How You Can Enhance Your Whiskey Drinking Experience
Love whiskey, but get confused by the variety of glasses used by seasoned drinkers? Don’t worry! Sip Dark is here to put things right, and introduce you to the many drinking vessels used in whiskey drinking, and how you can get the most out of the experience.
Whiskey tasting is such a popular pastime not just because it provides a social experience to the drinkers, but because of the incredible diversity in taste. Whiskeys are left to mature in barrels made of different woods and soaked in different substances, creating unique flavors in every batch. To really understand these flavors, it’s essential that you use appropriate glasses and learn how to experience those tastes and smells.
In this guide, we’ll look at the different kinds of glasses that are available, as well as the way in which you are meant to taste whiskey.
The Five Glasses You Should Know About
1. The NEAT Glass
The NEAT glass is not a traditional whisky glass, but it’s certainly popular. It was created by accident, when a mistake was made in a glass blowing factory. The error resulted in a glass that has a wide lip and spherical base, that makes it perfect for moving harsher vapors away from the nose.
NEAT stands for ‘Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology’, and it is used for the purpose of getting rid of light ethanol molecules and maintaining heavier molecules within the glass. It’s a great glass for newbies, but for the more experienced whiskey drinker, you might want to keep in some of those harsher vapors.
2. The Snifter
The Snifter is a much more traditional whiskey glass, and it’s often seen accompanied by a cigar and a man in a suit. It’s a classy, traditional drinking vessel that is designed in a way that allows the drinker to hold the glass almost horizontal, without spilling a drop of whiskey.
Interestingly, though, it’s not the best for people who want to taste everything the whisky has to offer, with its tight rim and wide body that release harsher vapors that overpower some of the lighter aromas.
3. The Tumbler
The Tumbler is easily the most common whisky glass, and for good reason! The wide rim is practically the same width as the body, allowing all vapors and aromas to escape equally, making it ideal if you’re looking to experience everything the whiskey offers. Fill it up with your favorite American whiskey, pop in a couple of our very special Whiskey Bullets, and enjoy!
If you haven’t already heard of our Whiskey Bullets, ask yourself why! These stainless steel bullets are a great way to chill your whiskey in your glass, without diluting it with melting ice.
4. The Glencairn
Now we come to the Glencairn. This glass has a short and solid base that makes it popular with people who don’t like stems on their glasses. It’s narrower and taller than a tumbler, and owing to the slightly wider base, it’s perfect for swirling your whiskey. This bowl shape at the bottom gathers the whiskey’s natural aromas and allows them to travel easily up to the rim, making it exceptionally popular with whiskey connoisseurs.
Sip Dark also has a range of Glencairns available. Imagine drinking your favorite whiskey from our high-quality glasses, with our stainless steel cooling bullets. What an experience!
5. The Tulip
Finally, there’s the Tulip glass. This is a glass based on the design of the traditional Spanish copita glass used for sherry. It’s the choice of master distillers all over the world, and perfect if you really want to immerse yourself in the world of whisky.
It has a stem like a wine glass, but also a tall and narrow shape with a bowl that’s wider than the rim. The long stem stops the drinker’s hand from coming too close to their nose, which can affect the smell of the whisky (believe it or not!). The bowl shape them pushes those great aromas up to the narrow rim, letting you experience every single flavour and smell infused into the beverage.
If you want to truly appreciate whisky, this is the glass for you.
How to Drink Whisky Like a Pro
No, we don’t mean knocking it back as quick as you can! To understand appreciate the flavors infused into your favorite scotch or bourbon, you’ll need to learn how to drink it. This is an art form you’ll learn more about as you continue your journey, but this guide is going to simplify it to give you a head start.
Believe it or not, but what we taste is dictated as much by our noses as it is by our mouth. A flavor is created by a combination of taste and smell, which is why the shape of the glass is so important. So before you take a sip of your whiskey, be sure to put your nose inside your glass and take a sniff. The first smell you experience will be mostly alcoholic, but once it clears your nostrils, the second and third sniffs will be much more satisfying. It’s now that you will begin smelling the aromas that are infused into the whiskey during the maturation stage.
After smelling your whiskey, you now need to take a small sip and roll the liquid around in your mouth a little. Don’t just swallow it immediately – let it sit on your tongue and see what flavors you can experience. Given that whiskey is matured in wooden barrels, it’s possible that you’ll get a smokey flavor. You may also taste the classic vanilla or toffee flavors.
Now, Enjoy Your Whiskey!
Smelling your whiskey as you drink will make you appreciate the hard work that goes into it so much more, and you’ll soon get the hang of it. Instead of sipping your whiskey without paying attention, you’ll soon be spending an hour enjoying your whiskey and noticing hints of new flavors every time. It’s an enjoyable experience and it’s accessible for everyone!