The Different Types of Whisky Glasses

A glass is just a glass, right? Well, when it comes to drinking whisky, it’s not. The size, shape and even type of glass can greatly influence the way flavors and scents are perceived. Try one of these eight glasses – listed in no particular order – to enjoy drinking your whisky even more.

1. Glencairn

A Glencairn is one of the most popular and well-known types of whisky glasses. It has a narrow tip, a wider base and a short and solid stem. This results in a sturdy glass that lets the whisky’s odors come forward.

Price: around €7 / £6 / $9


2. NEAT Glass

The NEAT glass is a scientifically designed nosing and tasting glass with a wide tip and base. This glass supposedly eliminates nose burn and numbing, which helps to bring out the more subtle aromas. It’s an excellent nosing glass, but shape makes drinking slightly less easy.

Price: around €10 / £9 / $12


3. Tulip / Copita

A copita or tulip glass is the most traditional whisky nosing glass. It’s similar to a Glencairn in shape, but with a longer, thin stem. The glass can have a rounded or a pointed bottom.

Price: around €6 / £5 / $8


4. Norlan Glass

The double-walled Norlan Whisky Glass uses science to capture whisky’s complex aromatics. The inner wall is pretty much shaped like a Glencairn, with swirl ridges added at the bottom that are supposed to bring out the aromas. It’s also available in heavier (and pricier!) tumbler-version.

Price: around €22 / £21 / $24


5. Tumbler

Mainly known for its movie appearances, the tumbler is a wide glass with a thick, heavy bottom and little to no changes in shape of the body of the glass. This solid glass makes drinking very easy, but the straight glass walls make it less suitable for nosing.

Price: around €9 / £8 / $11


6. Snifter

Snifter glasses are also known as balloons or cognac glasses. The short stem of the snifter glass allows the glass to be cupped in the hand, which slowly warms the whisky. If you prefer your whisky chilled, this probably isn’t the ideal type of glass for you.

Price: around €8 / £7 / $10


7. Vinum Single Malt

Vinum is a tall whisky glass by wine glass designing experts Riedel, which pretty much has the looks of a snifter and a Glencairn, blended with a vase.

Price: around €20 / £19 / $22


8. Swirling Glass

A swirling glass has a ridge or spike in the bottom of the glass, to enhance ethanol vaporization when you swirl the whisky in the glass. Normann Copenhagen’s designer Rikke Hagen created a glass with a swirl pyramid.

Price: around €20 / £19 / $22

What’s your favorite whisk(e)y glass?


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