Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sku's Guide to Whisk(e)y Glassware

I've never felt compelled to do a comparison of whiskey glasses, but the other day I received a quite alarming email:

To: Sku
 From: International Federation of Whisk(e)y Bloggers
Dear Sku, the International Federation of Whisk(e)y Bloggers is the international body which regulates the whisk(e)y blogosphere. It has come to the Federation's attention that you have never carried out a comparison of whisk(e)y glassware. Pursuant to the Federation's revenue enhancement agreement with the International Association of Whisk(e)y Glassmakers, every whisk(e)y blogger is required to conduct a comparison of whisk(e)y glassware. Aside from enhancing the revenue of both of our organizations, these comparisons provide an important tool to the whisk(e)y drinking audience, who without our sage advice, would have no idea how to consume whisk(e)y.  
As such, you are hereby required to conduct a whisk(e)y glassware comparison within thirty (30) days of the date of this communication.  Failure to comply will result in the immediate termination of your blog. You have been warned!

Well, I am certainly not one to refuse to comply with important international laws and treaties, so I give you: Sku's Guide to Whisk(e)y Glassware.

Choosing a glass for your whisk(e)y is perhaps the most important decision you will make in your whisk(e)y drinking life. A proper glass can enhance your whisk(e)y experience, while an improper one will destroy it. If you are unwilling to spend at least as much on glassware as you do on whisk(e)y then you can just stop reading right now, because you are doomed to a life of mediocrity.

As part of this review, I tested over 100 whisk(e)y glasses, each with 10 different styles of whisk(e)y so that I could compare the nuances of each whisk(e)y glass experience. From those, I chose the top three performers to feature in this post.

3. The Pint Glass ($4.99)

This glass is the preferred vessel for ales and lagers throughout the world.  I found it had some definite advantages as a whisk(e)y containment device, offering sturdy engineering and a nice grip. While the glass received high marks overall, there are some flaws. For instance, each time I finished a testing session, I felt a bit woozy.  This may be due to toxins present in the glass or some other design defect. I will explore the issue further and report back. 

2. The Whisk(e)y Bottle ($15-$2,500)

As everyone who is not a total idiot knows, a whisk(e)y glass should be tapered at the top to maximize aromas. I found this model to have a wide base and a narrowly tapered opening, and many of them come pre-filled.  I should warn you that while these glasses are quite common, there are wide ranging price differences between similar models.  At one store, I found differences of hundreds of dollars for the exact same glass! In addition, while most bars carry these glasses, I did not find one that would let me use it to actually drink the whisk(e)y.  Honestly, what is the use of carrying these glasses if customers are not allowed to sip from them...just more fetishization of whisk(e)y I suppose. 

1. Pyrex One Quart Bowl ($8.75)

Here it is. The clear winner of this review, and the only whisk(e)y glass you will ever need. It's durable, microwave safe and has a base large enough to stick your whole face into, allowing you tobecome one with the whiskey. And the best thing about this glass is, you don't even have to use your hands.

Well, I hope you found this glassware guide to be really neat.  I'm going to sign off for the night and have a few bowls of whisk(e)y.


Joshua said...

The used cookie jar is my #1 choice. What better way to bring out and compliment the aromas of a good whisk(e)y than to sip it from the chalice that has housed a thousand gingersnap, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia nut, sugar, cranberry-orange, and fudge nutter cookies? I submit that there are none.

Josh Feldman said...

Ask Johanne McInnis about drinking whisky from teacups.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great laugh. You have a gift.

Anonymous said...

I've had the best luck with 5-gallon barware from NAPA:

And Sku, a guide for whiskey storage would be helpful. I'm torn between plywood or welded stainless steel shelves. Here is my current set-up:

Anonymous said...


Excellent post, and thorough examination of glassware options for us neophytes out here. This Whiskey Federation you belong to sounds like a bunch of jerks.


Carl Dirt said...

I use a tin can and it doubles as my snuff spit cup. Unbreakable, free, and different brands of snuff are like your own wood finish.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a sophisticated nose, it always fails me, especially as I attempt to find floral notes in my dram. So to compensate I use an old flower vase, and if I can't find the floral notes same bloggers seem to find when tasting, I just journey to the flower garden, grab a few and stick them into the vase along with my scotch. Love those dry scented floral notes............

Anonymous said...

i was a little sad that straight from the bottle wasn't #1.

i find a nice sip from the bottle can help relieve any pretentiousness that you are drinking whiskey. bonus points if its around a campfire

Anonymous said...

Joshua, the previous contents of the drinking vessel have no effect on the whisky, you know.

Sam Komlenic said...

Truly Sku, you are one creatively funny sumbitch!

AaronWF said...

My favo(u)red utensil for whisk(e)y consumption is the whisk/e/y bo(i)ng. It's like a b(i)e(^è)r\e\ bo/i/ng but instead you put whisk[*e*]y in it.

Joshua said...

Anon @ 3:10, they do if you don't wash the vessel out. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Richnimrod said;
I sincerely hope you didn't suffer any permanent disfigurement from stuffing your tongue so damned far into your cheek. An injury of that sort can damage one's appreciation of whisk(e)y, after all. Great discussion; and so badly needed!

sku said...

Richnimrod, I appreciate your concern, but don't worry. I have found that having my foot constantly in my mouth serves to protect my cheek from my tongue.