I get this question all the time, “Hey Phil, what do you drink your bourbon out of?”  The obvious answer is whatever is handy at the moment.  I have been known to consume bourbon from flasks, coffee mugs, thermoses, mason jars, and straight out of the brown paper bag.  The reality is that you can drink bourbon out of whatever you want to, but I do have a few favorite glasses that I use for nosing/tasting.  Most standard glasses do not channel the aromas of the whiskey up to the nose very well, which is why I do not like them when I am doing a tasting or when I am enjoying a whiskey with a nose that I really like.  That said, here are my 3 favorite glasses that are readily available.
Glencairn glass

  1. The Standard Glencairn Glass – This is my favorite glass for whiskey drinking.  Generally speaking, if you come to my abode for a tasting, that is what we will drink our whiskey from.  The Glencairn provides a very nice glass that is comfortable to hold, and it is also sturdy at the bottom (so it is hard to knock over).  However, the best part of the Glencairn is the way it channels the aroma of a whiskey.  It floods the nose with all the brilliant  aromas that whiskey has to offer.
  2. The Standard Champagne Flute – This one might seem strange, but I think a champagne flute does a lot to channel the aromas to the nose.  The only drawback is that the nose is very concentrated, so whiskey often requires a few minutes to open up in a champagne flute.  It is also not a great option for barrel strength whiskeys, as the alcohol tends to overpower the aromas.  It is also not very stable, so be careful if you are somebody that likes to talk with your hands.  Champagne flute
  3. The Sherry Copita Glass – This type of glass is similar to most wine glasses, and it works very well for whiskey as well.  I don’t think it channels the aroma quite as much as a champagne flute, but it still works very nicely, especially for high proof whiskeys.  The base is also a little wider than a champagne flute, which makes it a bit sturdier.  Sherry Copita glass

Those are my three favorite whiskey glasses, but I also drink my whiskey neat almost all the time.  If you liking making whiskey based drinks or drinking your whiskey on the rocks, then you might enjoy different options.  Like in all things, the key is for you to enjoy whiskey to the maximum.  That said, what are your favorite whiskey glasses?