita Glass

The copita nosing glass is a tulip shape and is based on the glass used to drink sherry in Andalusia, Spain. We see these a lot when in Andalusia as we live in Spain. It was once known as the dock glass because it was used by merchants to smell and taste wines dockside. Now, it is more often referred to as a copita nosing glass or tulip whiskey glass. Just for a little bit more nomenclature fun, copa is the Spanish word for glass and copita means a small glass. 

Similar to the Glencairn glass, there is a narrow rim to concentrate the aromas. Even though there is a stem, you can cradle the whiskey in the palm of your hand to warm it to further release the aroma. 

How To Use Tulip or Copita Whiskey Glasses

  • Drink whisky neat
  • Perfect for nosing
whisky old fashioned

Whiskey Rocks Glass – Whiskey Tumbler Glasses – The Old Fashioned

This is definitely the most common scotch whiskey glasses and they were the first whiskey glasses we owned. I felt quite sophisticated using one when I was in law school. This glass has a wide rim making it easy to add ice to your drink, but it is not the best rim for nosing a whiskey. Because there is a wide, often heavy, base, it is perfect for muddling ingredients, which is why it is great for an Old Fashioned. They generally range from 6-12 ounces, making them significantly bigger than the Glencairn or the copita. 

How To Use Whiskey Rocks Glasses

  • Drink whiskey on the rocks
  • Drink whiskey cocktails
  • Prepare an Old Fashioned

The Highball Glass

This is a taller version of the tumbler and rocks glass. The shorter glasses are also known as lowball glasses, so it’s taller, lankier cousin is known as the highball. I wouldn’t put this in the category of a traditional whiskey glass mostly because it is mostly used for cocktails and scotch and soda. It leaves room for a lot of ice as well as a mixer, which is not needed to prepare a proper Old Fashioned.

The NEAT Whiskey Glass

This is hardly a traditional whiskey glass. NEAT refers to Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology and is the perfect glass for the science-minded. The NEAT company claims to banish the burn by separating ethanol from the liquor due to its unique shape. With some whiskies reaching 60% or more in alcoholic content, this is not a bad idea. I’m not a scientist myself, but apparently the neck of the glass captures the aromas while the alcohol burn or ethanol is trapped below the flare in the glass. Because it is a newer whiskey glass design, it can take some getting used to from a comfort perspective. It’s kind of like “where do I put my hands?”

How To Use The NEAT Whiskey Glass

  • As it says in the name, to drink whiskey neat
  • Perfect for newer whiskey drinkers because it alleviates the alcohol vapors
  • Can also be used for rum, tequila, and other liquors 
Buy the NEAT glass on Amazon

The Norlan Whisky Tasting Glasses

These are almost like modern, designer whisky glasses. The Norlan Whisky glasses are double walled, and like the NEAT glasses, use science to create a proper drinking experience. Their design reduces the ethanol burn. This glass has swirl ridges at the bottom to help release the aromas of the aroma of the whiskey. Master scotch whisky distiller Jim McEwan helped to design the glass. Also, the faceted base reduces the number of fingerprints left on the bowl. And, it comes with a microfiber polish cloth. 

How To Use The Norlan Tasting Glass

  • Drink whisky neat
  • Perfect for people wanting a contemporary design with nosing functions
Buy The Norlan Whiskey Tasting Glasses on Amazon

Our Recommended “Best” Whiskey Glasses

So what is the best glass to drink whiskey? Keeping everything above in mind, it depends on how you intend to use your glass. Do you want a nosing glass for drinking single malts? A tumblr for enjoying Old Fashioned’s? Something super traditional, uber-contemporary? We cover all of this and more. In addition to the NEAT whisky glasses and Norlan whisky glasses already mentioned above, here are a variety of unique whiskey glasses perfect for any whiskey drinker.

Glencairn Scotch Glasses 

Glencairn produces a few different types of glasses, even though they are known for their most traditional. Here are some of the options available: 

Glencairn Crystal Canadian Whiskey Glass

Glencairn is not just for scotch whisky, they also produce a version that is specifically intended for drinking Canadian whiskey. The Glencairn Crystal Canadian Whiskey Glass has a wider bowl to fully appreciate the rich color of Canadian whiskey. The solid base of the glass is meant to make it a little easier to hold onto.

Buy The Glencairn Canadian Whiskey Glass on Amazon

Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses

We have a little bit of an addiction to the Old Fashioned. It’s one of the best cocktails to show off the natural flavors of bourbon or whiskey. Although we’ve traditional drank bourbon Old Fashioned’s, we recently found ourselves trying scotch whisky Old Fashioned while in Moray Speyside.

Regardless of whether bourbon or scotch whisky is used, the glass sort of makes the drink. We have several glasses in the running for the best Old Fashioned glass, where much of the decision needs to be made by the drinker. These all work well to make an Old Fashioned, or to serve whiskey or bourbon over ice. It all comes down to style. 

Check Out The Best Selling Old Fashoined Glasses Here

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Old Fashioned Glass

Titan brand products resist brekasge, chipping, and scratching, and they are dishwasher safe. They are made of a lead-free blend of titanium and zirconium oxide. The Schott Zwiesel Tritan Old Fashioned Glass has a 9.6 ounce capacity with a heavy, rounded bottom perfect for whiskey cocktails.

Buy Now

Venero Crystal Whiskey Glasses

Taking things up a notch in the design department, the Venero Crystal Whiskey Glasses are made of lead-free crystal come in a unique twisted design. These modern whiskey glasses are also functional, with thick sides and a thick base to prevent breakage and keep beverages cool. 

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Sagaform Rocking Whiskey Tumbler Set

This is a unique style of whiskey tumblers unlike the Old Fashioned glasses above. The Sagaform Rocking Whiskey Tumbler Glasses have a unique, curved bottom that makes the glass rest at a perpetual angle. This is just a really cool look, but also allows the aroma for the whiskey to fill the glass without falling over or spilling. They are also made of a thick glass to prevent breakage. Comes in a pack of six scotch glasses

Buy the Sagaform Rocking Tumbler Set on Amazon

Wine Enthusiast Mad Men Whiskey Glasses

We are huge fans of the TV show Mad Men, and when someone asked me about where to find Mad Men style whiskey glasses I started to search. Wine Enthusiast actually has vintage whiskey glasses inspired by Don Draper and his co-horts. This set of two Mad Men whiskey glasses is made of lead-free glass and includes a classic silver band around the top making it 60s chic.

Buy the Mad Men Whiskey Glasses on Amazon

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Whiskey Glass Buying Guide - How To Choose The Best Whiskey Glasses

Whiskey Glass Buying Guide 

We like using Pinterest for planning our trips. We also use it to shop for all the items that helps us eat and drink well at home too. Feel free to pin this buying guide to Pinterest. Or, follow us on Pinterest to get more tips on how to eat and drink well, on the road and at home.

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