Actually, the answer to the best glass to drink bourbon is complicated because it’s more than one glass. It’s two. Here at All American Whiskey, we like both the Norlan double-walled whisky glass and the NEAT Artisan Spirits Glass.
The Norlan is a double-walled whisky glass
A lot of whiskey glasses, especially rocks glasses, are thick-walled and heavy. Thick walls help keep the heat of our hands away from the whiskey. Thick glass also means heavy glass which most drinkers find reassuring. I know I like a heavy rocks glass when I’m sipping rye. It feels luxurious and expensive. But is it necessary?
Nolan’s glass-within-a-glass concept keeps the whiskey insulated by not letting it anywhere near your lava-hands. There is a thick, thick wall between the well and the outside of the glass. It looks like there’s a whiskey glass nestled inside another, thicker whiskey glass. This is the way the double-walled concept plays out, much like the walls you’ve put up between yourself and your father. Why can’t you be more vulnerable?
Yet the Nolan isn’t heavy. It’s barely more than four ounces. It looks like it should weigh half a pound but it’s hardly even there. Like your dad.
The NEAT glass is heavy
The NEAT glass has a thin wall, a wide, deep well, and a top flared so wide it’s almost a spitoon. And it’s heavy. It doesn’t look heavy, but it weighs 12 oz. By comparison, a can of peaches is 15 oz. This thing is solid and weighty.
The best glass for drinking bourbon is a nosing glass
The Nolan’s design direction is for someone sitting by a fire with a good book sippin’ a fine bourbon. The NEAT glass is for a professional. The wide flare allows for maximum aromatic flow, a phrase I just made up, which means the volatile fumes of the rapidly evaporating alcohol are distributed right into your face, almost like they’re embracing you. Not to be confused with your father embracing, since he never has.
But is the best glass for drinking bourbon even a thing?
Does it matter? I had a shot of John H. Handy rye at Longman & Eagle and they just use short tumblers. They’re like an espresso cup but for whiskey and they’re glass and I bet they cost less than a buck apiece. yet the experience was divine, not because of the glass, but because of the whiskey.
The best glass for drinking bourbon is any glass with good bourbon in it.
Buying an expensive glass for drinking bourbon is fine. It’s cool. I have one. I’m certainly not knocking it, but it won’t matter how cool your glass is if the bourbon you pour into it was distilled in the back left corner of a rusted-out food waste dumpster. Drink good whiskey and you can sip it from a hollowed-out gourd and it’ll taste good.