Which Glass to use…

Let’s talk about some of the different types of glassware you can get for whisky. I’ve made a list here for you to check out:


You have your old fashioned or tumbler, this is your wide brimmed ‘standard’ glass you get served with at pubs and the likes. This is a useful glass for serving whisky on the rocks (with ice) as it is large capacity – have you ever tried fitting ice cubes into your glen cairn glass? Doesn’t work. The tumbler can also be used for serving cocktails, good all-rounder – not bad for drinking neat however the issue I find is that the aroma doesn’t work to well in one of these.

Shot glass

Quick drink = shot glass. Not my go to choice, not much time to taste the whisky. No chance of ice, so neat only for this one.


A tall glass used primarily for serving cocktails, can be used with ice and garnish if need be.

Glencairn glass, speydrams

These are my go to choice for most whisky, this glass has a tulip shape which makes this glass excellent choice for detecting the aroma of your whisky. Narrow top for directing the aroma upwards, the base of the glass is wide so you can comfortably swirl the whisky and/or warm it up. You can find a wide range and variation of these types of glasses, so there’s plenty of choice. No good for ice, however great with added water to encourage the aroma.


The snifter are those wide based glasses with a narrow snout similar to the glen cairn, however not as narrow. I’ve seen these used for brandy mainly, the narrow top mean it’s more difficult to be spilled, best had with a cigar and dark, aged spirits.

NEAT Whisky glass (naturally engineered aroma technology)

This is a relatively new design, don’t be intimidated by the acronym; this glass is apparently the result of a mistake at a glass blowing factory. Wide base, which curves inward towards the top and then widens out again at the top, creating a bowl look. However it has been found to be effective at directing the volatile aromas away from the nose when having a good sniff. I have had one of these for the past 2 years and I find it rather odd to drink from, the curvature at the top of the glass makes it something to get used to. Having said that this is a great glass for having a large measure, as it has a greater capacity than other glasses, and has a nice weight to it.

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