May 24, 2017

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Best Groomsman Gifts for Members of the Armed Forces

A groomsman who is also a member of the Armed Forces is much more than just a friend – he or she is literally fighting for your freedom and your marriage. For this reason, planning the right gift for your groomsman is important.

Here at SipDark, we have an amazing range of whiskey accessories, but we also know there are many different ways to honor your best man. Take a look at some of these best groomsman gifts for members of the Navy and Army.

Original Whiskey Bullets and Whiskey Bullet Cylinder

One of SipDark’s most famous products is our set of Whiskey Bullets. These are stainless steel bullets that are designed to be frozen and then used to chill everything from whiskey to vodka. It’s an ideal way of chilling your liquor without affecting the flavor through melting ice.

In addition to the Whiskey Bullet, we have the official Whiskey Bullet Cylinder. This is an anodized black aluminum cylinder, designed to look just like the cylinder of a gun. This special holder keeps your Whiskey Bullets in place – ideal for placing a full set in the freezer, or for taking them with you on your travels. These are ideal Army and Navy gifts, or as a special “thank you” to your best man.

If you’d like to buy the two at once, we have a special Whiskey Bullets and Cylinder Package, as well as the option of a cherry wooden gift box. It’s ideal as a personalized groomsman gift, as you can engrave the bullets as well as the wooden gift box.

Specially-Selected Cigars

Cigars are another fantastic option as a groomsman gift. They can be saved for a special occasion, and they will remind your groomsman of that special day he spent with his friends and loved ones.

If you’re not too familiar with cigars, be sure to visit a fine tobacconist who will be able to help you choose the most suitable variety. If you want to make the gift extra special, you can also pick up SipDark’s multifunctional cigar rest..

Not only is it made from high quality aluminum, but it serves as a bottle opener.

Swiss Army Knife

Another great opportunity for a personalized groomsman gift is a Swiss Army Knife. Not only is this ideal for a member of the Armed Forces, but it’s a must-have for any active man or woman. There are many varieties of these knives available on the market, with many including novelty items like bottle openers and cork screws, and others which contain important blades and tools for camping and survival.

A Swiss Army Knife that contains an inscription can be used for the rest of your friend’s life, and it is particularly useful for someone in the Armed Forces.

Single Malt Whiskey

Let’s not beat around the bush – we’re a whiskey site, and we love whiskey. As well as our famous Whiskey Bullets, why not pick up a great quality single malt for your best man? You can enjoy it together after the big day.

Any of these gifts will be sure to please your best man. Just remember to keep it personal, and it will mean a lot!

May 18, 2017

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The Best Whiskeys and Accessories for Dad this Father’s Day

 

Mother’s Day has been and gone, but you know what that means – Father’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to start planning!

On June 18th, you can surprise dad with some of the best award-winning whiskies of 2017. SipDark also has an amazing range of accessories for whiskey lovers, from our classic cigar rest to the one of the finest Glencairn glass ranges around.

Whiskeys Dad Will Love

This year, there are some fantastic award-winning whiskeys. Jim Murray’s World Whiskies of the Year award saw Brooker’s Rye 13-year-old whiskey winning first place. According to Murray, the whiskey offers an intense flavour profile that is balanced out with oak notes. The woody flavour is achieved thanks to the long ageing process.

It has a dark amber color, and its spicy notes from the uncut rye make it a really interesting drink. It’s also 68.1% alcohol and full of intense flavors, making it a real treat for dad on Father’s Day.

The World Whiskies Awards 2017 have also announced their big winners, with international whiskies performing well. Japan took the World’s Best Grain spot, with a 25-year-old small batch whiskey by the name of Fuji-Gotemba Single Grain. If dad likes rye, then the A.D. Las Secale Straight Rye Bottled in Bond might be more suitable – it’s an American whiskey, and ideal for anyone who prefers a flavour-rich beverage.

Canada also performed well with their own limited release. The J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation whiskey won World’s Best Blended Limited Release. If dad prefers British whiskey, then there are multiple options to choose from. Bainbridge won World’s Best Wheat, and Craigellachie 31-Year-Old won the World’s Best Single Malt.

