Well, you’ve made it. You’re established. You have a roof over your head. Your young family plays quietly on the soft carpet in front of the warm, crackling fire while you roll half an inch of your most expensive habit around in an old jam jar and wonder to yourself, what is the best glass for bourbon?
Well, the best glass for bourbon ain’t no jam jar
Though if that’s all you got in the house, then it is absolutely the best glass for bourbon. In the case of being sans glassware, one can make do with jelly jars, old pickle jars, a teacup, a Mason jar, or even a cartoon-colored sippy cup since all you really need is a container. Any container.
But the best glass for bourbon might be designed in Waterford
I’m a fan of Cash of Ireland’s Cooper Highland Malt Whiskey glass, only $65 each. They were featured recently on Succession and if it’s good enough for Brian Cox, it’s good enough for me. Plus, just look at them. Don’t be put off by the Scotch thing, it’s all about the outgassing and the nose which is why they have that deeply curvaceous shape, so the bouquet of the whiskey can envelop you with vanillins and volatile organics like furfural and benzaldehyde—because those are the chemicals emitted by old library books, not whiskey. But the smell is there. And this glass delivers it perfectly without searing a hole through your septum. And the base, my god, the base. Is it a quarter-inch of Waterford crystal? Well, the glasses are designed by Martin Croke in Waterford, Ireland. Forged by hand. Just like bourbon.
The best glass for bourbon may be Libbey’s Signature Kentucky Bourbon Trail glass
Which is beautiful. It’s like a tiny Christmas-tree ornament you can drink out of. They’re made from space-age special wizard glass so they are—and this is not a misprint—stackable and chip resistant. I feel like a glass that’s chip-resistant is a critical feature when it’s designed to hold bourbon. Stackable? I don’t know. What weirdo stacks their—oh, yeah, bars. If I worked in a bar I might stack these but I’d feel bad about it.
The Libbey is the official tasting glass of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and yeah, I know, it was an easy choice. But it’s also a good choice. Not only because of its heavy base, ultra-thin walls, and beadless rim but because of its curves. This glass is courageously, curvaceously, classically callipygian.
Maybe, just maybe, the best bourbon glass is the Riedel.
They’re classic. Heavy. With thick walls and an old school cut-glass pattern that would have made your great-grandfather stop staring at his secretary’s ass for half a minute and look at the handiwork of this remarkable rocks glass.
Riedel worked with Zane Harris to design a glass specifically for Old Fashioneds and drinks on the rocks with fist-sized nodules of ice. You know those killer giant ice-spheres you see on YouTube? This glass was made for those.
This is why it’s so perfect for drinking bourbon neat: it has a wide opening (over three inches) so the nose on your whiskey will wrap itself around you like the secretly alive mink stole from the femme fatale who will definitely break your heart. But never this glass.
Actually, the best glass for bourbon is the Mofado
Each one weighs half as much as a can of peaches and that’s a lot. Maybe you think they’re trendy. Maybe you ducked into a fake dive bar in River North where the drinks cost $30 each and are made by a homeless lighthouse keeper named Cockburn. Maybe that’s where you saw them and now you feel guilty because you called him “cock burn” all night because you’ve never seen an action movie from 1975. Maybe this guilt (it’s co-burn, you jug of bolts) is making it impossible for you to enjoy anything associated with that night of embarrassment so you can’t admit here in public that the Mofado is the best glass for bourbon. It is the perfect glass for bourbon. Like the Riedel, it is oversized. It’s subtly shifting into ramekin territory. On Mofado’s website, they say “These are not made for people with small hands looking for lightweight glasses.” Damn right. These glasses have big digit energy. Get them now and then buy some whiskey from our incredible gift guide with a special discount we excavated using just a pick-ax and vim from Discount Mountain. Try it. You’ll feel grown-up as hell.