A Guide to the Whisky Glass

Oaky. Scented. Sweet. Whisky comes in many shapes and sizes; from a pure single malt to a smokey American bourbon, there’s something for everyone. It’s not just the type of whiskey that matters; it’s also how you drink it that dictates what kind of whisky glass you need. 

Neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail or with a mixer? Getting the type of glass right isn’t just a trendy fad, the glass affects the temperature of the drink and how it feels when it reaches your lips. Here’s a quick guide on whiskey drinking glasses to help you find the perfect glass for you.  

The Old Fashioned or Rocks Whisky Glass


Rocks, or Old Fashioned glasses are short tumblers perfect for drinking your whisky neat or on the rocks. This glass is also a well-known vessel for a few of the great whiskey laden cocktails like the aforementioned Old Fashioned. Made with muddled sugar and bitters and topped with a citrus twist, this classic cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to your favourite whiskey. 

The glass is usually short with a wide mouth and straight sides. The design is made to release the aromatics of the whiskey on straight pours and the heavy thick base is perfect for muddling the cocktails. 

The Shot Whisky Glass 

Whisky Shot Glass

Some glasses are perfect for a slow and long drink, others are made for fast and quick ingestion. If you’re ever at a wedding or a bar with your friends, shots are likely to be on the cards. Here’s where your whisky snobbery doesn’t have to hold you back. 

One of the handiest types of glass for anyone’s alcohol cabinet, the whiskey in your shot glass isn’t meant to be savoured. Just pour, shoot and let the effects be dealt with later. 


The High Ball Whisky Glass

Whisky High Ball Glass

A high ball glass is made for whisky drinkers who like a little mixer or cocktail to savour their whisky. The height is perfect to add a few more ingredients, normally causing the whiskey to have a little less tannin and a little more bitterness. 

Try a whisky and coke with plenty of ice.

The Glencairn Whisky Glass

Glencairn Whisky Glass

A Glencairn glass is designed with taste and aroma in mind. If you find yourself being called a ‘whisky aficionado’ and you can’t get enough of the taste of whiskey, this could be the perfect style of glass for you. 

The tulip shape is made with taste in mind, designed to funnel the aromas into your nose while you drink. The short and thin stem is perfect for swirling the whiskey in the glass, allowing it to get some oxygen. This is particularly perfect for malt whiskey. 

The Snifter Whisky Glass

Snifter Glass

Snifters are more typically known as brandy glasses but are also very perfect for pouring and drinking speciality whiskeys. The snifter has a similar tulip shape and short stem that the glencairn has, except the bottom, goes from wider to thinner without curving in. Yes, we know it’s a picture with beer in it, but you get the idea. 

The Champagne Whisky Coupe

Champange Coup Whisky Glass

The champagne coupe is made particularly for champagne based cocktails and has been around for some centuries now. You don’t have to travel far to find people who believe that this extravagant glass is also perfect for bourbon or whiskey-based cocktails. 

Manhattan anyone?  If you are looking for somewhere in London go Whisky tasting then check out this blogpost. 

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