A full list of the World Whiskies Awards winners for 2017 is available here, and it offers some fantastic suggestions that would make Father’s Day special.

SipDark Accessories He’ll Love Even More

What’s a good whiskey without all the right equipment? From our Glencairn glass range to our famous whiskey bullets, SipDark has all the accessories dad needs to enjoy whiskey this Father’s Day.

The Original Whiskey Bullets

Our original whiskey bullets are made of solid steel, and designed to cool whiskey perfectly without diluting the taste. The bullets come in packs of three or six, and you can even purchase a wooden gift box. Want to make it even more special? Engrave a personal message on each bullet!

Cigar Rest

If dad enjoys a cigar with his whiskey, our Fanelli cigar rest and bottle opener is an amazing gift. This multifunctional cigar rest is made of aluminium, and is perfectly machined and polished to look both traditional and sleek. It also allows Dad to hold up to a 64-ring cigar.

Gifts Galore

SipDark has a massive range of whiskey accessories, including glassware, tee shirts, and even books. Take a look at our online store and see how you can make Father’s Day even more special this year.

May 18, 2017

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How to Properly Store Open and Unopened Whiskey

 

Deciding where and how to store an open bottle has long been a conundrum for whiskey drinkers. Whether it’s open or unopened, there are ways in which whiskey can be properly and improperly stored.

So, if you have a bottle of fine whiskey in the cupboard you received as a groomsmen gift, or you’ve treated yourself to a quality single malt, consider the following advice to keep it tasting great.

How to Store Unopened Bottles of Whiskey

An unopened bottle of whiskey has two primary enemies – temperature and light. A combination of bright lights and frequent temperature fluctuations can act as catalysts for a chemical reaction in the whiskey. When exposed to catalysts, all the compounds that make your whiskey taste so unique will eventually begin to break down. This can turn a fine whiskey, distilled and then left to mature for years, into a bitter and unpleasant beverage.

No matter how you store your whiskey, the ABV will remain the same – so if you purchase a 40% ABV bottle of whiskey, even after it has been improperly stored, it will remain 40% for potentially 20 years. The flavour, however, will be totally ruined.

So, to keep your whiskey tasting great, keep it stored away from direct sunlight. Artificial light is less of a problem, but it is still best to keep a whiskey stored in a dark cabinet. Ideally, you should keep your whiskey in a basement or a room that does not experience temperature fluctuations as a result of central heating. If your home is air conditioned, any storage unit should do. 

How to Store Opened Bottles 

If you’ve already opened up your bottle of whiskey and have enjoyed it with a Glencairn glass or some of SipDark’s famous drink stones, then it’s just a matter of time before the whiskey goes bad.

If you have kept your whiskey stored away from the light, and it still has more than two-thirds left, then you can expect the whiskey to taste the same for about a year. You can simply put the lid back on and keep the bottle stored in the same place.

After a year, the oxygen in the bottle will begin binding with chemical compounds found in the whiskey in a process known as oxidation. When oxygen combines with the whiskey it creates new compounds, which will drastically alter the flavour.

If the opened bottle of whiskey has less than half of its contents left, then you will have a much shorter period of time in which you can still enjoy the whiskey’s original flavour. The oxidation process will occur much more quickly, and there should be a noticeable change in taste after around one month.

Drink Up!

The key to storing opened whiskey bottles is drinking them! It’s a great excuse to invite your friends over to enjoy a drink. Don’t forget some of the best accessories from SipDark!

May 10, 2017

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This Summer, Dublin Will Become the Whiskey Capital of the World

 

In summer 2017, Dublin is set to once again become the whiskey capital of the world. Yet another distillery will be opened in the coming months, along with a €10m visitor center. As well as a great birthday gift for your boyfriend or girlfriend from SipDark, a trip to Dublin might become a more attractive idea than ever.

The Opening of the Pearse Lyons Distillery

The new Pearse Lyons Distillery, which is being constructed in the former St James Church of James’s Street, is preparing its launch for this summer. As well as the long-awaited summer launch, there are already 16 distilleries operating throughout the country and plans for a further 14 in the near future.

