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chefnash51
01-19-2011, 20:26
I thought a conversation about bourbons that seem to suffer when tasted from a crystal vessel. Or even ones that shine.

I have been noticing that wheated bourbons seem to not shine so well when placed in crystal.

My Jefferson's Presidential gets very muted in crystal. I have also noticed Weller 12 and Lot B don't do so well.

thoughts?

Pieface
01-19-2011, 21:34
I have always felt EC12 does better in glass than crystal for some reason.

I'll also agree on the Lot B performing better in glass.

cigarnv
01-20-2011, 02:26
I find few whiskey's that perform well, to my palate, in Glencairn crystal. Most do better in Glencairn glass. I do however find that most whiskeys perform well, again to my palate, in the Schott Zwiesel Tritan glassware, especially the Pure series. While called crystal I suspect the chemical composition is a bit different.

nblair
01-20-2011, 05:37
Great idea for a thread! I have always read that bourbons can show different characteristics in glass & crystal. I only have a few crystal Glencairn's at home so haven't really messed around with different glassware, other than the occasional rocks glass. I look forward to what others have to say.

Does anyone know if the Buffalo Trace Glencairn is glass or crystal? The liquor store next to me has them, if they are glass I will go pick one up.

Gillman
01-20-2011, 07:42
I use crystal regularly and don't notice any real difference, but I once read that long-term storage (in decanters) is not advised because things can leach into the liquid from the glass (lead, perhaps?).

Gary

Medicfrost
01-20-2011, 08:03
Great idea for a thread! I have always read that bourbons can show different characteristics in glass & crystal. I only have a few crystal Glencairn's at home so haven't really messed around with different glassware, other than the occasional rocks glass. I look forward to what others have to say.

Does anyone know if the Buffalo Trace Glencairn is glass or crystal? The liquor store next to me has them, if they are glass I will go pick one up.

I'm gonna assume they are crystal since Glencairn stopped making them from glass in 08. If they are NOS, you may get lucky, and they are glass. I have never drank anything from crystal, all my Glencairns are glass, but if I come across one in crystal, I'll pick it up, and start doing comparisons, hearing this conversation has gotten me curious.

kickert
01-20-2011, 08:10
I actually prefer the glass glencairn to the crystal ones I have had. I find the crystal to be a bit too delicate (both while holding and also when they eventually break on me).

Medicfrost
01-20-2011, 08:33
If anyone looking for glass Glencairns, I know that http://www.scotchwhiskyglass.com/ still had some left that were etched with PORT ELLEN (call them to order, some Port Ellen may be crystal also), and http://www.cobhthaighceltique.com/ has 7 left that are painted with either a Harp or Scottish Thistle (scroll to the bottom of their Glencairn page, they are on clearance).

ratcheer
01-20-2011, 08:33
....

thoughts?

I have never considered such a concept. On the face of it, it sounds absurd.

Tim

DeanSheen
01-20-2011, 09:59
I use crystal regularly and don't notice any real difference, but I once read that long-term storage (in decanters) is not advised because things can leach into the liquid from the glass (lead, perhaps?).

Gary

Yes, I believe the long term leaching issue with leaded crystal is the only documented chemical interaction with alcohol stored in crystal.

I use crystal and glass. I had read this same supposition on the board some time ago and I felt as if I was back on an audio board reading about "tweaks".

This would be a cheap tweak, using glass instead of crystal. It is not one that I would support in theory but maybe I'll try an A/B sometime for curiosities sake.

Gillman
01-20-2011, 10:09
Robert, I once read somewhere that early tinted bottles also had a tendency to lose some constituents to the contents, i.e., if kept too long, the "dye" in particular. How long too long was, and when this tendency (presumably) stopped, I do not know.

Can it explain the strange results of some early dusty bottles...? :)

Gary

dean_martin
01-20-2011, 10:28
I use crystal and glass. I had read this same supposition on the board some time ago and I felt as if I was back on an audio board reading about "tweaks".

This would be a cheap tweak, using glass instead of crystal. It is not one that I would support in theory but maybe I'll try an A/B sometime for curiosities sake.

It's not valid if it's not a DBT. Ha! I've probably been on those same audio boards.:rolleyes:

kickert
01-20-2011, 10:34
There is a good deal of discussion about how crystal affects taste vs. glass starting on page 2 of this thread:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11629&page=2

Virus_Of_Life
01-20-2011, 11:53
Don't buy it for a second, you're letting yourself be influenced by yourself. :slappin:

DeanSheen
01-20-2011, 12:04
Don't buy it for a second, you're letting yourself be influenced by yourself. :slappin:

Well that's what I was wanted to post but I was feeling verbose.

I remember reading the thread referenced earlier and fighting the urge to reply.

