Guide to whiskey glasses

A perfect highball glass has been a long-standing debate, and there’s now a consensus that the shape of the glass affects the nose. If you change the glass you use, it’s the fastest and most affordable way to up your whiskey game. An ultimate guide has been developed with the different types of whiskey glasses to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

When you order drinks in a pub or restaurant, you will receive them in a straight-sided tumbler with a wide rim and a heavy base. It has been the standard highball glass for a very long time. But for forty years, the whiskey glass has been diversifying.

The biggest problem with the tumbler is the wide rim as a large surface area promotes the alcohol content of the whiskey in smell and taste. It also causes nose burns. But that doesn’t mean the cup should be thrown away completely. If you drink Whiskey to smell and taste every note, use a modern glass. But a tumbler would do just fine if you’re having a casual drink.

Anatomy of a Whiskey Tasting Glass


The rim determines how quickly the flavors dissipate from the whisky. It also indicates how quickly the liquid evaporates.


The width of the neck modifies the concentration of the aromas of Whiskey. If the neck is narrow, it will channel the aromas to the nose.


The size of the bowl indicates what the glass can be used for. A hiball can be used for whiskey and cocktails. And the smaller Norlan glass has a much smaller bowl. They are therefore used for pure whisky.


The length and weight of the stem can affect the hand feel of the glass and prevent contaminating aromas from the hands.

Best Whiskey Glasses

Glencairn Glass

The shape of this glass is described as a short stem, a tulip shaped bowl and a narrow rim. This glass is perfect for you if you are a whiskey fan. The Glencairn glass was designed in 2001 after he grew tired of the goblet. The inspiration was taken from a copita glass used for sherry tasting. The rim prevents the emphasis on alcohol.

Glassware Basics

Glass structure

The structure of the glass is essential when choosing your highball glass. There are many models available in the Glassware industry. The rim, body and stem of each glass contribute to the drinking experience. Drinks like whiskey should be swirled and highball glasses with tight rims also make it easier to sniff. Opt for a glass with a cavernous body and stir before drinking.

Material quality

Focusing on structure or aesthetics is tempting, but materials also have meaning. The plastic contains certain chemicals released into the whiskey, which alter the flavor. And the glass protects the integrity of the whiskey’s flavor, which is why it’s the preferred drinking vessel.

How to drink Whiskey like a pro?

If you want to enjoy the flavors infused into your favorite drink, you need to learn how to drink it. What we taste is dictated by our nose and mouth. A flavor is created by a combination of taste and smell, which is why the shape of the glass is essential. So, before taking a sip of your Whiskey, put your nose in your glass and then sniff. The first smell you will smell will be that of alcohol. This clears your nostrils and the second and third sniffles will be much more satisfying.

How to hold a highball glass?

It would be best to place your middle and ring fingers under the bowl with the stem in the middle. This grip ensures that the glass is safe and secure when swirling your drink.

Holding the stem of the highball glass represents pure sophistication. So keep your thumb and two of your fingers on the rod. You can rest your fingers on the foot or glide gently through the air. Glasses like Glencairn have thicker stems, so you’ll have to grip the whiskey glasses with all your fingers or they’ll slip.

You can hold the stem of the highball glass to get a better swirl, and the lower the grip, the greater the swirl. The swirling promotes the evaporation of the flavor in the whisky. This means that the drinker can feel the complex aromas. When drinking whiskey, always pour lightly. Then swirl the whiskey around and chew your drink.

After you smell your whisky, don’t just gulp it down immediately. First, let it rest on your tongue. Then see what flavors you can experience. Whiskey aged in wooden barrels will give you a smoky flavor. Smelling your whiskey will make you appreciate the hard work that goes into it. Then you will quickly understand and instead of sipping your whiskey, you will spend an hour tasting your whiskey. Noticing hints of new flavors every time is an experience you must have.

Sarah C. Figueiredo