Pearse Lyons, along with his wife Deirdre, own the new distillery. The Irish-born couple are the founders of an animal nutrition company, Alltech, which is worth some $2.1 billion. The company is based in Nicholasville, Kentucky, but the pair also have links with a distillery and brewery in the same state.

The St. James church building was purchased by the pair for €690,000, and has had more than €10 million worth of renovations and development since construction started. Along with the distillery, there is a visitor center that is expected to become a popular tourist hub for whiskey lovers visiting Dublin. The renovation of the church building has been going on for three years so far.

Deirdre Lyons, co-owner of the venture, told the Irish Times that just months after purchasing the building, it was made a national monument. This meant the entrepreneurial pair had to hire conservation architects for the renovation to ensure that they did not damage any historically important parts of the building.

Lyons also explained that the roof trusses had dry rot and had to be replaced at a massive cost of €1.3 million. Not only that, damaged limestone pillars were replaced using stone sourced from Caen, France. During construction, as workers prepared the crane to hoist in the brand-new stills, ancient remains were discovered in the building. Construction stopped and archaeologists were called in to document the remains that were found.

The graveyard on the property, two acres in size, dates back to 1190. The graveyard was so full that, in some cases, nine people shared a single grave. It was here that the ancient remains were found. The church itself dates back to the 12th century and operated as a Catholic church before it became Protestant following the Reformation. In more recent years, the building was used as a showroom for a lighting company.

When the distillery is opened this summer, it is expected to produce as much as 1,000 liters of whiskey every week. It is also expected to attract 75,000 annual visitors. A visit to this distillery on a truly historic site could be your chance of giving the very best gift to your husband or wife.

SipDark has a range of other quality gifts, too – from drink stones to Glencairn glass sets. This summer could prove exciting for whiskey lovers all over the world!

May 04, 2017

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Louisville ‘Whiskey Row’ Will Soon Be Whiskey-Lover Tourism Hotspot

Whiskey Row of Louisville Will Be Reopening Soon!

Almost two years after a major fire outbreak damaged three buildings in Whiskey Row, city officials have announced that the famous row of buildings will soon be up and running. Officials are saying that Whiskey Row will quickly become one of the “most engaging blocks in downtown Louisville.” 

Revitalizing the Historic Whiskey Row

In the next one to two years, the Whiskey Block will see two new luxury hotels, a large retail outlet, and a distillery tourist attraction. This famous distillery will give whiskey lovers from all over the opportunity to experience how American whiskey is made. City officials have even announced that the newly-renovated Whiskey Block will be home to major whiskey-related and other cultural events and festivals throughout the year. 

The construction work is coming along quickly, with most of the streetscape expected to be restored in the coming months. The work has been particularly difficult for construction workers, given their task of maintaining the historic facades. The fire caused much structural damage, so extensive bracing has been needed on Main Street to ensure that many historic features could be maintained. 

George Timmering, who runs Bearno’s at Main and Second Street, said, “If we can just hold on, everything is coming together.” The Executive Director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, Rebecca Matteny, shared Timmering’s optimism, and has confirmed that almost all the sidewalk in front of Whiskey Row should be reopened by the end of May this year. 

Bill Weyland, a partner of Whiskey Row Lofts, and a local architect, said that restaurant owners have frequently complained about the long closure of the sidewalk. He said that the fire was an unfortunate disaster, and that it has “set everything back more than two years.” 

Both Timmering and Weyland have said that once all of the work on Whiskey Row has been completed, that new positivity will return to the region, and whiskey lovers will be returning to the area. 

The CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Karen Williams, has said that once Whiskey Row has been completed, along with all the other developments coming with it, that it will be “right in the hubbub of the community.” With luxury hotels and restaurants, retail space and a large distillery where whiskey lovers can learn how everything is made, it’s bound to be a hit. 

Treat Your Loved One! 

Do you have a loved one who loves whiskey? Why not treat them to a trip to Whiskey Row? 

Once repaired, Whiskey Row will have returned to its former glory. The row, which is a stretch between 101-133 West Main Street, was built between 1852 and 1905. Ever since, it’s been one of the most historic and famous places in Louisville. 

