Handsome and Refined

The Best Whiskey Glasses to Pair with Your Favorite Bourbon or Scotch


October 22, 2019 Drinks By Photo by Chandler Bondurant

Does your vehicle for drinking matter? Any right-minded drinker, especially those who choose whiskey, will answer with an unequivocal “yes.” There are weight and balance to consider, not to mention all manner of nosing. These whiskey glasses do what you need them to, and they won’t cramp your style along the way.

The Glencairn Glass

Probably the most famous snifter ever made. The Glencairn Glass was designed by a host of Master Blenders in Scotland as a more whisky-focused (notice the lack of “e”) version of the traditional copita glass. Its base is separated from the bulb so your hands don’t warm the glass around the juice. The bulb is wide enough to swirl the liquidy but narrow enough at the top to flush the whisky’s nose straight at you.

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The Neat Glass

Here you have the official judging glass at a number of high-profile spirits competitions, including the prestigious San Franciso World Spirits Competition. What sets it apart? The flared rim, a feature that runs in opposition to the mighty Glencairn. The manufacturer says you shouldn’t have to water down good booze in the name of blotting out overbearing ethanol on the nose. As to whether it works or not, you can be the judge.

Fortessa Tableware Solutions Whiskey Glass

The rise of the stemless wine glass casts an uncertain and unfair shadow over this German-made tumbler. Originally designed by Schott Zwiesel, the glasses are made with a Tritan crystal, a patented material that replaces the lead properties in traditional crystal in favor of a mix of titanium and zirconium, making them far more durable than your typical whiskey-toting cup (and scratch-resistant). And don’t let the height fool you, the wide bulb of the glass makes certain your drinks count.

Snowe Short Tumbler

Snowe’s glass isn’t quirky and it doesn’t come with a gimmick — it’s heavy, balanced and elegant. The direct-to-consumer home design company’s whiskey glass is made with leadless crystal and they just feel damn good in the hand — they also stack within each other quite well, somewhat rare in the whiskey glass world.

Norlan Glass

An ergonomic, lightweight riff on a Glencairn, the Norlan Glass essentially drops the head of that glass inside a tumbler. The whole thing is made of borosilicate glass, which is much lighter than the glass typically used to make tumblers. It’s also got a faceted base for a fingerprint-free grip, an easy fix to one of life’s smaller nuissances.

Norlan Rauk Heavy Tumbler

Norlan’s second glass is nothing like the other on this list. Whereas the classic Norlan Glass is lightweight and designed exclusively for sipping, Rauk is heavy and built to handle cocktails, too. How heavy is it? How about 1.26 pounds — each. The glass is made in an instant, as molten crystal is slammed by two machine molds, shaping the whole thing in one action. It’s perfect for an Old Fashioned.

Waterford Aras Old Fashioned Pair

Waterford has been making fine crystal glassware since 1783. Fashioned entirely of crystal, these glasses were designed as an homage to turrets lining the castles of the company’s native Ireland. If you’re one for the classics, there’s no other choice.

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