Best Whiskey Glass of 2021
The LUXU Premium is a set of classic 11-ounce rocks glasses. The rim is the perfect width to comfortably fit the nose and mouth and provide breathing room for the drink, without being too wide. The glass has a thick base which provides a sleek look and makes it bottom heavy so it isn't prone to tipping (even after a few whiskeys!) The height-to-width proportions allow you to get a solid swirl going while the straight walls keep you from sloshing any of that liquid gold out of your glass. Even though a rocks glass isn't necessarily designed for cocktails, there is enough volume in these glasses to allow for a stirred cocktail such as a Boulevardier or Old Fashioned, or every a whiskey ginger. The 11-ounce capacity of the glass might seem too large for the average 2-ounce portion, but the whiskey's color comes through the smooth, thick base glowing and full-bodied, making your pour look substantial. These are well made, without any seams or air bubbles, and we think this well-crafted 6-glass set makes a great match for a whiskey tasting or an intimate dinner party.
The rocks glass, also known as the old fashioned glass or the lowball, is one of the most common whiskey glasses due to its versatility. This glass is generally used for pours over ice and classic whiskey cocktails.
These glasses are simple, versatile, classy, and well constructed. There really isn't much to criticize. We will say that even though the LUXU glasses are beautifully made, there isn't much that sets them apart from a crowd. If you want to make a statement with your whiskey glasses, you might want to look for something a little more flashy. But, if you want a traditional, high-quality set of whiskey glasses that will allow you to sip a classic cocktail, swirl a neat pour of golden liquor, and keep the focus on the drink instead of the glass — you can't go wrong with this set.
The Godinger Dublin Double set includes four beautifully crafted 8-ounce rocks glasses in a classic, old-fashioned design. There is a small taper inward on the base of the glass's straight walls that allows your swirl to reach high up on the sides. The walls, however, are tall enough that no tears will be shed over spilled whiskey. When drinking your whiskey neat, you want to ensure you are activating all your senses, and the wide mouth on these glasses allows for your nose to sneak a sniff while tasting. The 8-ounce size is great for a double or single neat pour, and it houses both large and small ice blocks effortlessly. From traditional 2-ounce pours to a variety of cocktails, this whiskey glass proves truly versatile.
While this budget-friendly set is both beautiful and versatile, we did find a few very small bones to pick with it. Aesthetically this set is wonderful; however, each glass has a few seams. That being said, they are strategically hidden by the design and go mostly unnoticed. We also found a few tiny air bubbles. They are so small, however, that our camera couldn't even pick them up. These glasses may not be expertly handcrafted, but they will surely get the job done, no matter how you take your whiskey — and at a price you just can't beat. The Godinger is perfect for those looking for a versatile whiskey glass set that won't break the bank.
The KANARS Old Fashioned glasses are offered in a set either 4 or 6 and come in a sturdy reusable storage box. These 10-ounce glasses leave plenty of room for your nose while you sip, and the ridged design provides a solid grip no matter your hand size. The perfectly straight, tall walls allow for a rigorous swirl with no risk of spilling. These glasses happily house a neat 2-ounce pour or whiskey on the rocks. We also enjoyed short stirred cocktails like Boulevardiers and taller fizzy singles, like whiskey gingers, out of this set. Instead of a simple circular rim, this glass is actually a dodecagon, which means it has 12 sides. The thick glass feels very nice on the lips and allows your liquid of choice to flow smoothly from the glass to your mouth.
While there is nothing wrong with a 2-ounce pour in a 10-ounce glass, sometimes it looks a little odd. A thick bottom on a clear glass offers the illusion of more liquid in the glass. Since this one is covered in beautiful designs and the bottom isn't particularly thick, a small pour may look like the tail end of what was once a full glass. This set is best used for whiskey cocktails or whiskey on the rocks.
This Glencairn set has four 6-ounce glasses designed for one thing: a neat pour. The narrow rim encourages small sips, letting the taster savor the complexity of their whiskey. This delicate cup is paired with a thick and sturdy base that's also quite elegant. The bulbous bottom and tapered shape allow for a great swirl with a low spill risk. These glasses are designed to allow the whiskey to breathe and for you to breathe it in while sipping. The thick base and general curvature of this glass offers the perfect grip and feels great in hands of all shapes and sizes. While this glass is meant for neat whiskey, you can definitely sneak a small ice cube in it if you prefer a little chill and dilution.