If you can’t make it to this historic site, then SipDark has the next best thing. Whether it’s a gift for a wife or husband, we have a wide range of great whiskey accessories, including our famous drink stones. We offer a fantastic whiskey stones gift set, as well as extremely high quality Glencairn glasses!
May 03, 2017

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Top Navy and Army Gifts for Whiskey Lovers

The Perfect Army and Navy Gifts for Whiskey Lovers

So, you have a loved one in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps? Whether it’s their birthday, an anniversary, or you’re celebrating an achievement, there are some great new accessories you should keep in mind as Army gifts. Here at SipDark, we have a huge selection of whiskey accessories, so for your whiskey-loving veteran, take a look at these top Navy, Army and Marine Corps gifts! 

1. SipDarks “Military Engraved Whiskey Bullets”

We know what you're thinking, what gift to get someone in the military? We have you covered. These Military Engraved Whiskey Bullets are the perfect gift. 

SipDark is proud to support our American Veterans and their families. 

For every military edition whiskey bullet sold, Sipdark will donate 15% to Folds of Honor. Since 2007, Folds of Honor has carried forth this singular, noble mission. To provide educational scholarships to the spouses and children of America's fallen and disabled service-members. Our motto says it best. Honor their Sacrifice. Educate their Legacy. 

2. SipDark “Drink Whiskey Like a Gent” Tee Shirt 

Who doesn’t love a good tee shirt? It’s the classic gift, and if you’re not sure what to buy your loved one who has served in the armed forces, then it’s a great option. The official SipDark tee shirt reads “Drink Whiskey Like a Gent” on the front, complete with mustache – because mustaches are cool. 

The tee shirt is made of premium laundered fabric, and is available in sizes small to X large. It’s great as a gift on its own, or even as an additional gift to go with one of our numerous other whiskey accessories. 

3. Bullet Cufflinks 

Bullet cuff links are a hell of a statement, and they make the best Army gifts and Navy gifts. These are SipDark’s very own bullet-shaped cuff links, crafted from stainless steel and designed to look totally realistic. The bullet cuff links are influenced by SipDark’s famous whiskey bullets. 

The cuff links are replica 9mm bullets, and unlike many other bullet cuff links on the market, they aren’t totally overpowering and tacky. In fact, they’re just the right amount of cool. They have classy gold tips, meaning they’re perfect whether you’re wearing a gold or a silver watch. 

This is a great gift for any aficionado of weapons and whiskey. 

4. Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2016 

Jim Murray is a legendary whiskey critic, and if you’re looking to find out the very best whiskeys of the last year, then you’re going to need his Whiskey Bible. Any whiskey lover you know will understand just how important this is – so for a loved one returning from service in the military, who happens to love whiskey, this is ideal. 

The Jim Murray Whiskey Bible 2016 offers the most comprehensive guide to whiskey available today, providing tasting notes on over 4,600 whiskeys from all over the world. From the most famous whiskeys to some of the rarest, Jim Murray has tried them all, and he imparts all his knowledge to his readers. 

5. Whiskey Stones 

Finally, consider SipDark’s famous soapstone whiskey stones. These are the perfect addition to a Glencairn glass full of whiskey, as they chill your beverage without affecting flavor. The smooth soapstones won’t scratch your glass, and once frozen, they can be used singularly or in multiples to chill your drink to the perfect temperature. 

You can purchase these SipDark soapstone whiskey stones in sets of three or six, and they come in a wooden presenting box. The perfect gift for a whiskey lover, right? 

You can find even more great gifts at the SipDark online store!
April 27, 2017

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Irish Poitín

Love Whiskey? Discover Ireland’s Poitín Spirit

If you’re a whiskey fan, you will no doubt have come across Poitín. This is a clear spirit that is often produced by Irish whiskey distilleries, but it’s by no means the most popular drink at the bar. Grab a Glencairn glass of your favorite whiskey, and strap yourself in for the story of one of the strongest spirits on earth.

So What is Poitín, Anyway?

Poitín originates in Ireland, and you’ll usually only find it produced in Irish whiskey distilleries. It is a traditional drink that is typically anything between 40–90% ABV – so it’s not a drink for the lighthearted! It was traditionally distilled using a small pot still, and the word itself comes from the Irish word for “pot.”

