In 2001 Glencairn Crystal introduced ‘The Glencairn Glass’. This innovative and most excellent whisky glass was designed by Raymond Davidson nearly 25 years earlier and involved infamous master blenders perfecting his initial design. Their expertise has made this glass a fantastic and welcome addition to the whisky world.
The Glencairn Glass’s roots lie predominantly in the traditional nosing and tasting glasses used internationally by master blenders and connoisseurs. The glass’ shape is perfect for whisky and is designed to enhance the overall experience from start to finish including the very important, nosing and tasting.
The Glencairn Glass is now frequently known as the definitive and official glass for whisky; up until now the whisky world has not had a glass to call its own. It is used around the world by master blenders and connoisseurs. This unique glassware design has been crafted, thanks to Scottish innovation, to enhance the overall enjoyment of all single malts and aged blends. The narrow mouth allows for ease of drinking whilst the wide bowl allows for the fullest appreciation of the whisky’s colour. The sturdy solid base creates a comfortable grip, designed to be easy on the hand.
In 2006, the glass received the Queens Award for Innovation and went on to receive numerous prestigious marketing awards. To this day it continues to be the best and most loved glass for serving and tasting whisky. This glass is suitable for dishwasher use and is also available for glass hire, ideal for whisky tasting evenings or events.
We have produced five basic steps to help you fully appreciate whisky.
Note taking is extremely important as it helps you remember which whisky you enjoyed and which you’d rather steer clear of! It can be a useful reminder when hosting your own whisky tasting evening or advising a friend of which bottle to try.
1. Colour – is your whisky light gold, bright copper or rich amber? The different colours of whisky can indicate the type of oak cask used along with the length of maturation (10 years, 15 years, 30 years etc.) We suggest using Whisky Magazine’s whisky colour chart to help identify your whisky colour. Remember to hold your glass up to the light as this can identify the depth of colour.
2. Body – does your whisky have a light, medium or full body? The mouth-feel of whisky is also commonly described as either thin and light or thick and full.
3. Nose – ‘nose’ your whisky and jot down the different aromas. This could be burnt sugar, fruits, nuts, smoky or chocolaty. We always recommend swirling the whisky in the glass slowly and carefully while taking short smells of the contents. Some people may also opt for covering the whisky glass with the palm of a hand and giving it a firm shake. This ensures the whisky coats the side of the glass and the aromas can be appreciated fully. If you notice the whisky dribbling down the glass this is known as the ‘legs’ and indicates a whisky’s viscosity. Compare your ‘nose notes’ with a friend or fellow whisky taster. Your nose really will tell you a lot about the whisky’s flavour!
4. Palate – what characteristics do you notice on the palate? Allow the whisky to roll backwards over your tongue in order to reach all of the different taste buds. You may describe the whisky as meaty, peppery or hot. On the other hand it may be extremely sweet and fruity. Jot down all of the flavours, tastes and sensations which spring to mind! These will often differ from someone else’s notes as we all taste differently.
5. Finish – this is the time the flavour remains on the palate. This can be a short period of time or a long and lingering taste which you enjoy. Ask yourself, do the flavours linger for a long time or disappear quickly? We think that the best whiskies will have a long and rather enjoyable finish.
The number one question (which we haven’t listed) is did you enjoy this whisky? This is predominantly what whisky is all about – finding your likes and dislikes!
Glencairn Crystal has been producing high-quality crystal glassware for over 30 years. Their expert craftsmanship and undeniable quality has made them one of the UK’s leading suppliers of decorated crystal. They pride themselves as a family run company offering quality products with outstanding customer service.
Glencairn Crystal supplies a wide range of products from crystal glassware, trophies and wine goblets to presentation gifts. Their attention to detail and service has built long lasting relationships with clients and suppliers worldwide. They have extensive knowledge and expertise of glass decoration and design and have worked in partnership with ground breaking companies. In 2012 the company received the Queens Award for International Trade.
Campbell Evans, Scotch Whisky Association - “A new Scotch Whisky glass with a design which reflects the quality of Scotch and raises its profile.”
Richard Paterson, Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay - “Like a good Whisky, this glass has plenty or character.”
Michael Jackson, Whisky Magazine - “I hope restaurants and pubs adopt it, and that it becomes a badge of connoisseurship for fine Whiskies in general.”
If you need any further advice or would like to purchase Glencairn Whisky glasses then please contact us via our online form. If you are interested in finding a whisky event near you then please see our 2013 UK Whisky Events Calendar.