If you are like me when you first imagined drinking Whisky you dreamed about a crystal wide mouth tumbler like you saw in the movies. But after a few drams and a developing palate, I very soon realised that Whisky didn’t necessarily require ice or water (not that there is anything wrong with that) and a tumbler didn’t allow me to enjoy my pour to its absolute fullest.
This then got me thinking about Whisky glassware and in particulate the Glencairn glass. Who invented this glass and how did they come up with such a different yet now iconic shape?
Raymond Davidson the founder of Glencairn crystal, developed the glass after being tired of having to ask for his Whisky to be poured into a wine glass to ensure he could nose it and enjoy his dram properly. Raymond wanted a glass that like a champagne flute was synonyms to Whisky. Who better to design it than a Whisky drinker who is in the crystal business.
He began with the Sherry Copita which was used by all the master distillers at the time to nose and test their whisky. He opened the mouth out to make it easier to drink from, and then because Raymond believes “no self-respecting whisky drinker needs a stem”, he did away with it and put the glass on a sturdy, yet classy base.
Voila! He had the new industry standard of glassware and had created something that now was not only the most functional solution, but also an elegant vessel to drink Whisky from. For Distilleries, Bars and Whisky drinkers around the world this was now a must have as part of their collections.
It has been said that without the correct glassware you will not be able to truly appreciate your Whisky. But this does not necessarily mean that there is one glass for everyone. Your choice of glass will come down to how you choose to drink your Whisky. If you like ice or a mixer with your Whisky, the Glencairn is not suitable and a traditional tumbler might offer a better solution. If you prefer to be able to nose your way into a neat dram, a Glencairn (with or without stem) will help you enjoy it to its full potential.
Cheers to that.