The beverage is made using grain, whey, cereals, sugar beet, potatoes, and molasses, and it was traditionally made in rural regions. It started with a wash, which was made and fermented before the distillation process started.

Before bottled gas was invented, turf was used to create the heat for the wash. Otherwise known as peat, turf is a substance from the ground that is made of decayed organic matter. The substance is formed over thousands of years, but when it’s dug up, it’s a perfect fuel for creating high-temperature fires.

Poitín was, at first, made using malted barley. This formed the basis of the mash, and it was the same kind of mash used for single malt whiskey. In recent years, however, many distilleries have turned to less costly ingredients to create it, including potatoes, corn, and molasses. Some distilleries that still sell good quantities of poitín will use the traditional barley mash, in order to produce a higher quality product.

What’s the Best Poitín Available Today?

So poitín might not be the most popular beverage on earth, but if you’re a whiskey lover, it’s certainly worth a try! Let’s take a quick look at some of the most famous poitíns you can pick up today.

1. Bán Poitín

At 48% alcohol, Bán Poitín is not for the faint hearted. The brand was founded in 2012, and it is produced at the Northern Ireland Echlinville distillery. It uses malted barley, as well as potatoes and sugar beet.

2. Glendalough Mountain Strength Poitín

When the name reads “Mountain Strength”, you know it’s serious. This poitín from the Glendalough distillery is 60%, and it’s made using sugar beet and barley, and left to mature in a virgin Irish oak cask before it goes to bottling.

3. John O’Connells Small Batch Poitín

John O’Connells beats the first two, at a massive 72% alcohol. This is produced by West Cork Distillers, and the bottle comes in its very own hessian sack!

A Perfect Gift?

If you’re looking for the perfect boyfriend birthday gift, or just a present for any other whiskey lover in your life, why not try finding a good quality poitín? You can make it even more special by coupling it with some of SipDark’s famous soapstone whiskey stones, cigar rest, or any number of quality accessories available on our store!

 

April 26, 2017

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The Newest Scotch Whisky Distilleries Taking on the Big Brands

4 New Scotch Whisky Distilleries are Taking on the Big Guys

The Scottish whisky industry is huge. The exports of Scottish whisky from the UK generated £3.95 billion for the country’s balance of trade in 2015, with exports earning £125 every second. There are roughly 100 distilleries throughout Scotland, too, meaning there is plenty of competition – but that isn’t putting off new entrepreneurs who have put down their Glencairn glass and started their very own operations!

4 New Whisky Distilleries to Raise a Glass To

These aren’t the only new brands in the game, but they’re each worth checking out.

1. Ballindalloch Distillery

The Ballindalloch Distillery launched as Scotland’s first-ever, single-estate whisky distillery. The operation began at the end of 2014, and its launch was attended by the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince of Wales. The distillery is located in a historic estate, also called Ballindalloch, and it uses barley water sources from its own plots of land. The only ingredient used in the process that has been outsourced is yeast, with everything else coming from the region and estate.

Ballindaloch isn’t attempting to keep up with the trend of producing vodka and gin, either – it is sticking solely to producing Scotch, and its first batch is expected to be released between 2023 and 2025.

2. The Glasgow Distillery Company

The Glasgow Distillery Company opened in March 2015, complete with its own visitors’ center that gives you the chance to see how the whole distillery process works. Upon launch, the distillery managed to quickly begin the production of its very own Malt Scotch, and it also began selling a 26-year-old single malt in January 2015.

3. The Macallan Distillery

The Macallan Distillery is a £100 million distillery that opened with much fanfare. Moray Council approved the build in 2014, and construction began in December 2015. The distillery is expected to launch in Spring 2017, and owing to the huge investment put into the operation, it is expected to “significantly increase capacity” over the previous Macallan distillery, which is expected to close down in favor of the new Speyside site.

4. Isle of Harris Distillers

The Isle of Harris is a small island on the west of Scotland, and in summer 2015, its very own distillery launched. Before the launch, the operation managed to obtain funds to set up its own maturation warehouse that had the capacity for up to 4,000 casks.

