Three whiskey glasses ideal for bourbon. From left to right are the Norlan Glass, The Glencairn Glass, and the Official Tasting Glass of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Here are a few examples of a bourbon glass with class.

The Glencairn

When you attend a distillery tour and then enjoy the tasting portion it is very likely you are going to sample your bourbon in a special glass.  There are many types of glassware used, but I would say the most common is the Glencairn whiskey glass.  Not only is the Glencairn commonly used for tastings at multiple distilleries but at some, you receive a souvenir glass etched with the distillery name.

These glasses are 2.5 inches wide, 4.5 inches tall, and hold approximately 6.5 ounces.  In 2001 this glass was designed utilizing the knowledge of master whiskey blenders to help design the ultimate whiskey glass. The tapered mouth allows you to savor the aroma of any whiskey.  Ideal for bourbon but equally good for a single malt or an Irish whiskey this glass would be welcome in any bourbon lovers home.

The Norlan Whiskey Glass

The Norlan whiskey glass

I was originally exposed to the Norlan whiskey glass by an executive chef who enjoyed his whiskey.  I purchased a set based on his recommendation without ever seeing one.  The Norlan glass is a piece of art along with a technological design that is truly unique. These glasses are double walled, very light, and designed to enhance your drinking experience.

The company boasts of a design that aerates better than other glasses and enhances the sensory aromas of your favorite spirit. The aeration speeds up the evaporation of ethanol allowing the drink to become more expressive.  The glass is beautiful, and the double wall construction enhances the colors of your favorite bourbon.  My set of glasses are clear glass, but the company now offers a striking black version.  The Norlan whiskey glass has a diameter of 82mm and a height of 95mm.  It holds approximately 6.9 ounces and as mentioned earlier is very light. These are serious expensive glasses that are worth buying if you want an elegant tasting experience.

The Official Tasting Glass of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

The official tasting glass of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

By now most of you who read my blog know that I have been a frequent participant on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and not long ago I realized they were selling an official tasting glass.  After ordering a set, I immediately identified the shape as a wider and larger glass reminiscent of the Glencairn.  Made by the Libbey Glass Company these glasses make a great gift for the whiskey person in your life.

The bottoms are etched with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail logo, and the glassware holds 8 ounces of your favorite spirit.  I did not know what to expect when I purchased these online but have been presently surprised by the utility of the design and truly enjoy this glass.

The choice is yours.

In the real world, you should drink your bourbon the way you enjoy it.  After all, on the NCIS television show, you will often see bourbon being poured and enjoyed in a semi-clean mason jar.  All three of these glasses add to the tasting experience of bourbon.  Enjoy your bourbon slow with good friends whenever possible. What glassware you choose is totally up to you.