The Glencairn is a type of glass developed in Scotland specifically for drinking whiskey. Master blenders were involved in the design, which is based on "nosing" glasses used in whiskey labs around Scotland.
The Glencairn is next to perfect for what it is designed for, but not everyone is a neat whiskey enthusiast, and this set lacks versatility. These glasses operate best with a 2-ounce pour. You could get away with 3 ounces, but the higher you go in this small 6-ounce glass, the less room your whiskey will have to breathe. They are elegant glasses, meant to showcase the whiskey, but they are not going to take anyone's breath away with their unique design or crazy patterns. Most whiskey drinkers would agree that you don't need to be nose deep in a glass to appreciate the smell; however, some do prefer a wider rim. If you have a larger nose and prefer to have it in the glass while sipping, you will probably want to look elsewhere.
The Amerigo Whiskey Stones Gift Set comes complete with two 6-ounce glasses, 8 chilling rocks, and a rocks bag. While 6 ounces is a rather small glass, many stirred whiskey cocktails are roughly 3-4 ounces, and this glass houses those quite well. Unlike some of the more bulbous whiskey glasses, such as a glencairn or tulip glass, the cylindrical nature and straight walls of the Amerigo glasses allow you to fill this one to the rim. The shape of the glass also encourages a neat pour to swirl up the sides effortlessly without spilling. While the rocks do not keep your whiskey as frosty as ice does, they do remain quite cold and slightly chill your drink without diluting it. The wooden box is nicely made and is a great way to store this set for safekeeping. The glasses have a timeless aesthetic, making this a great gift for any whiskey aficionado.
The Amerigo Set's classic look may not be a good match if you're more into modering styling. And, while a cylindrical 6-ounce glass can handle most short cocktails, this set is really made for neat, on the rocks, or 3-ounce stirred whiskey cocktails. If you want a glass to house your whiskey ginger or higher volume drinks, you'll want to choose something with more capacity. This set also has hidden seams in the pattern, though they are not very noticeable and do not take away from the overall aesthetic. This is a great gift for anyone who needs a kit that has it all.
Enjoying a little whiskey around the campfire is an experience that makes memories. Whether you're backpacking, enjoying a beach bonfire, or car camping for the night, no one wants to hear the shattering of glass. The BrüMate NOS'R Double-Wall Nosing Glass is a 7-ounce stainless steel whiskey nosing cup. It comes in sleek matte black or a fun natural walnut print. The glass has beautiful curves and functions exactly how it is supposed to. The bulbous bottom and tapered rim allow for lots of breathing room, and the double-wall insulates your whiskey, ensuring that it remains at the perfect temperature. This glass is designed for a neat pour but can hold a small ice cube with ease if you prefer.
The stainless steel makes this whiskey glass a little lighter than the rest in our test suite. This could be a pro or a con; however, if you need a glass for camping, the beach, a park, etc., lightweight stainless steel is unarguably more practical than fragile, heavyweight glass. That said, glass offers a tasteless delivery system, whereas steel imparts a subtle-yet-noticeable metallic taste, which, naturally, alters the flavor of your pour. Still, we were pleasantly surprised by how little this alteration ended up being. The BrüMate NOS'R is definitely not a cocktail glass and is best used for neat whiskey, although a small ice cube fits with ease. This is a great option for the whiskey lover who's always on the move.
The MOFADO Crystal Whiskey Glasses are a set of 2 modern-looking low riders. They are 11 ounces and work very well for stirred whiskey cocktails. The thick chunky base is nice to hold and offers a decent amount of weight to an otherwise dainty glass. The juxtaposition of the thin glass around the rim and the thick base is definitely a more modern take, and the small detail in the middle of the base ties the whole glass together very nicely. This rather short and bulbous glass looks great with a stirred cocktail, like a Manhattan or a Boulevardier, and larger ice cubes.
The MOFADO glasses are very large and very heavy. While they sit nicely in larger hands, this set may not be a great choice for smaller hands, as the weight and size paired with the smooth roundness make it difficult to hold. The height to width ratio also makes swirling whiskey in this glass somewhat tricky to do without spilling. You can swirl the whiskey, but the short walls and lack of taper at the top encourage the whiskey to fly out if you don't swirl slowly. Overall this glass set is ideal for the modern, stirred whiskey cocktail type.
