The Beginning of the American Whiskey Glass
Read to learn the story behind how we designed our whiskey glass to be so special.
We've been getting a lot of questions about our glass design, the inspiration, and our motivation behind creating a new whiskey glass; so we thought we'd make a little post to answer why the American Whiskey Glass is so special (yes we're a little biased, but bear with us and we think you'll agree). Since the start we've been focused on working towards a larger vision to have a sealable glass that can be sold with whiskey inside, so that everyone can try new whiskeys without having to buy an entire bottle and distillers can get their spirits in the hands of people who may have been more hesitant to pay that full bottle price.
Staying true to our vision we knew we wanted our glass to be:
Nailing glass functionality and aesthetics was key. Functionally, we knew we needed to create a tasting glass that brought the hard work, patience, and passion of distillers in front of the person trying it. Our glass is made from lead-free non-tinted crystal, allowing the beautiful shades of amber whiskey to show through with their true color. We designed the teardrop inside to funnel the intense aromatic characteristics of American whiskey that you'd expect - vanilla, caramel, oak, and the subtle nuances that distillers add through various mashes, yeast, aging, etc. We honed in on the ideal size to bring out the right notes without affecting your ability to get the perfect swirl.
Swirling doesn't just look cool, it helps to aerate your whiskey so you can get that perfect nose while letting you see the whiskey's "legs". Aeration helps to pull out some of the flavors of the whiskey due to oxidation in addition to the evaporation of aromatic compounds (albeit not as much as it does for wine). The teardrop inside of the American Whiskey Glass allows for swirling without breaking the surface resulting in a higher swirl velocity and more contact with the glass. This leads to longer whiskey legs inside the glass, improving the evaporation of non-ethanol compounds and bringing out the sweeter notes of whiskey without the harsh notes that you would get in another glass. The key is to coat as much of the inside of the glass as you can, and while a higher velocity helps to raise the height of the swirl it's important to keep the surface of the whiskey intact. As easier way to accomplish the same thing is to lay our glass on the side and roll it!
Whiskey "legs" are the drips of whiskey that recede from the side of the glass. The legs of your whiskey can tell you the viscosity of the whiskey, helping you discern its age, alcohol content, and mouthfeel. Here's a great article that dives further into what whiskey legs are by The Whisky Professor.
When nosing with the American Whiskey Glass we recommend a swirling height between 1-2 inches above the ledge and letting the whiskey rest for a minute before nosing. This will help to let the ethanol vapors evaporate and leave you with the sweeter notes that you're looking for. Try nosing 1-2 inches away from the rim and bring the glass closer from there to avoid overwhelming your sense of smell. For more information on swirling and nosing check out this post.
We went a step further and looked at the reasons we didn't like current tasting glasses on the market - they're awkward to hold, uncomfortable, and easy to break. We wanted a glass that felt substantial; reflecting the substance that it carried without being uncomfortable to hold for extended periods of time or prone to dropping. The American Whiskey Glass fits comfortably in your hand, with a tapered bottom adjusting to a variety of hand sizes while preventing the glass from slipping out of your hand the more you drink. The heavy bottom sits into your hand and makes it more difficult to tip over, while the ledge gives a comfortable place for your finger to rest. Resting on its side the glass can hold approximately 1.5oz of whiskey without spilling, while a pour reaches the outer curve (currently all of our glasses are hand-blown, with some minor discrepancies from glass to glass).
Our mission is to help craft distilleries get whiskey into the hands of their consumers. In a world where first impressions are fleeting, we needed a glass that pulled people in and held their attention. We’ve created the perfect tasting experience and an honest representation of what American whiskey is. In addition, distillers know you're getting a positive experience from start to finish. We designed the glass and lid in tandem as one unit, without compromising on the glass as a standalone piece. Our oak lid is to tie back to the roots of American whiskey and our lid doubles as a rocks tumbler, coated in beeswax, to enable sharing as soon as you get your whiskey glass. Our barrel-top lids will be branded with each of our partner distillers, allowing you to collect them as showpieces and keep track of what whiskeys you've tried as you partake on your whiskey journey.
There's a glass for everything, and if you're interested in American whiskey this is the whiskey glass for you. Give it a try and we think you'll agree - it's as special as the whiskey it's made for.
*All our glasses are currently hand-blown, and minor discrepancies may occur in fill volume.