The Neat Glass
Also known as Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology, the NEAT glass is ideal for reducing light ethanol molecules and leaving more room for more massive particles within the glass. This tones down the drink’s harsh vapours. As a result, it packs less of a punch in the nose, making it an ideal glass to use for beginners. Whisky aficionados, on the other hand, may want to select a different glass that offers something stronger to hit their senses.
On another note, the origin NEAT glass is rooted in a happy accident. A mistake was made in a glass blowing factory, which resulted in a glass with a broader lip and spherical base. However, the accidental design turned out to be perfect for softening the harsh blows of the whisky’s vapours, redirecting them away from the nose.
The go-to glass for whisky connoisseurs, the design of the glass itself is constructed to enhance the natural aromas of the golden liquor. There’s no stem on the glass, but it’s shaped to be narrower and taller than a tumbler. The broader base makes it a perfect vessel for swirling whiskey, which gathers up all the bright and natural aroma of the drink. The tapering glass makes it easy for that fragrance to travel up to the rim and hit the nose, making it a top favourite of seasoned drinkers.
The classic glass designed for the old-timey execs in sharp suits, the snifter is a traditional whisky vessel craftily made in a way that enables one to hold it up horizontally without spilling a single drop. Use it for your convivial nights out with your very own squad of Mad Men!
Interestingly, it doesn’t make for a superior glass. Whisky connoisseurs find its tight rim and vast body to be lacking in harmony when it comes to opening up the whisky’s flavour and aroma. This design forces the harsh vapours to steal the show and dominate some of the lighter fragrances, making for an unbalanced experience. It is, however, an ideal choice for those who want to appreciate nose-punching boldness of whisky.
The classic choice of many, the tumbler is the most common type of whisky glass as its design allows all the natural vapours and aromas to be released equally. The wide rim is closely parallel to the width of the body, making it a vessel that is perfect for those who want to taste and smell the drink in all its glory. For beginners and aficionados alike, this is a go-to vessel for those eager to take on the full brunt of everything the whisky offers.
Inspired by the traditional Spanish copita glass used for sherry, the tulip is ideal for those who want to fully indulge in the deep aromas and flavours of whisky. The design itself is in a class of its own with a stem similar to a wine glass, while the tall yet narrow glass is held together by a bowl that’s wider than the rim.
This style allows the aroma to open itself up as it is pushed up to the rim, while the long stem prevents the drinker’s hand from coming too close, which can make a significant difference in nosing the whisky. To that end, this is the ideal vessel for those craving to experience all the flavours and fragrance of their favourite whisky.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re one of those wistful tipplers who believe that your whisky drinking habits are in need of an upgrade, then don’t let the days pass you by without trying the different glasses available to enhance your drinking experience. Many may wonder if the shape, size, weight, and style of the glass matters when it comes to drinking, but whisky lovers and connoisseurs will tell you that the right glass can genuinely transform the drink and improve nosing whisky.
On that note, whisky glasses matter more than you think. They contribute to how each flavour and aroma are soaked in by seasoned drinkers. Not to mention, whisky offers a colourful diversity in taste and smell as most are made with different substances and left to mature in barrels of various woods. This means that every batch crafts a unique palate every time, which highlights the importance of using the appropriate glass to have a full-on sensory experience.