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The Best Glass For Whisky
The Best Glass For Whisky
Every aspect of Whisky is a story of heritage, tradition, science and art.

So when it comes time to finally savour a dram, you need a glass which will allow you to fully experience and appreciate the complexities hidden within each drop. So which glass is the best when serving Whisky and how does each glass differ?

In this article, we’re going to break down the top glasses used for Whisky and explain why depending on the situation, you might want to pick one over the other.


The most famous of all Whisky glassware, the Glencairn has become a staple with both blenders and drinkers alike. Designed in 2001 by the Glencairn Crystal Studio, the glass was a response to the fact that Whisky, the world’s most complex spirit, didn’t have its own glassware as Sherry and Gin did. 

Designed from the ground up with feedback from Master Blenders, the Glencairn allows the consumer to fully observe and appreciate all elements of Whisky whilst holding the optimum 35ml. The tapering mouth allows for easy drinking whilst still capturing and correctly directing the Whisky’s aromas. The wide base allows appreciation of colour whilst almost making the glass easier to hold.


Being the main inspiration behind the famous Glencairn, the Copita glass is usually associated with the drinking of Sherry. Thanks to its tulip shape concentrating the aromas released in the glass, the glass is ideal for nosing Whisky. The long stem helps keep the drinker’s hand further away, limiting any smells or heat interfering with the tasting experience.

The Copita’s fantastic reputation in the spirit world as a tasting glass earnt it the “Dock Glass” nickname. This is because the Copita glass was often seen in the hands of merchants, sampling imported alcohol at the docksides.


The most common glass used for serving Whisky in bars, pubs and restaurants, the Tumbler has a long association with dark spirits. Because of its large flat design, the glass isn’t ideal for nosing, however, it does allow for an easy pour over ice, a combination which has led the tumbler to be known as a Rocks Glass to many.

A casual glass, tumblers usually feature thick bases which help prevent accidental spillages. The glass is also referred to as an Old Fashioned, after the Whisky-based cocktail which is always served within a tumbler.

NEAT Glass

When George Manska tried glass blowing in 2002, he probably wasn’t expecting to stumble across a glass scientifically proven to be ideal for spirit tasting. However, this is exactly what happened as he sampled Whisky from a glass he created by mistake.

Observing that the alcohol burn present when nosing strong spirits had been removed, he found the flavour and dynamics of his dram were elevated. Conducting further research into the glass, it was discovered that the unusual shape of the NEAT glass helped separate the alcohol and flavour aromas. This process then allows the ethanol to escape over the rim of the glass whilst concentrating the main flavours, thus creating a more enjoyable drinking experience.


One of the most iconic glasses on this list, the Snifter glass features a wide bottom with a relatively narrow top. Commonly used to serve a variety of dark spirits including Rum, Brandy and Whisky, the snifter glass is increasingly being used to serve beer too. 

Although the glass can be laid horizontally and still keep the spirit inside, the Snifter isn’t the ideal vessel for serving Whisky. The wide body creates a large surface area with the spirit, leading to overpowering alcohol aromas.

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