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Drinking Glasses

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Drinking Glasses

Postby Frodo » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:17 am

I'd read some posts on the differences when drinking from different kinds of glasses. So I figured I'd try it myself and see if one glass was better for tasting than another. I used the following glasses; a tumbler, wine tasting glass, Glencairn glass, a Ridel knock-off, and a small Brandy snifter. Here are my notes, unscientific as they are. I poured 1/2 oz of 10yr Clynelish (Hedges & Butler) into each, had a couple of sips, and then added a spash of water.

The tumbler didn't do anything for the taste. In fact I could barely smell anything out of it. The only glass that affected the taste was the Ridel knock-off, that seemed to push the whiskey on to the back of the tongue. Since different parts of the tongue pick up different flavours, it makes sense that this might alter how the dram tastes when compared to other glasses. However, this glass did nothing for the nose. :(

The Brandy snifter, Glencairn, and the wine tasting glass all enhanced the nose. The wine tasting glass was the most powerful, giving a burning sensation in my nose. This glass was the best when the whisky was watered, the notes coming through loud and clear.

I'd have to say that my favourite was the Glencairn glass in that it concentrated the nose (but not too much), and it was easy to swirl the whisky. The only other consideration for me is to decide if you want your hand to warm up the bottom of the glass. Doing so probably changes some of the notes - whether this is for the better is probably an individual decision.

I'd be curious to hear what others use, or if it's even a concern!

Cheers
Frodo
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:13 am

Frodo, your empirical approach is impeccable, and the results unimpeachable. Rather than repeat my thoughts on glassware, and invite others to do the same, I have resurrected a thread titled "Your Favorite Glass" over at Q&A, initiated by a noted Gold Member. (I shall call him...me.)
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Postby Admiral » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:36 pm

Frodo,

I'm not sure my own explorations into this field were quite as scientific or thorough as yours, but I'm pleased to say we arrived at the same conclusion. The Glencairn does it for me.

However, I must say that the standard XL5 international wine tasting glass does a pretty admirable effort also.

I've been to a few whisky tastings recently where the whiskies have been served in wide, open tumblers, or the wide-rimmed red wine glasses!! :evil: What's the bloody point??! It's a bit like showing a 3-D movie, but not giving the viewers the special red and blue glasses!

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Crispy Critter » Sun Mar 27, 2005 1:55 pm

I've settled on the Glencairn as well - I've even found that I prefer bourbon neat in a Glencairn rather than over ice in a tumbler...
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Postby jimidrammer » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:00 pm

I also prefer the glencairn glass. I ordered 2 plain ones from the Malt Advocate marketplace. I've seen etched ones on Ebay, but they are kinda high. Does anyone know of a good place to order them with the distillery etchings and ship to the U.S.?
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Postby bernstein » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:43 pm

After a few entertaining tasting evenings with friends we decided together, that malt-whisky-glasses by "Glashütte Eisch" - a manufacturer in the bavarian forest - were the best for us. More Info:

http://www.eisch.de/eng/website/product ... ectID=2851

But note, those evenings were quite entertaining and as I posted elsewhere, there are always a good many influences on our abibilty to judge :wink: ...
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:05 pm

bernstein wrote:After a few entertaining tasting evenings with friends we decided together, that malt-whisky-glasses by "Glashütte Eisch" - a manufacturer in the bavarian forest - were the best for us.

I use the single malt glass made by Spiegelau which I believe is terrific.
Compare the "Eisch" and the Spiegelau:
Image
Image

Skål!
Christian
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Postby rthomson » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:16 pm

I also have come to use the Glencairn glasses. I do have a couple of Riedel malt whisky glasses. I find them to be ok but they don't do much for the nose. Someone posted in a different thread that they like these glasses for some cask strengths, the shape helps to diffuse the alcohol vapors a bit. I could see this. The cost of the Riedel can be a bit prohibitive but I found them at a discounted price and have no complaints.

Still, the Glencairn get the most use.

Ron
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Postby bernstein » Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:55 pm

Compare the "Eisch" and the Spiegelau:

I don't know, Christian, what's Your point? The "Eisch"glass even looks much 8) er!!!
Happy Easter to everybody!
P.S. My Eisch-glass is holding a Longmorn-Glenlivet 25yo right now - (...congratulations and greetings to Mr TattieHeid :wink: ).
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Postby hpulley » Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:26 pm

I am probably the one who said he likes the Riedel for hot cask strength whiskies and I still do. In fact I'm enjoying the last dram of Caol Ila cask strength in one right now. It also tends to make drams seem sweeter IMO, though this one seems a bit bitter today (could be the end of the bottle, oxidation).