The Venero Crystal Set contains four bulky 12-ounce whiskey glasses. This set offers plenty of room for the nose as well as room for the whiskey to breathe. The glass is a nice weight and is large enough to hold any cocktail your heart desires. The Venero tapers intensely at the bottom, so a large ice cube will not actually sit at the base, which tends to dilute your whiskey without actually chilling it, so it's best to use round or slightly smaller cubes rather than one large rock. This glass is well made with no air bubbles or visible seams, and the thick glass and chunky bottom make it a very durable option.
While a large glass may offer versatility, it makes drinking a neat 2-ounce pour a little bit awkward. A few ounces of breathing room is one thing, but 10 ounces of wide and empty space feels a little excessive. The square bottom is very narrow, and the circular top is very wide, almost reminiscent of a stemless martini glass. As you might imagine, this makes swirling without spilling very difficult. The small square base and wide round mouth also make holding this glass slightly awkward, though they are eye-catching, to be sure. Overall this set is best for someone who likes big cocktails and has big hands.
The Whiskoff Set with Chilling Stones is a complete whiskey kit that comes in a beautiful wooden storage box. It looks great on display and has everything you need for a night of whiskey tasting: 2 glasses, a pair of tongs, 8 chilling rocks, a rock bag, and 2 slate coasters. The size is great for higher volume drinks, like whiskey gingers, and the unique twisted design is a fun take on what would otherwise be a rather boring glass. The weight also feels nice in the hand.
While this set checks all the boxes as far as items one might need for a whiskey tasting, the glasses are a little awkward. Firstly, 12 ounces is a large volume glass for a 2-ounce neat pour. A double neat pour looks a little nicer. Secondly, their general shape is awkward to drink out of, hold, and swirl. The square bottom is much smaller than the rounded rim, which makes the bottom too small to get a good grip on and the top too wide. The squared bottom and wide round rim also make swirling a little too easy, so easy that the whiskey flies right out of the glass if you don't swirl slowly. This set is a good gift option for someone with larger hands who enjoys a neat double pour or higher volume whiskey cocktails.
The Maketh the Man Premium Art Deco set contains two blocky whiskey glasses with heavy bases. The glass is thick and durable, and the glasses are devoid of air bubbles and visible seams. These whiskey glasses are well made and can house most cocktails as well as a neat 2 or 4-ounce pour. The square base is fun and unique but doesn't operate quite as well as the more cylindrical glasses in our test suite. The box that these whiskey glasses come in is protective and durable, so it's a great place to store them when they are not in use.
Even though these are not the biggest whiskey glasses in our review volumetrically, they feel huge. The chunky bottom, excessive weight, and general squareness make them feel very clunky. The square shape is also not conducive to swirling, as the corners interrupt the swirl, causing the liquid to splash around. A neat 2-ounce pour looks a little more like an unfinished drink rather than one that has just been poured. If you prefer ice in your whiskey, it is best to use smaller cubes with these glasses. Since the bottom tapers a significant amount, larger ice blocks sit higher up in the glass, which just ends up diluting your pour without properly chilling it. The Maketh the Man Set is best used for larger stirred cocktails, double neat pours, and medium-sized ice cubes.
Why You Should Trust Us
The review is spearheaded by Hayley Thomas from Denver, Colorado. From Trinidad sours served up in a coup to neat whiskey pours in a Glencairn, Hayley always uses the right tool for the job. Her appreciation for fine whiskey and attention to detail make her an ideal expert for this category.
It can be difficult to interpret the feel or the aesthetics of an item through its online description and product photos. That's where we come in. We begin our testing process in the research phase. We began by fact-checking all our preconceived notions regarding what makes up a quality whiskey glass. Once we knew what we were looking for, we dove deep into customer experiences, searching for the perfect test suite. Through this research, we found out exactly what our readers are looking for and narrowed down our broad internet search to a smaller suite that we proceeded to test hands-on — and this is where the real fun began. We made cocktails and enjoyed both neat pours and whiskey on the rocks. We shared our tested glasses with small groups and kept track of the popular likes and dislikes of each set. We made sure that hands of all shapes and sizes got a chance to hold each glass. We swirled and sipped to ensure that each glass provides both a functional and enjoyable experience. We collected all this data into four key metrics: ergonomics, feel, aesthetics, and versatility.
Analysis and Test Results
Our four testing metrics helped to ensure proper comparison and consistency throughout our hands-on testing phase. Read on to learn about our findings for each metric.
