There are many opinions on the best whiskey glasses. Many believe that the tulip-shaped copita is the best way to present the spirit’s aromas and flavors. Some prefer to sip whiskey in a classic Old Fashioned glass or a rocks glass. Robin Goodfellow, coowner of Toronto’s PrettyUgly and Bar Raval says that most of the whisk(ey) we consume in our lives is from shot glasses.

No matter what your preference, glass can make a big difference to your drinking experience. Some rocks glasses are meant to be a showcase for the spirit while others can be used in cocktails or as a simple pour. Still, all are good options, though we’d argue a well-stocked bar should carry a few different types.

Whether bourbon, Scotch, Rye, or Irish Whiskey is your drink of choice, here are the best whisky or whiskey glasses to add to your collection.

Huckberry Whiskeypeaks Glasses – Best Overall

Pros

  • Hand-blown glass
  • You can choose from different topographic impressions
  • Durable

Huckberry’s Whiskey Peaks collection is as beautiful as it is functional. Made from hand-blown glass the conversation pieces are nearly paper thin and allow the spirit to shine. Topographic impressions of famous mountains and peaks, including Mount Everest, Denali, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Rainier, float from the bottom of each glass.

The 11.5-ounce Whiskey Peaks Glass is the perfect way to elevate your drinking experience, whether you are looking for something fun or a great souvenir. These glasses make great gifts for bachelors, bosses, and everyone else.

Best Glencairn Glass: Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass

Pros

  • Concentrate on the aromas
  • Made of lead-free crystal
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Other options have a smaller capacity

“I’m quite stuck on the traditional Glencairn glass,” describes Nicole Ross, the head bartender of New York City’s The Chester. A Glencairn glass allows you to fully appreciate the aromas and layers of flavors.

Glencairn glasses have a long history of popularity among whiskey drinkers. They concentrate the aromas, something that a rocks glass cannot. The 6-ounce glasses are designed to showcase the spirit’s color and aroma.

Goodfellow says that the ideal glass for tasting whisk(ey)y is one with a wider base than the nose. The glass is transparent so you can clearly see the spirit. It tapers towards its top to intensify the scent when you smell it. And the stem keeps the spirit from getting too hot.

Kristen Voisey, the owner of Cocktail Emporium and the brand’s glassware designer, agrees: “This is the standard tasting glass used at most distilleries. It is designed to enhance the aromas and flavors of fine whisk(ey), and it does this job well.

It’s good to know:

Goodfellow suggests adding some room temperature water to the Glencairn glasses to open the spirit.

Nolan Whisky Glass is the Best Double-Walled

Pros

  • Hand-blown glass
  • It is easy to sip
  • Double-walled

This is not your typical whiskey glass. The original Norlan glass models were created using a 3D printer. The company was founded by Sruli Recht, Brian Fichtner, CEO Shane Bahng and designer Sruli Recht. These glasses are hand-blown to these proven shapes.

Fluid dynamic modeling and biomimicry were used by the founders to create the perfect whiskey glass. This blends the ease-of-sipping nature that tumbler glasses offer with technical characteristics of nosing glasses. The double-walled construction of the 7-ounce glass keeps heat away from liquid. The glass is comfortable in the hand, thanks to the round curves of its outer wall. Meanwhile, the inner wall has a tulip shape that diffuses and focuses the aroma to reveal subtle flavors.

Best Rocks Glass: Riedel Drink-Specific Rocks Glass

Pros

  • Has a 2-ounce pour indicator
  • Can hold larger and standard ice cubes
  • Dishwasher safe

A rock’s glass can be used for any purpose: single-ounce pours of spirits, cocktails on the rocks or water. For Voisey, Riedel’s 9-ounce heavy-base tumblers are particularly “great for drinking Old Fashioneds or classic whiskey cocktails on the rocks.”

Georg Riedel worked with a variety of industry professionals and bartenders to create this collection. Each design features both cocktails and spirits, and they can withstand high-energy bars. You’ll often see these glasses at bar tops all over the country.

