View Full Version : New Riedel Bourbon Glass

10-17-2002, 10:17
Has anyone seen, used or purchased the new Riedel Bourbon Glass? You can purchase it through smallbatch.com, although the shipping and handling charges are exorbitant. I think it has all the features a good bourbon glass should have: Tulip shaped, thin walled, deep, short
stemmed. I might invest in a few. Has anyone seen them in a store yet?

10-18-2002, 17:17
I have been looking all over for these, it seems like for now it is available only through the smallbatch website... I remember seeing an article this summer in a wine magazine about how they helped develop it...

I wonder if they will come out with a handmade 'Sommelier' series version of the bourbon glass... i assume from the price that they want that they are the machine made 'vinum' series... I don't know what it would do to bourbon, but i have had the opportunity to drink wine from Ridel sommmelier bordeaux glasses, and altho i can't quantify what it is, the thinness of the rim of the glass seems to give a more 'pleasant' experience than the cheapo glasses that i have... I guess the question is, how much is that small unnameable diffrerence in experience worth... the sommelier glasses cost 3 to 4 times what the machine made ones cost...


10-18-2002, 18:57
How would Waterford brandy balloons do for bourbon?


10-26-2002, 08:21
I find that the wideness of the mouth gives too much alcohol on a big sniff. A slightly more tulip shaped glass moderates that effect. The balloon is great for warming in the hand and letting aromas develop on the second approach. When I get to the cut with a little water stage or add an ice cube stage, the snifter isn't really the right tool. In general, the good old "on the rocks glass" works the best for me.

11-30-2002, 00:20
With the Riedel SMS glass, I think the sommelier series makes a big difference in initial taste. The very thin lip pours the spirit across the palate enhancing the complexity of the front end of each sip. Their standard SMS glass pours down on the tongue (like most other glasses). Although overall I prefer a couple other glasses, I do think the palate experience of the Sommelier SMS glass is the best. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

Now what will they do with these new bourbon glasses? I would like to get some, but I can't get into their site. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

11-30-2002, 11:36
Now what John? It looks just like any cheap wine glass on a pigmy stem. How is anyone to take such a silly looking glass seriously? I can't look at it without laughing. The French anger me with their greediness, but the Germans make me laugh with their stupidity. Why would anyone spend money on that??? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

12-01-2002, 12:29
I finally got into the site and was able to order some. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif I'll post my impressions after some serious study. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

12-01-2002, 21:03
Ha Ha Ha! John you do make me laugh! If it's a glass for whiskey John Dube will buy it. Would you be kind enough to post the Riedel website for those that might also like to order?

12-01-2002, 22:03
True, where optimally tasting bourbon is concerned I spare no expense (almost)! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif I could not find the glasses with Riedel sales; I had to order them through the smallbatch.com site.

12-02-2002, 01:33
John I checked out www.smallbatch.com (http://www.smallbatch.com) and was pleasently surprised that they (Jim Beam) upgraded their site. $27 for a set of four glasses isn't a bad deal for Reidel crystal. I also checked out www.reidelcrystal.com (http://www.reidelcrystal.com) and the bourbon glass isn't listed. I did look at their single malt glass. Talk about ugly! Then I looked at some of the glass dealers they had listed on the site. A set of six of butt ugly single malt glasses were being sold 'at a discount' for - get this - $246! That makes my fancy French glasses even more attractive.

One nice thing about having four of the same glass is that in blind tastings it takes the glass out of the equation. For those of you that are seriously considering a glassware purchase be sure to go to www.pubgear.com (http://www.pubgear.com) and check out their four pack of crystal whisky snifters imported from Scotland. When I bought mine they were $20 a set.

Addendum: I just checked out Pubgear and while the site is still up it is for sale and they are no longer taking any orders. Pretty dumb if you ask me. Here it is at Christmas time and they're not taking any orders. Who wants to buy a dead business? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

12-02-2002, 19:18
Here's the link on riedelcrystal's website talking about the riedel bourbon glass... www.riedelcrystal.com (http://www.riedelcrystal.com/NewsBourbon.htm) And here is where you can order them at www.smallbatch.com (http://www.knobcreek.com/main.htm?page=riedel)

12-02-2002, 21:06
Thanks Mark. Their photos are better than those at the smallbatch site. While you can't judge a glass by photos it still dosen't look right to me. The proof is in the nosing and drinking. Did you order some?

12-02-2002, 21:08
I just read the article. The footnotes state Ken Weber was a participant in the second group of bourbon experts to help design the glass! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/ooo.gif Ken, is that true? Is this really your glass? Seriously, what did you think of the process and your role in it?

12-03-2002, 06:08
Yeah, curiosity got the better of me and I caved in... But I am sure I will have much fun putting these glasses through the perilous rigors of testing. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif I'll be sure to post my impressons as well after receiving them; Along with possibly better photo's.