Medicfrost
01-20-2011, 12:06
Since taste is based on the person doing the tasting, the only way to tell the difference is with a blind test with someone that doesn't know that the glasses are different. Personally, I don't believe there would be a difference, unless you are drinking whiskey from a clay pot, but have been wrong before.

SORRY DEAN_MARTIN, I didn't see you said that already

squire
01-20-2011, 14:36
I have never noticed a difference, if there is one, and doubt I ever will.

wadewood
01-20-2011, 15:29
This thread screams Bullshit. The premise is that wheated or some other bourbons don't do well in crystal vs. some other container material. This implies that the crystal is changing the taste of actual product and I call that BS.

Now, you might well get a different taste sensation out of different shape glasses. Shape can effect the the nose alcohol concentration and smell does effect taste.

Under your premise, If I poured a shot from same bottle of bourbon into 2 exact shape glasses, one glass and one crystal - then I poured these into 2 regular glass cups - the result would be that the sample from the crystal would be muted. I'm willing to be a lot of money that you could not discernible tell the difference in these 2 samples. Hell, James Randi make think you are supernatural and give you a $1,000,000 if you could do this.

No, what I think is happening is that you enjoy drinking out of crystal glasses. Nothing wrong with that. We all have nights that things taste different or off compared to normal. This occurs in whatever you are drinking from; crystal has nothing to do with it.

ILLfarmboy
01-20-2011, 17:07
I think it is BS, too. But there may be a different reason.

All of my glass glasses have a thick rim, all of my crystal ware is of the type that has thin walls and a thin rim. Thin walled glasses with thin rims may place the whiskey closer to the tip of the tongue where the perception of sweetness is enhanced.

Edited: scratch that. I had it backward.

I think Wade is on the money.

callmeox
01-20-2011, 17:13
Aren't there allegedly a bunch of microscopic sharp edges on the crystal surface that tear open the fabric of the universe or something? I thought this was the explanation for the difference.

ebo
01-20-2011, 17:30
I'm not "elevated" enough in my whisk(e)y drinking to tell the difference between crystal and glass as far as taste is concerned. I do notice a difference in "enjoyment" as far as between a Rocks glass and a Glencairn glass, though. I much prefer to drink from the Glencairn, no matter wheather it be scotch, bourbon or Irish.

flintlock
01-20-2011, 18:10
What about lead-free crystal vs. glass? I mean, what the molecular structure of crystal as opposed to glass, absent the lead? I have a glass glass and bought a Glencairn of lead free crystal and can't tell the difference...but perhaps much more experimentation is in order...:grin:

chefnash51
01-20-2011, 18:15
This thread was only meant to be a discussion, not a fact, not the definitive truth.. no need to call the thread BS over and over.

Maybe it wasn't meant to come of this way, but it sure feels like a few folks are bullying anyone that has a thought that differs from what they feel to be the truth.

This was a light heart-ed topic, just something I felt I noticed and saw a few others make similar comments.

you know, if people just want to have the regulars post on this site and only give credit to those who are in the inner circle, then that is only doing a disservice to this community.

kickert
01-20-2011, 18:26
If you follow the link to the other thread, it is Em (Spun_cookie) who originally made the argument for the noticeable difference. While I can't tell a difference myself, there are few people I know who have as good of a palate or who have tasted such a broad range of whiskey in a broad range of settings as Em. If he says it, I will at least hold off on calling "Bullshit."

White Dog
01-20-2011, 19:32
I was skeptical of this, but I gave it a whirl. I use Riedel Cognac glasses for most spirits.(The the one with the tulip shape.) I happen to own both the restaurant version, which is regular glass, and the Vinum series, which is 24% leaded crystal.

Both glasses are the exact same shape, except for a slightly thicker stem on the cheaper glass version. The only difference is the material. I'm tasting Lot B out of both, and can detect no difference in either aroma or palate. FWIW.

I prefer the leaded Crytal, but only because it is heavier, and has a more elegant feel. Also, as far as the discussion on the rounded vs. "cut" rims of various glasses, cut rims deliver a better sense of taste, IMHO. I find this true for both wine and whiskey.

wadewood
01-21-2011, 05:49
This thread was only meant to be a discussion, not a fact, not the definitive truth.. no need to call the thread BS over and over.

Maybe it wasn't meant to come of this way, but it sure feels like a few folks are bullying anyone that has a thought that differs from what they feel to be the truth.

This was a light heart-ed topic, just something I felt I noticed and saw a few others make similar comments.

you know, if people just want to have the regulars post on this site and only give credit to those who are in the inner circle, then that is only doing a disservice to this community.