Voisey adds that it is perfect for drinking whiskey straight because of its 2-ounce pour indicator Etch (the triangle at the top measures exactly 2 ounces). The larger size allows you to add a few pieces of ice to your dram of whiskey.

Most Unique: Dragon Diamond Whiskey Glasses

Pros

  • Anti-rocking and spillproof
  • Large capacity
  • Made of lead-free crystal
  • Dishwasher safe

These Dragon Glassware diamond-shaped glasses are not only beautiful but also enhance whiskey drinking. This unique glass shape helps to aerate your drink while it is being poured or stirred in the vessel. It rests at a 50 degree angle, which is both anti-rocking as well as spill-proof. These lead-free crystal glasses can hold 10 ounces and are dishwasher- and freezer-safe. These glasses make a great conversation piece and can be gifted to friends or placed in your home bar.

The Experience Neat Whiskey glass is the best for Japanese whisky

Pros

  • Made from lead-free, mouth-blown crystal
  • Large opening
  • Available in singles or as a set

Cons

  • Higher priced than other options

This Neat Glass option is used by many of the top international tasting competitions. It’s made from lead-free crystal and each glass is carefully mouth-blown. It’s also nice to have a heavier glass, similar in weight to antique crystal.

This glass is 4 ounces in weight and wider than the traditional tasting glasses. This opening allows for the expression of flavor and aromas of the spirit. It also avoids the overpowering ethanol smell that can cause nose numbing. The design is the result of nine years worth of research and tastings. It also highlights any potential flaws in the liquid. Every glass is packaged in a stylish burgundy-silver box. This makes it an ideal gift.

It’s good to know:

While antique and vintage glassware is a beautiful addition to a home bar, many older pieces were made with lead oxide (this added a reflective sheen to the exterior of the glasses). This is something to keep in mind when buying antiques.

Riedel Vinum Whisky Glasses: The Best Luxury

Pros

  • Concentrate on the aromas
  • Made of lead-free crystal
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Higher priced than other options

Riedel’s 7-ounce Vinum whiskey glasses are a crowd favorite. “They’re great for nosing spirits,” says Marissa Mazzotta, bar manager at New York Distilling’s The Shanty. It’s an ideal glass to use for tasting barrel samples.

These beautiful glasses were created in collaboration with Scotch whiskey experts. In 1992, the Riedel family brought in Scotland’s top master distillers to assist in the design process. Mazzotta says that the shape of the glass allows you to smell the top notes and take a full taste. They are a little pricey but totally worth it if they are available.

Villeroy & Boch Boston Shot Glass is the best small glass

Pros

  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made of lead-free crystal

Even if your collection of whiskey snifters is well-stocked, there might be occasions when you want to enjoy whiskey in a more celebratory manner. The crystal shot glasses have the look of classic barware but still retain the fun of a regular shot glass. Each glass has a 2.5-ounce weight.

Goodfellow says that a shot glass should hold at least 1.5 ounces. This allows 1 ounce to rest comfortably without it spilling over the top. I prefer the shorter shot glasses that have a slight fan and some weight, over the ones that are straight up like a tube. These durable glasses can withstand slips, jostles and bar slams.

Best Design: NUDE Beak crystal drinking glass

Pros

  • Made with lead-free crystal
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • A matching carafe is available

The NUDE glass is a modern version of traditional snifting glasses. It features an angular shape and lead-free crystal construction. The glass was designed by Tomas Kral (a Swiss glassware expert) and has won numerous design awards. To decant your whiskeys in style, grab the matching carafe. You can choose from a classic clear, smokey grey, or striking purple. This handmade glass measures 3×3 inches in size and holds 3 ounces.

Golf Ball Whiskey glass is the best!

Pros

  • Concentrate on the aromas
  • Large capacity
  • Hand-blown lead-free glass

“I love unique glassware especially for my home bar,” describes Cristina Suarez, the beverage manager of KUSH Hospitality Group. The glasses have a snifter-like top that enhances whiskey flavor. The rounded bottom lets you hold the glass in your hands to warm it up. This would make a wonderful gift for the whiskey-loving golfer you know.”

