There are millions of whisky lovers all over the world, including us, and we drink whisky for wildly different reasons and in so many different ways. There are people that are purely into it for aesthetic reasons, and there are some that would drink anything as long as it has the same effect.
For these reasons, we not only have different kinds of whiskies, made with different techniques and methods but we also have a variety of whisky glasses. These glasses for some people are merely viewed as containers to drink your whisky out of. But for the more keenly observant whisky drinker, one can tell a lot about another person from the whisky glass they choose.
If you are unfamiliar with many whisky drinkers, you must be thinking “Ah who takes whisky glasses so seriously?” Let us inform you that whisky drinkers take these things very seriously. Like an eclipse, under the right circumstances, you might someday encounter two staunch whisky lovers debating their choice of whisky glasses, and believe us – that will be a beautiful sight. Don’t forget to take notes.
So without further ado, let’s get started and discover what the choice of whisky glass says about the person. Whether they are a high-maintenance whisky lover, or someone that will take the whisky no matter the way, or what you serve it in.
The Snifter Glass
You are a seasoned veteran in the world of whisky would insist on a Snifter glass no matter the circumstances. Only the most meticulous, and precise person insists on taking their whisky in a Snifter glass.
Why? Well because it is the only stemware of its kind that enables one to really get to know the whisky, in a way that no other whisky glass allows one to. The Snifter glass is designed for whisky purists, and with precision in mind.
The shape of the Snifter glass, bulbous at the bottom and elegantly growing narrower towards the top allows the drinker to swirl their drink in the glass, letting the aromas waft upwards. As the Nose opens up, the narrow opening of the glass concentrates it, not letting it escape. Instead, the Nose is gently guided towards the drinker, letting their senses meet the delectable aroma of the whisky.
Snifter glasses are serious business, and they can sometimes be difficult to find at a more casual bar or a nightclub. These are the kind of glasses that are available at a restaurant with their own wine cellar and sommelier. Snifters are for luxury whiskies like the Chivas Regals and the Aberlours of the world.
The Glencairn Glass
The Glencairn is more symbolic of a whisky enthusiast with a penchant for attention-to-detail, and someone that insists on ensuring every aspect of their experience is under their control.
What is the Glencairn glass like? Essentially, the Glencairn glass is identical to the Snifter glass but with one distinction – it does not have the small stem at the bottom of the Snifter, and is all-glass in some way. The Glencairn Glass is a proprietary design by Glencairn Crystal Ltd., and that is how it differs from the Snifter glass.
If you are thinking these little details, and intricacies are hard to keep track of, you are absolutely right. Some may even argue that these distinctions are arbitrary, and that is precisely our point.
Whisky connoisseurs that only, and only insist on drinking their favourite single malt out of a Glencairn glass are people that compromise on no aspect of this activity. They take their whisky more seriously than anyone else, and sometimes, it may seem a little annoying for the people around them but believe us – they do not care about anything but their drink.
The Highball Glass
If you prefer to drink your whisky in a Highball glass, you’re the kind of person that does not care about anything except having a good time. You love your whisky dearly, but you are also equally interested in the after effects of that drink. Highball glasses are tall, straight and range from narrow to very narrow. This helps them keep drinks cooler for longer, and there are many, many different designs of Highball glasses.
Highball glasses are most commonly used for cocktails, especially the many iterations of the Whisky Highball cocktail. Whether it is with soda, with water, or with ginger ale, the Highball glass is one of the commonly used glasses by whisky lovers. Highball glasses are often used by beginners who are newcomers into a whole new world, and have not yet discovered the different choices that lay in front of them
While the purists may insist on Snifters and Glencairns, people who love their whisky but enjoy adding a splash of their favourite mixer into it go for the Highball glass. These type of glasses are immensely popular in India, where people prefer adding water, soda or even cola to their whisky. The Highball glass is the choice of a whisky lover who indulges not vocationally, but more in the form of a recreational activity.
Some of the most notable Highball cocktails, in addition to the types of Whisky Highball we discussed earlier are the Irish Lemonade, the Whisky Collins and many more. Sometimes the more casual, but controversial Jack & Coke is also served in a Highball glass. It is Jack Daniel’s mixed with cola, a very popular drink in North America, especially in the United States.
The Lowball glass has always been viewed as the choice of a whisky lover who is not pretentious, and only cares to drink his whisky no matter the container it comes in. Take a clean glass, add a few cubes of ice (or not), take a bottle of whisky and pour it into the glass. That’s the outlook most commonly associated with the Lowball glass. Frankly, we love it.
Lowball glasses, also known as the Old Fashioned glass, or the Tumbler glass, are a common sight across bars, restaurants and clubs all over the world. Many believe that someone who prefers the Old Fashioned glass has no time for the frivolities of tradition and finer details. They simply want their whisky, and they want it now.
Whisky is most commonly served in Lowball glasses everywhere, unless you specifically ask for a different type of glass like the Snifter or the Highball. People who prefer to drink their whisky from a Lowball glass usually take it in two forms – On The Rocks, or Neat.
How are the people that insist on a Snifter or a Glencairn different from someone that prefers a Lowball glass? Well, it could be argued that they are the opposite of the meticulous, and sometimes pedantic Snifter people. Give them a precious single malt like The Glenlivet, or give them a bottle of the more playful Jameson, they will drink it with equal gusto!
Which whisky glass do you think is the perfect choice to enjoy a drink? Do you prefer the Snifter or the Highball glass? Or are you a stickler for the Glencairn? Have you been known to make do with the Old Fashioned?