The Glencairn is my favorite everyday glass. For light whiskies I prefer a tighter tulip for higher concentration of the nose.

I used to use brandy snifters but haven't in ages. Tumblers and other open faced glasses I only use when, unfortunately, they are all that is available at most pubs (beyond cost, the main reason why I prefer to drink at home).

Harry
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:38 am

My wife gave me a set of Lenox crystal old-fashioned glasses last fall, but they're gathering dust on the shelf. I'm using my Glencairn glasses for almost every dram now...Like T, I agree that the Glencairns help enhance and concentrate the nose...and the whisky tends to spill out when I swirl it in a tumbler!

Mark
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:22 am

bernstein wrote:
Compare the "Eisch" and the Spiegelau:

I don't know, Christian, what's Your point? The "Eisch"glass even

I guess the only point is that its shape is a rather common one - used for brandy and sherry and quite similar to wine tasting glasses too.
Apart from that I believe you should use whatever you are comfortable with including a coffee cup if that's what you prefer.

Skål!
Christian
Last edited by Mr Fjeld on Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:59 am

I generally stick to 4 glass types, the Glencairn for at home when I'm just having a dram, the SMWS glass for their malts, the typical nosing glass as used by the industry for when I'm trying to make an assesment of a whisky and the a large snifter for an over 30 year SMWS whisky.
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Postby bernstein » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:17 am

Mr Fjeld wrote:I believe you should use whatever you are comfortable with including a coffee cup if that's what you prefer.

No offence meant.
Haven't tried that one yet. But thinking of it - it might come quite handy some day when my wife starts evaluating my drinking habits...
Just kidding.
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Crystal vs. glass

Postby akallio » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:26 pm

One thing about glasses is still a bit mystery to me. What difference it makes if the material is glass or crystal? I have heard a lot of things, but if I understood correctly, these are the facts:

- crystal allows thinner rims, which is good
- crystal helps release aromas, which helps nosing
- main point in crystal is that it can be decorated with carvings, which makes no difference as tasting glasses should be blank
- you can tell crystal by sound: if it "plays" for many seconds, it is crystal
- crystal is about 25% lead and 75% glass
- crystal is better (and more expensive and more trouble when washing)
- it really does not make much difference, be it crystal or not...

Is this correct?

Are there hybrids, something like crystal-ish glasses?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:44 pm

Glass is glass, as far as I'm concerned. I have no use for anything fragile and expensive. One of the major reasons that we all love the Glencairn glasses so much is because they bounce! We all get noodlefingers occasionally.
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:52 pm

Amen...especially when we're using them to consume adult beverages capable of inducing noodlefingers! :)
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Postby Old Bollard » Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:39 pm

At present I use four glasses more or less regularly, I have to admit though that I too, more often than not, find myself with a Glencairn glass in hand. It's practical, and quite sufficient for everyday use.
As for my absolute favourite; so far it's the MJ glass. For me, it really brings out the best in even some whiskies that had previously been put on the back-shelf. I wonder if the MJ glass is a hybrid; the copita itself sounds a bit like crystal, but the stem is injection molded glass...
I really like the Glenmorangie glass as well.
For sometime later at night I also keep some tumblers; a now discontinued crystal series called "Svalbard" from the Norwegian crystal company "Hadeland"; easily the most aesthetically pleasing series they've made. I went for the cocktail tumbler though, smaller than the whisky-buckets and perfect for gripping when butterfingers sets in.

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Postby Crispy Critter » Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:25 am

One of the things that has always concerned me about crystal is... the lead content. Considering that alcohol is a fairly strong solvent, I can't help but wonder how much lead ends up in the drink.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:13 am

Considering that alcohol is a fairly strong solvent, I can't help but wonder how much lead ends up in the drink.


I guess this is what makes some malts heavier than others! :D

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 29, 2005 5:26 am

Admiral wrote:
Considering that alcohol is a fairly strong solvent, I can't help but wonder how much lead ends up in the drink.


I guess this is what makes some malts heavier than others! :D

Cheers,
Admiral


That is precisely the sort of jumbled logic I would expect from someone suffering from lead poisoning....
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Postby MGillespie » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:47 pm

Crispy Critter wrote:One of the things that has always concerned me about crystal is... the lead content. Considering that alcohol is a fairly strong solvent, I can't help but wonder how much lead ends up in the drink.


If I remember correctly...most new crystal sold these days is made with lower levels of lead precisely for that reason. However, it doesn't apply to antique crystal and that produced in some Eastern European regions...

