Whiskey is a long-standing favorite that remains as popular today as ever. Luckily, choosing the right glasses is a pretty easy skill to learn and can help you get the most out of your drinking experience. So, break open your whiskey decanter and start pouring!
Also known as the old-fashioned glass, rocks glass, or lowball, the tumbler is probably what you think of when you picture crystal whiskey glasses. Short, wide-brimmed, and without a stem, these glasses are primarily used for whiskey neat or on the rocks. They can also be used for a variety of whiskey cocktails.
Similar to a tumbler but taller, highball glasses are mostly used for cocktails. Their larger size lets them easily accommodate more ingredients such as ice and non-alcoholic mixers.
Snifters are short, stemmed glasses with wide bottoms and narrow brims. They’re used almost exclusively for drinking whiskey neat, and are made for people who truly want to savor their drink. The shape of the glass lets you warm the whiskey with your hand, encouraging evaporation which releases the aroma of the whiskey upward toward your nose as you drink.
Similar to snifters, Glencairn glasses are also seen in many upscale establishments. They’re a little taller and more tapered than snifters, which makes them slightly easier to drink from.
As you would expect, shot glasses are used to drink a small amount of whiskey without ice, and are usually seen in bars. Small and durable, they let you get right to the point of drinking. Shooter glasses are a slightly taller variant that provide a little more room if you want to get creative with additional ingredients or garnishes in your shots.
One of the newer types of whiskey glasses, NEAT glasses were actually a glass-blowing mistake that turned out to be quite popular. They have a distinct shape, with a narrow middle and wider brim and base, and can take some getting used to. However, the NEAT glass is a good choice for people just starting to appreciate whiskey because it directs the harsh aromas away from the nose–the opposite of glasses like the snifter.