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The Whisky Glass Guide: What to Choose and Why

Your whisky drinking experience is affected by so many factors, including your whisky glass! Exposure to oxygen and other smells all affect the taste and smell of your whisky. Ultimately, changing your whisky tasting experience even when drinking from the same bottle! Depending on the shape of your whisky glass, aromas and flavors are enhanced or subdued. So, it’s important to pick the right whisky glass depending on how you want to enjoy your whisky. To really understand the effects of your whisky glass on the taste of your whisky, start with an easy to drink whisky that you can enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. Our favorite is Texas Crown Club Whisky. It’s a balanced whisky with oak, caramel, and vanilla flavors that all become more pronounced (or subdued) depending on your whisky glass. We tested each whisky glass with Texas Crown Club Whisky. Here’s a list of the most common types of whisky glassware, and when to choose them:

1. The Tulip Glass:

Also called a Copita glass, this whisky glass was based on the shape of a Spanish sherry glass. It’s the whisky glass most preferred by master distillers and whisky connoisseurs, because you’ll get your whisky in its purest, unadulterated form.
The long stem and narrow neck of this whisky glass prevent the drinker’s hand oils from being too close to their nose, and for the whisky to have the least oxygen exposure, both of which affect smell and taste of the whisky.
Choose a tulip whisky glass when you’re drinking more oak-forward flavored whiskies, single-malts, or when you want to taste the specific flavor notes of neat whisky. With Texas Crown Club, a tulip whisky glass will bring out the oak flavors.
Texas Crown Main Blog Article Tulip

2. The Glencairn Glass:

This whisky glass is similar to the tulip in its wide base, but it doesn’t have a stem, making it perfect for avoiding a broken whisky glass party foul and earning its title of the most popular whisky glass shape for enjoying neat whisky.
The Glencairn whisky glass is best for swirling whisky, which exposes it to more oxygen and opens the aromas. Its narrow neck concentrates the aromas upwards towards the drinker’s nose.
Choose a Glencairn whisky glass when you’re wanting to lighten up the oak flavors of Texas Crown Club Whisky and bring out the caramel notes.

3. The Rocks Glass:

Also called a tumbler, old-fashioned, or lowball, this whisky glass is endlessly versatile. While its wider rim and robust base aren’t ideal for swirling or capturing the pure smells of a neat whisky, they are perfectly suited for serving up whisky on the rocks or muddling ingredients for cocktails. It’s no surprise that the rocks glass is the most popular whisky glass.
If you or your guests are going to enjoy whisky in different ways, make it easy for everyone and go with a rocks glass for your whisky glass of the evening.

4. The Highball Glass:

Shaped like a taller rocks glass, this whisky glass is perfect for cocktails because you have plenty of room for ice and additional ingredients. The classic scotch and soda cocktail is always served in a highball whisky glass.
Choose this whisky glass when the taste and smell of your whisky isn’t the focus of your drink, and you need room for mixers. (If you need help with mixers, check out this article on the most common whisky mixers and how they affect the flavors of your whisky: https://www.texascrownclubwhisky.com/12-whisky-mixer)!

5. The Snifter:

This whisky glass evokes images of sophistication, and enjoying a classic whisky and cigar. The reason is, when the glass is tipped to the side (usually to take a puff of a cigar), you won’t spill your whisky!
Choose this whisky glass pretty much only when you’re smoking a cigar and don’t want to spill your whisky. The wide base and overly narrow neck do not allow for the unpleasant ethanol vapors to escape, and will overpower the softer aromas of whisky.

6. The NEAT Whisky Glass:

The Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology (NEAT) whisky glass was the result of a happy accident in a glass blowing factory! It’s the perfect shape for directing the unpleasant vapors of whisky away from the nose, while leaving behind the desirable ones. This is because the unpleasant vapors have lighter molecules than the pleasant ones, and the flat and wide rim of the whisky glass allow for the lighter molecules to evaporate away!
This was by far our favorite glass for enjoying Texas Crown Club Whisky because it left us with the sweet caramel and vanilla flavors and aromas of the whisky.

It’s a bit of an awkward shape to drink from, so while it does take some getting used to, this whisky glass is perfect for a classic neat whisky.
With this whisky glass guide in your arsenal, you can now enhance and enjoy your whisky drinking experience like a pro!
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