As always...my memory could be faulty...

Mark
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Postby bamber » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:47 pm

I would have thought lead salts would be much more soluble in water than alcohol. In fact Lead is probably completely insoluble in alcohol.

The solution then is to only drink cask strength whisky. Suits me :)
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Mar 29, 2005 5:17 pm

I think I've mentioned this in other forum pages but thrift stores always seem to have a varied and very inexpensive selection of glass shapes. I have found all types of whisky nosing glasses, various tulips and snifters for .50 cents or less. It's a very inexpensive way to try different glass types
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Mar 29, 2005 5:28 pm

Well, there's always the middle road between crystal (lead) and ordinary glass if you choose "crystallin(e) " which is "low lead glass or crystal or something like that. Best of both worlds; quite thin and delicate but also reasonable durable. If I'm not mistaken I'd say Spiegelaus glasses are made of this material and they are intended as an upper market alternative for the horeca market.

Skål
Christian
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Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:02 am

Lawrence wrote:I generally stick to 4 glass types, the Glencairn for at home when I'm just having a dram, the SMWS glass for their malts, the typical nosing glass as used by the industry for when I'm trying to make an assesment of a whisky and the a large snifter for an over 30 year SMWS whisky.


Lawrence:

1) What does the SMWS glass look like.
2) Where can I find a "typical nosing glass as used by the industry"? I figure that if it's good enough for professional tasters, it's probably good enough for me.

Thanks
Curious Frodo
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:21 am

Frodo, the SMWS glass can been seen at this link;

http://www.smws.com/cgi-bin/ user/whiskysociety/shop

and the industry glass can be seen at;

http://www.whisky-shopping.de/ de/dept_184.html
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Postby Frodo » Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:28 am

I couldn't find anything interesting on the bottom website. The Balvinnie tasting glass looks suspisiously like the wine tasting glasses I use. The SMWS website unfortunatly won't let me in as it has me pegged as a non-member. :cry:

Thanks for the effort though :D .
Frodo
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Postby WestVanDave » Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:02 pm

Hi Frodo - try this link to reach a "public" section of the SMWS wesbite and a picture of the glasses:

http://www.smws.com/shop/shop.php?category=merchandise

(We all can't be Lawrence. :wink: )

Cheers, Dave
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Postby rthomson » Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:41 am

Thanks for the link to the public section- though I'm sorely tempted to join. I don't think this is the time, though. I'm still basically a novice and I'll work through the single malts that are more readily available for now. I'm sure the society will still be there when I'm ready to join. :wink:

Ron
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Postby Frodo » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:18 am

Thanks Dave. I'll keep my eyes open for this one.
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:26 am

Sorry Frodo, I just did a quick search on google and came up with those links. I never signed in or anything. West Van Dave found a proper link I see, with some editorial comments, huh. :wink:
Last edited by Lawrence on Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jimidrammer » Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:13 am

I just received the 4 Ardbeg Tasting glasses from Scotchwhiskey.com today. They are very nice. Basically they are like the Glencairn glass with a stem and a lid. Here's the link if anyone is interested. They are inexpensive and the etching on the glass says "Ardbeg, The Ultimate Islay Malt" which is nicely done, too

http://www.scotchwhisky.com/shop/comments.html#

I'm going to break them in with one of my new bottles of Ardbeg:Uigeadail :)

You can also get them at Ardbegs' site but I think the shipping for me to the U.S. was prohibitive.

http://www.ardbeg.com/ardbeg/Shop_ShopC ... egoryID=17
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Postby Pascal » Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:02 am

This newbie is very impressed with the Riedel glasses, although I'm a bit taken aback by their lack of a stem... :? ..incredible value for the money though, a pair ran me 20$CAN which is a steal as opposed to anything else available in local stores.

Definitely worth a try for those who don't yet have good glasses (much like me...).

Regards,
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Postby WestVanDave » Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:36 am

Hi Pascal - that is a bargain price for the Reidel glasses... they sell for around $26 Cdn. each out west. (I have seen some Czech made copies that are very similar for around $15 Cdn. each.)

I enjoy the Reidel glasses very much - once I overcome my fear of breaking them. They are reserved for special occasions. As many have commented - the Glencairn's are much better suited for day-in, day-out use - washing and the occasional fumble.

I have found the Glencairn glasses for $10 US each and I believe they can be cheaper when bought by the case - as some of the Whisky Clubs have done. The best deal ever was an Aberlour promo where they included 1 free with each $35 bottle of Aberlour 10... I should have backed up the truck!!! :D

Cheers, Dave.
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