In April 2017, the small distillery received recognition from the Scottish Civic Trust, after it was given an award by the organization for its good local design, and the positive impact the new business had on the island and local community.

Looking for Great Whisky Accessories and Gifts?
The news about the expansion of Scotch whisky distilleries will get any whisky lover excited, so why not treat yourself? Whether you’re looking for personalized groomsmen gifts, or you want to treat yourself to some of SipDark’s famous drink stones, you’ll find everything you need at our online store.

You’ll find the best groomsmen gifts, like our steel bullet drinks stones, as well as a wide range of glassware that allows you to fully enjoy all the amazing new Scotch whiskies coming from the UK.
April 22, 2017

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Understanding the History of Whiskey Drinking Glasses

Discover the Long History of the Whiskey Glass

For as long as whiskey has existed, distillers have been using different woods and casks to create unique flavors and profiles. In order for people to truly enjoy these whiskeys and their unique profiles, glassblowers have been creating different styles of drinking glasses designed to help people experience the flavors. The Glencairn glass is of course the most famous whiskey drinking cup, but there have been many varieties developed over the years, and there is an extensive history behind the glasses we use to this day. 

A 16th Century Story

The story of whiskey drinking vessels starts in the 16th Century, with a wooden cup. These small wooden cups were used to drink Scotch whiskey, and they slowly began to change. During the 1500s, the only cup used to drink whiskey was known as a quiach, which was derived from ‘cuach’ – a Gaelic word that simply meant ‘cup’. The design looked a lot like a shallow bowl, and it was constructed from wooden staves and had small handles on both sides. 

At this point, different craftsmen started to create different styles of quiach, slowly changing the style of the handles and, over time, changing the form of the glass entirely. Eventually, craftsmen would use lighter and darker woods, which created patterns on the cups, and eventually, they began embellishing the cups with silver. Every craftsmen would create something totally unique, in an attempt to capture the imagination of those who bought and used the quiaches.

The silver quiaches were eventually engraved with patterns, and in some instances even designed to replicate the appearance of wood. The bowls became statement pieces, and played an important role in the social gatherings that usually accompanied whiskey drinking. During the 17th Century, a “quiachfull” of whiskey –enough for one gulp ­– was served once at the beginning of a social event, and once at the end. 

A 19th Century Replacement

It was in the 19th Century that the tradition of using a wide and flat quiach to drink whiskey changed. During this century, a new drinking vessel appeared that challenged the traditional drinking cup – the tumbler. Made out of glass, this drinking vessel was able to be mass produced and sold to a wider market. The cost of a drinking glass was cut significantly, and more people began using them and, of course, serving whiskey in them. 

After the tumbler revolution of the 19th Century, even more kinds of glasses began to be made. Over a quarter of a century, a wide range of glassware was developed, and it was joined by an increase in whiskey-drinking as a whole. In the next century, and by the 1990s, interest in malt whiskey had improved, and the focus was placed on glasses that enhanced the flavor of the whiskey. 

A Recent Boom in Whiskey Glass Variety

As more people became interested in single malt whiskey, different kinds of glasses were designed and to enhance the drinker’s experience. Enjoying the flavor was suddenly more important than ever, and so that meant experiencing, noting, and deconstructing flavor profiles into constituent parts. Just a matter of decades ago, the Reidel single malt whiskey glass made its debut. It was in 1992 that a panel of whiskey experts came together at the Riedel headquarters in Austria to test a variety of new glasses. 

A selection of 18 different glasses, each with a unique shape, was presented to the experts. After the panel provided their feedback, Georg Riedel researched the importance of the shape of whiskey glasses, meeting with master distillers throughout Scotland. What resulted was a glass that was based on a truncated stem, with an elongated, thistle-shaped body. The glass, known as the vinum, has since become a popular whiskey drinking vessel. 

The Glencairn glass, which is not only the most famous whiskey drinking glass but also a popular groomsmen gift, has a similarly recent history. First entering production in 2001, the glass was developed by the Glencairn Crystal company, designed by Raymond Davidson, the director of the firm. The shape was inspired by traditional nosing copitas, which have long been used in whiskey labs throughout Scotland. The shape of the glass allows the user to experience the full flavor profile by letting only the harsh alcoholic vapors escape. 