12-03-2002, 10:25
So Mark what was the total cost? Is this your first serious glassware purchase? You know having high quality crystal glasses just makes your bourbonic intake a much more pleasurable experiance. Just like a pretty girl in a sexy dress. She doesn't perform the sex act any better due to the dress, but we precieve it as gaining additional pleasure. I look at good glasses in the same way. The bourbon dosen't taste any better, but it is our personal preception of gaining additional pleasure that counts. Good old Ziggy Freud figured that one out and called it (interestingly enough) "The Pleasure Principal". Go figure. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/blush.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

12-03-2002, 11:09
Haha, Linn you always make me laugh! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif A very good point and an even better analogy! Yep, this is my first serious glassware puchase. For now I've just been using rocks glasses that either came in a boxed set of beam or turkey or rare breed sniffer glasses. I figured for the price it'd be nice to have 'bourbon glasses'... I think the total was $36 for the set of four... You know it'll be fun going back a second time and seeing if my personal perceptions have now changed for ALL my open favorites! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

12-03-2002, 14:22
Mark I predict that you are going to love these glasses. They are special and made of high grade crystal. They're your first. What's not to love? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif Just because I'm old; jaded, and cynical is no reason that you can't enjoy your new glasses. I look forward to your review. Rock On. HUZZAH! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

12-10-2002, 17:41
Well, I just received the glasses today and am planning on putting them through the rigors of testing real soon! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif I'll be sure to post my impressions then. As for now my initial impressions are all good. The glasses say 'The small batch bourbon collection" on the bottom base of the glass and can be read when the glass is sitting on a table. The lip is fairly thin for being machined and the sticker on the glasses said Tyrol Crystal, made in germany. I have cleaned one and poured a bit of Hirsch 16 and must say initially it was like experiencing a whole new bouqet of smells and for me the glass really enhanced the tasting notes. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

12-10-2002, 17:51
Hmmmm Mark. I had a buxum girlfriend from the Tyrolian forests outside of Wolfsburg. She looked good and tasted good too.Good Ass. Good Glass. What's to worry?

12-11-2002, 15:19
Have had the Riedels for about a month. I plan on posting a side by side of snifter, double old fashioned, and Riedels. Preliminary impressions:
The glass is great for neat tasting and requires a good size pour ( 2 oz or better) to generate enough bouquet.
I still like the old fashioned best (old dogs, new tricks?)

12-11-2002, 15:43
I don't know much about ounces, but a minimum pour for me is at least three full fingers high! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif One must have a set of snifters, rocks, double-old fashioned glasses to do it right. Also, a variety of different sized shot glasses to boot. See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

12-11-2002, 23:21
I just got my glasses today too and have done a very preliminary tasting. Although I like other Riedel glasses, I was quite skeptical of this one--specifically, why the "ideal bourbon" glass should be so different from the "ideal s----h" glass. It also doesn't look very special. Finally, I have been very satisfied with other whiskey glasses for use with bourbon, particularly the Pure Glass, but also the Blender's Glass and the Riedel SMS glass.

I decided to try it on Woodford Reserve, Kentucky Spirit and Weller Centennial. I wanted high quality bourbons with differences to contrast and similarities to compare. I just got my first WR for Thanksgiving, and (in the company of the great bourbon's I tried that day) it just seemed very good. For the holiday, I had also opened a new bottle of KS, that seemed very good, but not nearly as great as I had remembered my first (pre-Blanton's) bottle. On the other hand, I have found that some whiskies taste much better after the first pour. Weller is my favorate wheater.

Although I have not done a head to head with other glasses... I love this bourbon glass! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif The nose on each bourbon was much more complex and balanced than my recent recollections. For example, the Weller seemed to have a pronounced note of wheat bread on the nose I had not picked up before. Even the palate seemed fuller and more enjoyable. I haven't tried it on lesser bourbons yet, but so far, I'm very impressed. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif

12-13-2002, 14:46
I am not on the quest for the perfect glass (yes), but I am curious about the differences between the Riedgel Single Malt Whiskey glass and the Riedel Bourbon glass.

The Riedel web site says this about the Malt Whiskey glass:

"The design incorporates a small, slightly out-turned lip that directs the spirit onto the tip of the tongue, where sweetness is perceived, and serves to bring out the elegant creaminess of a top-quality single malt."

The Bourbon glass doesn't have that lip. So, I am wondering what effect the lip has on bourbon and rye.

Blackkeno, since you've tried both glasses, do you have any insight into this?

12-24-2002, 23:37
I compared both Riedel glasses h-t-h first with my least favorate (decent) bourbon and then again using Stagg. Please note, I used the hand-blown SM glasses which look identical to their standard glasses but have a much thinner rim. This causes them to pour across the palate (see my post under glassware). I mention this because they do not seem to emphasize the front of the tongue as quoted in your post (at least relative to the bourbon glass).

