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glass question

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glass question

Postby whisky420 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:49 am

I see al this talk about glencairns, but as a noobie whisky drinker is a tumbler alright to use?

Also, I read about adding water into a glass to make the whisky open up its flavour. I read that not all whisky's should have this done as it can completely ruin some, but in any case it does not say how MUCH. I read about adding small increments.. but how much is a small increment?

say with 3oz in a glass, how much water should one add at a time until the desired flavor is reached?

also is the glenlivet 12 year old a decent starter whisky? Ive had the cheaper end stuff like jameson, bushmills original, johnny walker red label, canadian club (barf), teachers, old turkey.. but all the lowest end drinks (roughly 22-30$ canadian a 750ml bottle)

Thanks
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Postby whisky420 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:52 am

Also, how long do your bottles usually last?

I will drink about 1/3 - 1/2 a bottle in a night, but I read about people keeping bottles for years. Do some people just drink whisky just for the taste? do they not desire its "effects" :oops:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:52 am

420, eh? Niagara Falls?

Rule Number One is: If you like it, it's good. (No guarantee you won't ever get laughed at, though.) That applies to whisky, glassware, and significant others.

That said, most of us feel that a tumbler is not the best glass for appreciating whisky. It's designed for ice, which is a no-no. (Unless you like it...ha ha ha! Sorry.) A glass with a tulip-shaped bowl retains vapors for nosing, which is an important part of appreciating. Go down to the thrift store and find yourself a couple of 99-cent brandy snifters. If you feel a little self-conscious using them in front of your friends, well, then hide them and use the tumblers until they go home. Or laugh at them for being such unsophisticated goobers.

Water is a much-discussed issue. Experiment and see what you like. There's no wrong. I used to use a little in my early days, when I found the drink a bit overwhelming. I almost never do now. Try only a few drops at first, and see if you can detect a difference in the aromas. Don't worry about it if you don't. You can forget about water for the time being if you want, and revisit it when your palate gets a bit more educated.

I've seen some very fine whiskies suggest a ratio of 2:1, water to whisky...yuck! To me, that's whisky in my water, rather than water in my whisky. But it goes to show that there is considerable variety of opinion on the matter. Again, find what you like, whether it's 50:50, a splash, a drop, or none.

Glenlivet is a very nice smooth single malt that will give you an inkling of what a single malt is, compared to a blend. There is wide variety in malts, from light to full-bodied, sweet to dry, flowery, woody, spicy, smoky. The endless variety is what interests most of us. I suggest for starters that you find a bar that has the six Classic Malts (a marketing scheme of Diageo, which owns the six--Glenkinchie, Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore, Oban, Talisker, and Lagavulin--and many more) and try them all. That will give you a small sense of what kind of variety there is, although of course it's just a beginning.

How long to keep a bottle open is another topic much discussed. Some of the lads here have twenty, thirty, forty bottles open at a time, some of which may be open for years. It's possible for oxidation or evaporation to have a deleterious effect over such a long period. I try to keep it to five or six open at a time, for a month or two or three each.

We all like a buzz, to be sure, and we all overdo it sometimes; but yes, appreciation of the flavors is a big deal. If you're aiming for bulk consumption, you might want to keep plenty of inexpensive stuff around. Appreciate a nice malt or two early in the evening, and then bombs away! It's your whisky; enjoy it how you want. Salut.
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Postby whisky420 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:03 am

Thank you for the reply :)

I however do not have access to a bar so my learning will build slowly, as it should imo, ive got quite a few years ahead of me and I am in no hurry :)
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Postby Old Bollard » Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:45 am

For most "social occasions" in the past, at my place; tumblers have ruled the battlefield, albeit of the smaller kind... :oops:
However, when having some friends over for New Years this year (last year?) everyone suddenly wanted a tasting glass - I suppose that's called progress...
I'd take Mr TattieHeids advice and buy some cheap snifters, you will find a totally different (and probably superior) nosing experience.
That said, I must admit that a small tumbler deliver the whisky onto the tongue in a different manner - one that I sometimes find preferable.
Also, I find that many whiskies smell differently from glass to glass, ranging from very nice to offensive.
I think this discovery has, more than anything else, made me very hesitant about "condemning" any whisky out of hand.

It's all very confusing... :roll:

As for the amount of water, I think it was Michael Jackson who suggested "like dew on a morning rose".
For me, that translates into something between a teaspoon and a tablespoons worth.
Then again, different whiskies react differently to water, and to different amounts; ergo there are no hard and fast rules, you will have to discover it all for yourself! And that's the charm... 8)

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Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:32 am

Hey Whisky 420:

1) A tumbler is fine if you just want to drink the stuff. If you want to nose it, the tumbler comes up short in the opinion of a lot of people. If you're buying say... Teachers, do you really care what it smells like? But if you buy a $65 malt, you're paying to have ALL of your senses tickled. Glencairns are hard to find, but wine tasting glasses are available at most kitchenware stores.

2) How much water to add at a time is a subjective question. I would try about 5ml splashes in a 3oz drink after an initial 15ml dollup (I think an ounce is about 30ml). Again, it depends on the whisky, as some can hold the water better than others. For example, JW Red can hold the water real well, but Canadian Club perhaps not so well. I often add 1/4 oz to a 1+1/4 oz drink (just the way my shot glasses measure).

3) IMHO Glenlivet is a VERY decent starter whisky, especially at it's price point. I get the idea from your post that the Glenlivet is at the top of your price point. If so, I would recomment Abelour on reputation (haven't tried it yet). Also, the "three Irish" of Blackbush, Jameson 12, and Redbrest seem to be well priced with nothing bad said about them. For the same price as JW Red, I would recommend Powers Gold Label. If you live in Ontario the difference in price between Bushmills origional ($27) and Blackbush ($35) makes the Blackbush an attractive purchase.

