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Glassware 101

There are a plethora of glasses for all manner of spirits on the internet. Which is the best? It really comes down to what you’re drinking, but there are some classic mainstays that should be on any bar. Let’s take a look. If you already have a glass in mind, and are thinking about your first tasting, check out the “Nailing Your First OakBottle App Tasting“.

1. The Rocks Glass

This jack of all trades, wide mouthed, solid glass works for everything. Cocktails? Sure. Whiskey on the rocks? Definitely. Neat pours? You bet. While you won’t get a concentrated nose from this glass, the wide mouth can help spirits like Mezcal and funkier Rums shine without being too overpowering. Combined with the fact that every bar in the world has one, you’re never far from a satisfying drink experience. Works well for cocktails, as well.

2. The Stemmed Spirits Glass

This stemmed glass holds a bit less than a rocks glass, but what it lacks in capacity it makes up in its tulip shape. This shape helps concentrate the nose of spirits like Scotch Whiskey, Brandy and less aromatic rums. The stem helps keep your palm from warming the glass too intensely, and also affords an easy way to swish a bit here and there to release extra aromas. Notable brands include Stolzle, Rastal and Riedel.

3. Canadian Glencairn

The Canadian Glencairn is a wide base, narrow opening glass. It combines a lot of the best features of the rocks glass with the stemmed spirits glass. The wide base helps create a larger capacity reservoir, while the gentle taper helps concentrate aromas and make for an easier sipping experience. While it’s named the Canadian Glencairn – it’s not meant for Canadian spirits only. Pour a couple fingers of your favorite Bourbon or Scotch and kick back

4. The Glencairn Glass

This is the gold standard of glasses. Solid base, wide reservoir, strongly concentrated tulip shape. This helps you get the most from a whisky, brandy or rum, in an easy to hold package. These glasses can be found everywhere – including Bed, Bath and Beyond for under $10. If there’s one glass you should always have on hand, it’s a Glencairn. While they may look fragile, they’re actually pretty sturdy, and can easily be tossed in the dishwasher, which is something that can’t be said of all stemware. Wherever you’re sure to go, you’re guaranteed to see Glencairns at distilleries, tasting events, and potentially even your favorite restaurant.

Here at the Spirit Marketplace, the Glencairn glass is a favorite. It works for rum, brandy, whiskeys of all kind, as well as vodka, gin and beyond. No matter what glass you choose, it’s really insightful to pick up other brands and styles and compare them. It’s really interesting to see how different shapes and sizes affect how you experience the bottle you’re drinking. This can be especially true of other spirits as well – like Mezcal – but Mezcal glassware is another topic for another time!

What’s your favorite tasting glass? If you’re looking to pick up another, what do you have your eye on? Let us know in the comments!

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