Types of Whiskey Glasses

By Daisy Cuinn

Whiskey, unlike libations such as beer and wine, doesn't require a large array of bar glasses suited for it. The glass you use for whiskey depends on how you plan to drink it: Do you want to sip, savor or take a shot? Quality also plays a role in choosing a glass. You might swallow regular and low-quality whiskeys quickly with a chaser, but a high-quality whiskey deserves a glass that showcases its traits.

Malt whisky
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Pouring whiskey into glass.

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Tumbler

filled whisky glass with ice
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Tumbler.

The whiskey tumbler or highball is a glass with straight sizes and typically holds 8 to 10 ounces. Use it to serve Scotch, Irish, bourbon or other whiskey straight or with ice (on the rocks) or for mixed drinks containing whiskey, such as a Manhattan or a bourbon and cola.

Tulip

composition with  bottle and glass of brandy
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Tulip glasses.

Tulip-shaped and Glencairn glasses have a round bottom that becomes narrower before fluting out slightly at the top. Glencairn glasses are especially tall; connoisseurs of Scotch whisky use such glasses to savor the full aroma and taste of aged single-malts.

Snifter

Close up view of a glass of brandy
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Snifter glass.

The snifter is similar to the tulip but is wider and shorter and features a brim that is not fluted. The aroma of the whiskey collects high in the bowl, enhancing the flavor. Like the tulip and Glencairn, a snifter appeals when you're sipping a whiskey worth savoring.

Shot Glass

Shot glasses
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Shot glasses.

Shot glasses vary in shape but typically hold 1 to 2 ounces of liquor, to be consumed in one swallow. Drinkers often follow a shot of a lower-quality whiskey with a lighter chaser, such as beer or water, covering the taste of the shot. You also can sip from a shot glass.