Although the glasses look like a golf ball they can be used in any bar. Each 10-ounce whiskey glass is handmade in the Midwest and comes in a set.

Best Set: Stolzle Tasting Glass Set

Pros

  • Made of lead-free crystal
  • Concentrate on the aromas
  • Included is a wooden tray

Cons

  • Higher priced than other options

The perfect glassware is essential to creating a memorable guest experience. I recommend the single malt tasting glass from Stolzle,” describes Anderson Clark, the co-owner of San Diego’s Common Stock. The set comes with three lead-free crystal glasses and a wooden tray. Each glass measures 2.5 inches in diameter by 4.5 inches high and holds 6 ounces.

This set can be used to taste drams of different styles. These glasses will allow you to distinguish the differences between the palate and the nose. Clark says, “This glass works well with a variety of spirits and captures essence and aromas beautifully.” You can try the flight with vodka, rum, or bourbon.

Marquis by Waterford Glasses: The Best Old Fashioned Glass

Pros

  • Made of lead-free crystal
  • Large capacity
  • Weighted

An Old Fashioned glass, such as this one from Waterford, is an essential item for every bar. It doubles as an excellent vessel for tasting spirits and is large enough to build out Old Fashioneds and other cocktails. Ryan Maybee, co-founder of J. Rieger & Co. “The laser engraving makes the glass more comfortable in your hands and the heavier the base, means that heat transfer into the spirit is less likely!”

These glasses, 11 ounces, are made of lead-free crystal with elegant details that will stand the test of time. These glasses are part of Waterford’s Marquis collection, which has more affordable crystal pieces than its other glasses. These glasses are a favorite of whisky distillers because they are heavy and can be smashed. They also make a great glass to swirl.

Final Verdict

Huckberry’s Whiskey Peaks glass (view at Huckberry) is the perfect blend of form and function, with a topographic glass mountain in the center of the glass acting as a great conversation piece. If you’re looking to go a more traditional route, a Glencairn glass (view at Amazon) is the industry standard for sipping Scotch.

What to look for in Whiskey glasses

Material

For whiskey glasses, glass is the best option. There are many other options. You have metal vessels, plastic options and wood cups. Glass and crystal are preferred as they don’t add any other flavors to your spirit. You might consider a stronger alternative if your personality is prone to clumsiness or you have children or pets who are feisty.

Price and purpose

Glassware prices can vary widely. There are many budget-friendly options for rocks glasses as well as elegant snifters that are expensive. Consider what your whiskey glasses are used for. Do you enjoy Scotch and want to know all the details? Perhaps a more expensive snifter would be the best choice. You enjoy cocktails, but you also like a neat pour. A versatile rocks glass might be a better choice. Do you have a tendency to breakage? Perhaps the crystal glass, which is thin and expensive, is not the right choice for you.

Maintenance and Care

We wish we could just throw a glass in the dishwasher but these delicate tasting glasses need more care. You can wash a few of the items on this list in the dishwasher, but be sure to double-check before you do. Hand washing is recommended for any items made from Murano glass, or with metallic rims. You will need to polish the crystal further after washing. Consider adding a polishing cloth.

FAQ

What’s the difference between whiskey and Scotch glasses?

The short answer is no. The tulip-shaped Glencairn is the closest thing to a Scotch glass. It can be used for many whiskeys. Any type of snifter or Glencairn can be used for tasting, though when it comes to drinking whiskey or Scotch cocktails, the vessel depends on what type of cocktail you’re drinking.

Why is whiskey glass shaped this way?

The glass’s tulip shape is intended to enhance the flavor of a spirit. A nosing glass is mouth-blown, and it concentrates the flavor of fine whisky. Voisey states that it is elegant and can be used for any spirit.

What are whiskey stones and why do I need them

The controversial whisky stones are not well-known. They are ridiculed by purists who claim that a good spirit doesn’t require chilling. A whiskey stone can chill your whiskey without diluting it. Keep one in your freezer, and then break it out when you’re ready to pour your whiskey.