A Guide to the Different Types of Whiskey Glasses

There are so many different types of whiskey to choose from (unless it’s Jameson) it’s hard to know what to pick. When it comes to glassware, the same problem arises. Not only are there various designs, but there are also different whiskey glass styles. So, what are the different types of whiskey glasses?

Before we look at types of glasses, let’s answer a fundamental question: What type of glass is best for whiskey? Answer: There isn’t one. Whiskey can be enjoyed from any glass, cup, or mug. Do whiskey glasses make a difference? While it’s nice to drink out of a rocks glass, the free coffee mug you got from running that 5K is perfectly fine. So, what is the point of whiskey glasses? Let’s look at some traditional whiskey glasses and talk about when and why we use them.

What Are The Different Types Of Whiskey Glasses?

Whiskey Tumbler

The traditional whiskey glass to most of us, the rocks glass, old fashioned glass, or lowball is the standard we have come to expect. The wide mouth of a tumbler glass doesn’t concentrate aroma like many other glasses on this list but, it does make it an excellent container for personalising whiskey with ice, soda, or as a cocktail. Our classic Jameson Tumbler Glasses were created with this in mind.

Why do whiskey glasses have thick bottoms? Simple. Stability, durability, heat protection (from your hand). For cocktail use, tumblers will often have mint, fruit or sugar muddled at the bottom of the glass, and heat protection will stop ice from melting too quickly.

Highball Glass

A tumbler but bigger! The highball is the glass for many whiskey cocktails. Generally, it is not for drinking whiskey straight as it can be hard to sip a standard measure from a glass this tall. Popular in Jameson, we serve our James Ginger & Lime in a highball glass. When it comes to whiskey glasses, a set of Jameson Tall Glasses make a stunning gift.

Tulip Glass

The tulip-shaped or copita-style glass is often the glass a new cask of whiskey will be sampled in. Its tulip shape is very similar to wine glasses. The long stem keeps odours from hands and clothes at a distance, while the high-walled body checks for colour and concentrates smell to the nose of master distiller or blender sampling the whiskey. 

Unless you plan on ageing your own whiskey, the tulip is not a glass you need to buy for drinking whiskey. It is a clinical tasting glass, rather than a glass for enjoyment.

The Snifter

You know this glass from the movies. Smoking jackets, gentlemen’s clubs, and old money parties; the snifter is part statement piece, part clever design. Wide bottomed and with a narrow mouth, a snifter glass is designed to be cradled in the hand. The holders body heat warms the liquid amplifying the aromas which concentrate at the mouth. The high walls keep the liquid from spilling, allowing you to move from party-guest to party-guest like the social butterfly you are.

Historically associated with brandy, it is common to use it with any dark spirit. A beautifully designed crystal glass snifter can make a great gift, although a smoking jacket and velvet slippers may also be required to really tie the look together.

Neat Glass

Designed to be the ultimate vessel for whiskey flavour delivery, the NEAT (Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology) Glass has a large surface area and curved sides, allowing for maximum evaporation to bring smell from and centre. The wide rim let the alcohol dissipate, enhance the whiskey’s other flavours.

The NEAT glass is a Glencairn with a little something extra. A nice novelty to have in your whiskey cupboard to use when tasting a new bottle.

Irish Coffee Glass

An Irish coffee glass, is tulip-shaped with a large mouth and sturdy stem. It’s on the larger side to hold the added hot coffee and cream of an Irish coffee, as well as having a handle to protect the holder from the heat. There is a variation of the glass that looks akin to a large and sturdy wine glass.

Jameson Irish Coffee Recipe

Common Questions about whiskey glasses

Do Whiskey Glasses Make a Difference?

As discussed above, there are different whiskey glasses for different purposes. Some will concentrate and enhance your whiskey experience, while others glasses are more practical.

What Makes a Good Whiskey Glass?

Whiskey tumblers are considered by many to be the best glass for drinking whiskey. They have a short walls that make it easy to sip whiskey slowly and enough room for mixer, water, or ice. Crystal whiskey tumblers in particular are often on the heavier side and can feel great in the hand when paired with a delicious Irish whiskey.

What are the Best Whiskey Glasses

A good whiskey glass is really in the eye of the beholder. A metal cup or your favourite coffee mug won’t affect the taste of your whiskey. However, there are certain glasses designed to optimise your whiskey drinking experience. See the article to see which whiskey glasses might be right for you.

Why Do Whiskey Glasses Have Thick Bottoms?

3 important reasons: 

Stability – It’s a shame to knock over a good whiskey. No point crying over spilled milk but, a spilled Jameson will have you close to tears.

Durability – Many whiskey cocktails require some type of mashing, muddling or mixing of ingredients, and thick bottoms don’t crack.

Heat Protection – Glass is a great thermal insulator. Thick glass will keep your drink cold and allow ice to last longer. Science, you’ve done it again. 

Ready to raise your glass? Shop our collection of Jameson whiskey glasses