We decided a while ago to do a whisk(e)y glass comparison. We picked 5 styles of glass, Glencairn, Neat Elite, Copita, Tumbler and Tuath, and we tested each of them against 8 questions, aesthetics, feel in hand, drinking feel, How easy to see the whisky, Swirl efficiency, quality of nose and palate, this gave us a score of up to 40 pts per glass. 3 of us took part so we would add the scores up at the end to see if we had an overall winner, and we did.
I chose the Lakes distillery “The One” Orange wine cask finish to use in my glasses. And an image of my score card for individual points is at the bottom of this post.
In the long and illustrious history of whisky there had never been a single definitive glass that the whisky world could call its own. Brandy, champagne, wine and beer all have their own distinct glasses. Yet whisky, the world’s most complex spirit, could be found served in any old receptacle.The Glencairn glass
First up is the Glencairn. Originally designed by Raymond Davidson, managing director of Glencairn, the shape of the glass is derived from the traditional nosing copitas used in whisky labs around Scotland #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
Even though it’s reasonably new it feels old, good for the job. I must admit that they handle well, and concentrate the aromas nicely, also they roll on their side, always handy. It’s easy to see your dram in it too, time to taste from it. I will say that this isn’t my go to glass atm. I think this glass is always going to be around, its so well established now, and it does do a good job in all honesty.
They feel strong and sturdy. I saw a test on Youtube where they were dropped off a table, onto paving, and they survibed #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
I gave the Glencairn 31pts out of a possible 40.
The overall score from the 3 of us was 86pts out of a possible 120.
Same functional, proven bowl shape as all NEAT glasses delivers exactly the same high performance analytics and discerning nose. Elite features a substantial pedestal base and practical grip which ensures competent handling and temperature control. Improved heft, tactility and comfortable feel enhances ergonomics, refines appearance. Made of European crystalline.The Neat Glass
Next up is the Neat 'Elite'. According to their website, the original glass 'eliminates nose burn and numbing, enhancing the ability to detect, savour, and enjoy the subtle, wonderful aromas the distiller intended.' #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
The Neat Elite, looks good in my humble opinion, holds nicely too to be honest, easy to drink from also, until you want to drink the last drops, I suspect they’re a little fragile though. It’s a bit of a head topper to for me. I find this glass to have extreme values, though there’s no doubt it will turn heads, and is a viable option for the whisky drinker.
I find it a bit gentle aroma wise too tbh.#TheWhiskeyChaps— Dram it Mick! (@StillSurreal) May 13, 2021
I gave the Neat Elite 25pts out of a possible 40.
The overall score from the 3 of us was 83pts out of a possible 120.
Next we have the copita glass. A tulip bowled glass, historically known as a 'Dock Glass' as people used them in the docks in the 17th and 18th centuries. Newly arrived shipments had 'to be nosed' before they accepted the shipment #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
The Copita is my current glass of choice, as well as a stemmed tulip. It’s not the best looking, but it’s so easy to see the whisky, it noses well, and delivers a good palate. Downside for me is it’s fragility. The intensity of aroma and flavour from this glass makes it my go to at the moment.
A bit fragile for my tastes, easy to knock over. Good for clarity, nosing and tasting though #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
I gave the Copita glass 31pts out of a possible 40.
The overall score from the 3 of us was 90pts out of a possible 120.
On to the tumbler, specifically an affordable tumbler. First appearing in the 17th century, the glass (apparently) takes its name from the rounded bottom of early examples & if the glass was put down before your drink was finished, the glass would tumble over #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
Tumbler time! Depending on the shape and cut it can be difficult to see the whisky, looking into the top will have to do. It’s very sturdy, the aperture is large, which I think diluted the nose, very easy to drink from, and the whisky tastes different. But strong and feels chunky, which is kind of reassuring to me. This glass had to be tested, though it’s mainly used for mixing or cocktails thee days. I like the look of some, and the chunkiness feels good to me.
I gave the tumbler 25pts out of a possible 40.
The overall score from the 3 of us was 68pts out of a possible 120.
The TÚATH (tu – ah) – from the old Irish for family or nation, is a conical shaped nosing and tasting glass for whiskey that functions superbly by concentrating & capturing all the aromas and flavours that make Irish Whiskey unique. The generosity of Irish spirit is reflected in the enhanced chamber capacity delivering a more generous drinking experience.Tuath Glass
Now for the The TÚATH (tu – ah). Old Irish for family or nation, The TÚATH is a conical shaped nosing and tasting glass for #whiskey that functions superbly by concentrating & capturing all the aromas and flavours that make Irish Whiskey unique #thewhiskeychaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
I do like the design of the Tuath, the base is a lovely touch, and links directly to Ireland. I like the way it handles, it swirls quite nicely, seeing the whisk(e)y can be obscured depending on how full it is. It’s a fair tilt back to sip, not the worst by far to be honest, but others are a little easier in that regard. I think it noses better with heavier whiskies, sherried drops do well in it, lighter bourbon cask not as well for me. Tuath has much going for it, and has become Ireland’s whiskey glass. Its looks great, it certainly catches the eye.
I believe the lip is supposed to spread the whiskey across the palate (as with the Neat), which it does #TheWhiskeyChaps— Whisk(e)y Chap 🏴🥃 (@whiskeychap) May 13, 2021
I gave the Tuath glass 30pts out of a possible 40.
The overall score from the 3 of us was 101pts out of a possible 120.
And the overall results were;
!st place – Tuath with 101pts, 2nd place – Copita with 90pts, 3rd place – Glencairn with 86pts, 4th place – Neat Elite with 83pts, and 5th – Tumbler with 68pts.
Overall testing thoughts
We thoroughly enjoyed doing this glass comparison, the points awarded during the testing we’re really interesting, and it goes to show just how diverse the opinions are of only 3 whisk(e)y drinkers can be.
Thanks to – @whiskeychap and @whiskytip, (both twitter).Follow @whiskytip Follow @whiskeychap Follow @thewhiskeychaps Follow @StillSurreal