The bourbon glasses were much better for nosing. The nose seemed deeper, broader and more complex. With my less favored bourbon, this meant that the off notes (IMHO) were more hidden in a broad orchestra of others. The Stagg nose is so great, I would love it in a shot glass. The bourbon glass allowed me to appreciate its intricacies more without really making it seem that much better than in the SM glass.

The palate differences was less pronounced. I thought the bourbon glass emphasized the front of the tongue more resulting in an (appropriately) sweeter palate entry. The SM glass seemed to have a less exceptional palate entry, but this allowed the spirit to evolve more favorably on the palate. Again, Stagg is so well balanced that the improvement with the bourbon glass was minimal. With the other bourbon, the added sweetness at the start helped balance out the strong rye note (which I liked) and a "caramel corn" note which seemed over the top to me.

The Riedel bourbon glass and the Pure Glass will be my prime choices for bourbon for the time being.

01-15-2003, 14:15
ACK! So I caved into peer pressure and also ordered the Riedels from the SmallBatch site. They just arrived and after a hot sudsy bath they were ready for field testing. My first impression is that these glasses do look one hell of a lot better in person. While washing them I noticed that they are very thin and delicate and won't take any abuse whatsoever. I poured a generous portion of Baker's for a test drive.

The base is nice and broad and compaired to the rest of the glass - quite heavy. That's good. It's got a nicely dished out area under the base where the stem attaches, and this is right where your nuckle goes when you use the classic forefinger and thumb clamp hold on the glass for swirling action. That's a nice touch and is clearly a well thought out design point. The stem is the weakest link as it is very spindly, but there is again a well thought out reason for this. When you cradle this glass in the palm of your hand the spindly stem fits in almost impreceptably between your stink finger and ring finger. Another good design point, but weak and prone to breakage. Swirling action is also quite poor and is a -D at best.

This design has a very deep bowl to it and requires a healthly pour to get any real benifit from the glass. There is a bit of a belly to the design and just the slightest amount of recurve. So slight that at first glance it looks to be straight sided. This offers a very slight concentration of aromas for the nose. I give it a -C. The nose is so important when enjoying any whiskey that I am unforgiving in this area. The Riedel Bourbon Glass is no better than any cheap two dollar shotglass when it comes to the nose. Very disappointing.

The glass itself is very thin and when I compaired it to my Glencairn and Pure Glass the Riedel was very much visibly thiner. Riedel's 'Bourbon Glass' does indeed introduce the bourbon right at the front of the tongue and is a very pleasent glass in this respect. Overall I think this is a well designed glass with a few flaws, but at less than forty smackers for a four pack that's not too shabby. I think the Glencrain from Malt Advocate at twenty bucks a pair is a much better glass, but the Riedel is easy to order and quick to arrive. If you've no special bourbon glasses at home than the Riedel is a fine start.

01-15-2003, 14:57
Nice review. I rated mine higher. I like the smaller bell. I have a larger proboscis, so I have naturally enhanced concentration of vapors. The Riedel works for me in that aspect. If you're like me, the Riedels will grow on you. I started pouring only the "not for neighbors" stuff and now break them out on most occasions. Let me know if your impressions change.
BTW, I caught someone (who shall remain nameless) putting one in the dishwasher and almost had a coronary. I don't think they'd make it through one cycle. I'm afraid to handwash them, no less send them on a e-ticket ride for housewares. Thin is an understatement for the glass. I'll have to mic it and see. It's like 3/64" thick.

01-15-2003, 21:08
uh Linn, try nosing and tasting some Bourbon out of one these before you scoff! This glass was desiged/approvved by Elmer T lee, Jim Rutledge,David Pickerell and Jerry dallton. I know I could nose things I had never smelled before I put Bourbon in 1 of these glasses. They are great. You can finedem at www.b-21.com- (http://www.b-21.com-) no affliation, for 6.99 a glass. Buy 1 or 2.You wont be sorry!

01-15-2003, 22:35
Tim that's what I just did. I bought a four pack from Jim Beam's small batch web site. I put Baker's in mine. What have you got in yours?

01-19-2003, 14:33
Hmm... i have put mine through the dishwasher numerous times... I have this little thing that flips down from the top rack on my dishwasher and it hangs the glass upside down from the base... As far as i know the ridel vinum series of glasses is dishwasher safe, it is the thinner sommoliers series that is hand wash only...


above is what ridel says about washing...

01-20-2003, 12:27
I don't doubt that Riedel claims they're dishwasher safe. The rims just seem so fragile. Perhaps I'm just overprotective. I do love'm. I guess I should just lighten up. Its only a glass. To hell with it. Into the machine they go!!! I'll just express my propensity to consume and buy more if they break. More bourbon, more glasses. Someone has to save the economy.

01-22-2003, 03:55
Hello, For some reason, I had forgotten that there was this section on the forum. Today I am ordering my set of Riedel Bourbon Glasses. Thanks to all those that gave there imput on these. Creggor

02-10-2004, 11:26
Thought I'd bring forward this past thread on the Riedel Glasses and some comments on durability.