Both spellings are correct depending on what part of the world you're in. Typically, it's whiskey (with an e) in the United States and Ireland, and whisky (no e) in Scotland and Canada.
It is important for a product, especially one made for the finer pleasures in life, to help your overall experience, not hinder it. No matter how good a cocktail might taste, it's less enjoyable to drink it out of a boring or sub-par glass. We wanted to make sure that our nosing glasses could properly swirl whiskey and that rocks glasses could happily house big ice cubes and stirred cocktails. We paid special attention to drinkability, swirl-ability, and nose room during our ergonomics evaluation. Does the glass provide high sip volume? Can you swirl your whiskey without spilling? Are you able to complete your experience via smell, or is your nose left out?
We had a lot of great contenders in this category but two clear winners; the LUXU Premium and the Glencairn Set. The height to width ratio plus the straight walls of the LUXU allow for optimal swirling, nose room, and a relatively high sip volume. The Glencairn is tulip-shaped, perfect for a neat pour. The bulbous base holds the whiskey, the pinch in the glass halfway up allows for rather rigorous swirling without spilling, and the bevel at the top provides just enough room for your nose, paving the way to a very full and inclusive experience.
The feel of a whiskey glass can be just as important as how well it delivers the whiskey to your lips. After all, your hand is what is doing the delivering, right? While testing this metric, we took note of the weight and size of the glass. How does it feel in your hand? Does the shape of the rim allow for dribble, or does it deliver whiskey to your mouth with ease? Do the curves of the glass allow for a seamless connection to your hand, or are you struggling to get the two to fit together? We wanted to make sure the glasses feel just as good as they look and function.
The LUXU, Godinger, and KANARS glasses are all simple, cylindrical, thick-bottomed glasses with straight vertical walls. The heavy bases allow for just the right amount of weight in hand, and the straight walls are familiar and comfortable. The round rim allows for a seamless connection between the lips and the glass. The Glencairn is also a top performer in the feel-metric. Its delicate tulip shape is complemented by a heavy base, and the bulbous bottom provides the right amount of grip for the glass to sit nicely in the fingertips.
Aesthetics is an interesting metric to measure, as it's obviously very subjective. But we standardized this category as much as we could by focusing on faults in the craftsmanship, like air bubbles or obvious seams. Of course, we have our own specific tastes, but through chatting with friends and colleagues and through our customer experience research, we gathered that most users do not appreciate excessively clunky whiskey glasses, which we tend to agree with.
The tulip shape of the Glencairn and the BrüMate Nosing Glass is most definitely a crowd-pleaser. With a hefty base and delicate shape, both of these glasses are clear winners in the aesthetics department. The traditional rocks glass or tumbler is a more versatile option, as you can house cocktails, neat pours, or whiskey on the rocks, but that doesn't mean they can't be beautiful too. The KANARS and Amerigo Gift Set are some favorites in this sector, both giving a New Orleans speakeasy vibe that we love.
A one-trick pony is sometimes all we need, but there are so many different ways to drink whiskey that it's nice to have options. A standard, neat pour is about 2 ounces, and most whiskey cocktails range from 3 to 10 ounces. There is nothing wrong with a specialized tool, but there are a few glasses in our suite that work just as well for a Boulevardier as they do for a neat pour. We tried drinking 2-ounce pours in the 12-ounce glasses and small cocktails in the 6-ouncers to test their versatility.
Our versatility award goes to the LUXU glasses. This set of 6 is big enough for drinking with multiple people. Each glass holds 11 ounces, which is the perfect size for most cocktails. Its height to width ratio is great for whiskey on the rocks, and the thick base allows for a neat pour to not look like an unfinished sip. Some other honorable mentions in this metric are the KANARS Old Fashioned and the Amerigon Whiskey Stones sets, whose dimensions allow for both cocktails and stand-alone whiskey to be enjoyed to the fullest.
Whether you're looking for the perfect nosing glass to drink that old bottle of Macallans out of or the ideal tumbler for your favorite Old Fashioned, we've tested them all. Our experts have spent many evenings swirling and sipping their way to the perfect whiskey glass. From neat pours to rocks and whiskey gingers to whiskey sours, we made sure to put every glass to the test, ensuring that you don't have to. We hope that our time spent with these products helps lead you to the perfect set.
— Hayley Thomas