4) My bottles usually last about 2 months, but lately I've had to go easy on the sauce.

Hope any of this helps.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:06 am

A tumbler is not good enough, IMO. Whisky glasses can be hard to find but small brandy snifters are usually available and are pretty good. Otherwise I find a narrowish wine glass works well. Basically to appreciate the aromas (nose) you want to concentrate the vapours and a tumbler won't do that at all.

Whisky doesn't really good bad but after opening it is best to finish it in a reasonable amount of time unless you want to pour it into smaller bottles (it is the air in the bottle that does the damage). Some bottles last a year or more without ill effects but others are already oxidized after just a few months so you want them to last no more than 6 months on average and less is better. If you find you can't finish them fast enough, you can always invite someone over ;)

Harry
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:03 pm

Until late last year, I drank whisky from tumblers. I knew nosing glasses were supposed to be better, but I thought there would not be that much in it. Then I got a Glencairn glass. This just transformed the whiskies. It gave them all a nose, which almost none had had before. For many of my whiskies, the nose seems to be the best part - especially for American and Irish whisk(e)y. The glass also seems to concentrate the flavour more. The Glencairn glass can make even some of the most drab whisky smell and taste quite special. I do recommend them.

Had you told me a year ago that the glass could have such an effect, I would not have believed it.

In terms of keeping whiskies, it seems to vary bottle by bottle. I have found, though, that Highland Park tastes sublime on the first evening it is opened, but 50% of the flavour seems to vanish overnight. I have found this on a number of bottles, some of them quite expensive.
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Postby whisky420 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:40 pm

Thank you for all the qucik replies :D

And yes frodo that is about my price range, $40~
Im used to more of the cheaper whiskys in the $22-30 range. I figure this is a big enough step until I have enough knowledge and the money to step up to say the $65 whiskys. I wont let you know my age but let me just say that $40 for a bottle of whisky is a lot for someone my age ;)

Thanks
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Postby whisky420 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:44 am

I noticed that whiskymag offers a quite attractive glass (imo)

Does anyone have experiance with it? It seems cheap enough, do they ship to canada?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:03 am

That's the Glencairn glass, b'y! Fits nice in the hand, concentrates the vapors nicely, and, as mentioned several times, is very forgiving of being knocked to the floor. (They will break if you try hard enough--I've done it.) Yes, they'll ship anywhere that intrepid postmen dare to roam. Get yourself a pair today! Get two pair!

Incidentally, I have a Glencairn glass bought at the Halifax citadel, with the emblem of the 78th on it. Very nice. (They charged quite a bit, though.)
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Postby whisky420 » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:56 pm

ahh sweet..

Thanks.
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Postby far_from_over » Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:28 pm

:shock:
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Postby Frodo » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:45 am

:?
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:34 am

:roll:
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:19 am

Have a set of crystal tumbler sized glasses from Collins with my clan symbol etched on both sides, always impresses. With a single drop of water or three plopped into midglass to break the surface tension increasing the nose. Poured two fingers deep per serving, plenty of room to swirl. oh yeah.
Cheers
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:09 am

I don't know whether you can get Glencairn glasses etched with clan symbols, but if you could, you might be able to impress people with the glasses and the whisky at the same time.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:04 am

Yes they will, it's £50 to set up the art work and then the glass price based on qty and finally shipping. I'm working on my second order right now.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:07 am

Lawrence, what sort of quantity are you ordering, and what does the cost per glass end up at (disregarding the £50 set-up)?
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:13 am

£2.50 a glass if I remember correctly, I've been ordering them for whisky clubs. The £2.50 includes printing the logo on one side.
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Postby Squire » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:11 am

Hey kids, long time no post...

Since I last visited, my love of whisk(e)y has seen me start working in the booze industry to get amongst it!
The chain I work for is pretty heavily wine focused so I have been trying to get my wine knowledge up to speed.

Where I am leading with this is I just attended a Riedel glassware master class (all wines I'm afraid!) and, as a self confessed cynic, was AMAZED at the differences in aroma and flavour components noticed between each wines specific glass and a standard XL5 tasting glass.

I was fortunate enough to be given a set of Riedel single malt glasses a while ago and was very sceptical about their ability to capture the nose of a good whisky given the completely different shape to most other "true" whisky glasses (Glencairn etc..).
However, my first dram of Glenmorangie 10yo complete with teaspoon of water was incredible. Somehow, the glass manages to hold all of the great aroma components but lets out the alcohol volatility to enable you a truly great whiff of the stuff!

Then the glass delivers the whisky with the most delightful "plop" straight on to the business part of the tongue. Highly recommended!

Has anyone else tried these glasses and what did you think?

(By the way, NO I don't work for Riedel!!)

Cheers, Squire. :wink:
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Postby rthomson » Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:04 am

I have a couple of Riedel malt glasses and, while I do like them, I prefer the Glencairn. I find that I appreciate the Riedel with some cask strengths as the shape does seem to cut the alcohol bite a bit. While the tulip shape does not dissipate the aromas anywhere near as much as I had expected I think the Glencairn glass is still better in that regard.

And I've knocked over a Glencairn glass twice in about ten minutes :oops: with no ill effects, I don't think I'd be able to say that about the Riedel.

Riedel glasses can be expensive but deals are out there. I believe I got the pair for a little under $30. Glencairn is my first choice but I do like the Riedel and, as I mentioned, they are my glass of choice for some cask strengths.

Ron
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Postby Frodo » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:23 am

I found that the Reidel (I have knock-offs) do well forcing the whisky to the back of the tongue, but do nothing for the nose. Given my druthers, I'll stick to the Glencairns...
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