Choosing a Whiskey Glass

Whether you drink Scottish Single Malt, Bourbons, Irish Pot Still, Canadian Rye or other great whiskies, the glass you use plays a significant role in how you enjoy the drinking experience. A quality glass will bring out all the complex aromas of the whiskey, be comfortable to hold and swirl without spilling and its design and craft will trigger much conversation among those you are sharing a dram with.

Just as there is no single whiskey which can lay claim to the title of the ultimate whiskey, it is also not possible to pick out a single glass as the perfect glass for drinking a premium whiskey. Just like everyone has their own favourite whiskey, the glass you use for your fine whiskies is also a very personal choice.

That being said, with the large choice of glasses available, we understand that it can be confusing getting to grips with the terminology used in the description of whiskey glasses and understanding in what situations specific glasses may or may not be suitable. We hope the brief guide below will remove some of the confusion and help you in deciding what is the best glass suited to your needs. While choosing a single glass may be difficult, it is worth noting that most whiskey connoisseurs will have more than one style of glass in their cabinet, where they can select the appropriate glass whatever the occasion.

Nosing Glasses

A nosing glass is designed to capture the aromas of the whiskey in the best way possible. Based on the Copita which is the traditional Spanish glass used to sample sherry, they are the choice of master distillers and aficionados around the world. They are typically wide at the bottom, tapering to a narrower top allowing an ease of capturing the aromas on the nose. The wide bowl allows you to open the aromas by swirling the whiskey as well as allowing you to fully appreciate the whiskey's colour. They have a stem or solid base allowing the glass to be held without warming the whiskey. These glasses are designed to hold about 50 ml or 2 fluid ounces of whiskey (or whiskey and water). They are not suitable for adding ice or mixers for cocktails. 

Glencairn Glass

Of all the nosing glasses, the Glencairn is probably the most recognized due to its widespread use. The Glencairn was designed in Scotland with the help of the master blenders at some of Scotland's most renowned distilleries. Ask a selection of whiskey enthusiasts for their preferred glass and it is likely a majority will recommend the Glencairn. The Glencairn is rated very highly for how well it captures the aromas from the whiskey. The solid base is appreciated by those who do not prefer stems.

The Cut Crystal Glencairn brings together the traditional and contemporary with the thicker crystal glass and crosshatch detailing. These glasses feel more robust and substantial than the classic Glencairn glass while providing the same properties which elevate the drinking experience.

Túath Glass

The Túath (pronounced: tu-ah) whiskey nosing glass, named from the old Irish for family or nation, was created in Ireland to compliment the re-birth of Irish Whiskey production and the development of new world class distilleries. The glass stands out with its idiosyncratic base, inspired by the iconic Irish landmark of Skellig Michael, providing a comfortable anchor for holding and swirling the whiskey. The flared opening allows the alcohol vapours to escape while the natural aromas are funneled to the nose.

Royal Scot Crystal Original Scotch Whisky Glass

The Royal Scot Crystal Original Scotch Whisky Glass is a tulip shaped whisky nosing glass, the glass of choice for Master Distillers and Whisky Blenders. Based off
a traditional sherry Copita glass, it was originally named a 'dock glass' due to merchants using it to nose wines and spirits at the docks. The stem facilitates visual inspection of the whiskey colour without marking and clouding the view of the bowl with fingerprints.

NEAT Glass

A scientifically designed nosing glass, the NEAT enhances the drinking experience of fine spirits by intensifying the aromas while diffusing harsh ethanol and thereby avoiding the numbing sensation of alcohol burn in the nose.  The NEAT glass has been used as the official judging and tasting glass in over 30 major competition events worldwide. The wide swirling bowl powers aroma evaporation and the flared rim enhances all aromas for easy detection by diffusing nose-numbing ethanol over the rim edge.

The NEAT Artisan glass may be held comfortably in the palm of the hand or by the neck.

The NEAT Elite glass offers a more substantial pedestal base and practical grip which ensures competent handling and temperature control. Improved heft, tactility and comfortable feel enhances ergonomics, refines appearance.


A tumbler, also referred to as an Old Fashioned glass or rocks glass, is the most recognized and common glass used by whiskey drinkers. Depending on the glass, it may be sophisticated and timeless or very casual and understated allowing the whiskey to take centre stage. It is ideal for adding ice to whiskey or for creating classic cocktails. The wider rim on tumblers prevents the concentration of aromas and therefore is not best suited for those who wish to enjoy the complex nuances of a whiskey to their fullest.

Royal Scot Crystal Tumblers

Royal Scot Crystal has a reputation for producing the very finest British hand cut crystal tableware and giftware. Their elegant whisky tumblers come with designs representing Scotland's proud and historic heritage.

The Flower of Scotland Large Tumbler is an elegant whisky glass, hand cut in the UK with an intaglio thistle design, representing Scotland's proud and historic heritage. It is perfect for drinking a large whisky with water and/or ice.

The Scottish Thistle Tumbler is slightly smaller in size yet weighs slightly more than the Flower of Scotland Tumbler. It is made using classical hand cut glass with a beautiful and distinctive diamonds and Scottish Thistle design and is perfect for drinking neat whisky or whisky with water and/or ice.