Facts about Whiskey Glasses and Decanters

Facts about Whiskey Glasses and Decanters

What are whisky glasses?

Whisky glasses come in all shapes and sizes, meaning that there truly is something for everyone. Some, such as shot glasses, are used for drinking whisky by itself, while others are designed for those who prefer to drink it in cocktails, such as tumblers. No matter how you like your whisky, you will be able to find a glass that is right for you.

What are whisky decanters?

Similar to a wine decanter, a whisky decanter is used to store whisky. When you pour your whisky from its bottle and into a decanter, it interacts with the oxygen in the air. This causes it to oxidise, which makes it easier for stronger and higher-quality scents to form. Decaters come in various shapes and sizes, making them the perfect decoration for any kitchen, bar, or restaurant.

Facts about whiskey glasses and decanters

Handmade is often preferred

Most whisky connoisseurs will agree that there is something special about drinking from a handmade glass. Though more experienced whisky glass makers will strive to minimise differences, there will often be slight variations and imperfections between glasses. Whisky glasses that aren’t handmade will all be exactly the same size, shape, weight, and feel, while handmade glasses are all different, creating a unique drinking experience.

Some glasses and decanters may contain lead

In the past, lead crystal was used to make whisky glasses and decanters. The glasses you find in stores today won’t contain lead, however those purchased in an antique store may. 


The safest and most accurate way to determine whether a glass contains lead is to have it lab tested. However, there are a number of things you can do at home too:

  • Compare its weight to other glassware. Glassware containing lead is often heavier.
  • Look for a light prism. Shining light through glassware containing lead will often create a rainbow prism.
  • Look for smooth edges. If the decorative cuts on your glass or decanter are smooth, it is possible that it contains leaded glass. Regular glass is more likely to create sharp edges when cut. 

Shape can affect the drinking experience

The shape of a whisky glass can affect your overall drinking experience. Some glasses, such as the tulip glass, direct aromas to your nose, allowing you to pick up subtler scents. Others, such as shot glasses, aren’t designed to direct the vapours to your nose, and lead to a weaker scent and flavour.

Whisky decanters were considered a symbol of high status

For years, having a whisky decanter on display was considered a symbol of wealth and high social status. This is not so much the case now, with many cheaper decanters on the market, however they still make an extravagant addition to your office, kitchen, or bar.

Glasses and decanters are great decoration

Both glasses and decanters can add an aesthetic touch to your home or dining establishment. Decanters come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, from round to skull shaped. Whisky glasses can be simple and practical, or decorated with designs and textures. In particular, displaying stemmed glasses, such as tulip glasses, add a dash of sophistication to any room.