The glass was quickly picked up by whiskey experts from all over Scotland, and master blenders from five of the biggest whiskey firms in the country confirmed their love of the new drinking vessel. It was at the very start of the 21st Century that the whiskey glass changed the whiskey industry. 

Modern Design for a Classic Spirit

Today, you can pick up your very own Glencairn glass from SipDark. It’s ideal for the modern whiskey lover, or even as a girlfriend or boyfriend’s birthday gift. As well as a pair of classic Glencairn glasses, you can also pick up the Glencairn Flight Set. This set of three Glencairn glasses come with a luxury lacquered wood plate with felt place holders, allowing you to easily transport multiple glasses at the same time. To top it off, you can even add custom image and text engraving. 

Raymond Davidson, founder of Glencairn, recalled the launch of his whiskey glass with whiskey enthusiasts and writer, Ian Wisniewski: 

“We initially launched the Glencairn glass at Whisky Live in 2001, with 1,500 hand-made glasses. It was really well received, and we decided to go into full-scale production. That was a big commitment for a small company. Designing and producing the glass, using our in-house design department, was expensive, but the biggest investment is the marketing to promote it.”


Since the launch, the Glencairn glass has become a must-have piece for any whiskey lover. Those who truly love whiskey will appreciate the perfect weight in the hand, the comfortable curves, and the shape which makes nosing and flavor profiling a breeze.

April 19, 2017

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How You Can Spot a Quality Single Malt

Tips for Beginners to Spot a Quality Single Malt

Teach Yourself the Art of Spotting a Good Single Malt

Becoming knowledgeable about whiskey might seem like an extremely difficult task for anyone with only a basic understanding of the spirit – what, with all the talk of flavor, notes, and profiles. For anyone really keen to learn, however, there are some key things to understand about whiskey that can lay the foundations for you to become an expert (or at least a very well-informed amateur!). 

It’s time to get out your favorite Glencairn glass, have the cigar rest at the ready, and learn the basics of whiskey so you can spot the best single malts. 

Understanding Flavor Profiles

The term “profile” is used to explain the varying flavors and characteristics of a whiskey. There are four popular flavor profiles. 

1. Smoky 

A single malt with a smoky profile will give off spicy, warm, and smoky flavors. Think of burned wood or smoked meat, and compare these dark, spicy flavors with a glass of single malt. 

2. Rich 

A rich profile will be bold and full of flavor. Think of an extremely rich chocolate cake, and compare that flavor and sensation with the taste you get from your single malt. 

3. Delicate 

A whiskey with a delicate profile has subtle flavors, making it easy to drink and enjoy. Delicate profiles will typically have a sweeter flavor, with subtle floral and nutty hints. 

4. Light 

A light whiskey will have fruity, nutty, and even grassy notes, leaving a fresh feeling in the mouth. 

Over time, these descriptors will come to you more naturally. These are almost instinctual responses to the single malt whiskeys that you will drink, and the difference between these flavor profiles will become increasingly evident over time. 

Where Whiskey Gets its Woody Flavors

Wood plays a hugely important role in the creation of quality whiskeys. When the spirit is first made, it’s known as “new make.” This is a whiskey that has been reduced in strength, and which has yet to be aged in a cask. 

The casks used by the distillers will determine the flavors of the whiskey. Not only does the type of wood play a part in developing intriguing flavors, but so does the other booze that was previously held in the cask! 

A quality single malt will have flavors taken from the sherry or bourbon that was previously held in the wooden casks. 

Know the Age

The age of your whiskey can determine quality. It’s a classic husband gift – an aged whiskey, in a dusty bottle that has just been waiting to be opened on a special occasion. However, the age of a bottle is doesn’t always determine how great it tastes. 

You should look for anything that has been aged for between 10 and 15 years. This is typically a suitable amount of time for a single malt to develop complexity and a range of flavors. 

If you’re looking for a truly high quality single malt, be sure to consider all of these factors.
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