I'm a big fan of the Penn & Teller show Bullshit. So, I enjoy using the word in their same concept. Inner Circle? you & I have the exact same rights on this site; we can both post and comment.

I attacked your premise, not you personally. There is a big difference. Attacking a premise is not bullying; making derogative comments about you personally would be.

Why would I even respond to your post if only to disagree? It goes to the topic of Chuck's misinformation thread. Lot's of people (including non-members) read these threads. Without responding they may think they need to go spend $30 on a glass to enjoy their bourbon. I want to dispel that notion.

cigarnv
01-21-2011, 06:10
Great idea for a thread! I have always read that bourbons can show different characteristics in glass & crystal. I only have a few crystal Glencairn's at home so haven't really messed around with different glassware, other than the occasional rocks glass. I look forward to what others have to say.

Does anyone know if the Buffalo Trace Glencairn is glass or crystal? The liquor store next to me has them, if they are glass I will go pick one up.

The BT Glencarin style glasses I have are glass.... give them a tap and you can usually tell. Also the glass has a thicker lip and tend to be heavier (about 150 grams for Crystal and 170+ for glass) given they are thicker.

unclebunk
01-21-2011, 06:10
The best way to drink bourbon is to use a straw.:lol:

cigarnv
01-21-2011, 06:12
The best way to drink bourbon is to use a straw.:lol:
... from a can..... or is that scotch:grin:

chefnash51
01-21-2011, 06:16
Lot's of people (including non-members) read these threads. Without responding they may think they need to go spend $30 on a glass to enjoy their bourbon. I want to dispel that notion.

Sorry I took offense.

To clarify, I stated that I felt my Crystal glass muted some flavors in some bourbons, which I know now is bullshit. Either way, that would probably not lead someone to think they need to buy a crystal glass.

Medicfrost
01-21-2011, 06:52
...Either way, that would probably not lead someone to think they need to buy a crystal glass.

Or clay pottery. I tried that in another country, just awful.

nblair
01-21-2011, 06:53
The BT Glencarin style glasses I have are glass.... give them a tap and you can usually tell. Also the glass has a thicker lip and tend to be heavier (about 150 grams for Crystal and 170+ for glass) given they are thicker.


Thank you. I'll go pick one up and actually try this for myself before making a final judgement.

kickert
01-21-2011, 09:04
I think the consensus is that glass is better than crystal for tasting.... at least that is what I am reading. I know I prefer it.

StraightBoston
01-21-2011, 09:15
I, too, first heard of the difference from spun_cookie, and like kickert, I'm inclined to respect the breadth and depth of his tasting experience! I haven't done the experiment myself -- maybe a project for this weekend?


It's not valid if it's not a DBT. Ha! I've probably been on those same audio boards.:rolleyes:

Has anyone taste-tested with coat-hanger wire in their Glencairn?

Josh
01-21-2011, 09:28
I've never noticed a difference and the fact that somebody else has doesn't make me think there is actually one.

CorvallisCracker
01-21-2011, 10:31
Of course the glass makes a difference. Every time I put Coca-Cola in my A&W mug, it tastes like root beer.

Medicfrost
01-21-2011, 11:35
I think the consensus is that glass is better than crystal for tasting.... at least that is what I am reading. I know I prefer it.

I think the concensus was that they are both fine for tasting, but some prefer glass for it's added durability, but neither material has any impact on flavor.

Gillman
01-21-2011, 12:04
This source suggests that leaded crystal has a microscopically different surface than regular glass, it's rougher, and this may allow wine to breathe more (absorb oxygen) when swirled. If so, I don't see why bourbon shouldn't be the same.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_glass

If it is, some may notice a slight difference, some may not. I never did but I wasn't looking for anything and the differences may be small.

Also, I use Waterford and I don't know if it is leaded or not.

Gary

Gillman
01-21-2011, 12:08
Just another point, which is that I do prefer glass and for one reason. It is clearer than the Waterford's I use, which are cut crystal too. You can't examine the color as well in crystal (or again, the crystal I'm familiar with). On the other hand, I haven't found a good regular glass with the heft of a Waterford tumbler. I've got some I like but I haven't found the perfect bourbon glass yet, so in the meantime I use Waterford.

Gary

pepcycle
01-21-2011, 12:32
For me, the only difference I sense drinking spirits from Crystal Glassware is that my pinkie sticks out.

This rarely occurs with Soda-Lime Glass, Plastic or Paper cups. It never happens when I swig directly from the bottle or a plastic vessel. (Love the Traveler)

I think this is definitely due to the lead content of the crystal causing a neuropathic change in my musculoskeletal network or it might be related to the gold badging on my coupe. Not sure

DeanSheen
01-21-2011, 14:08
"so in the meantime I use Waterford'

Are they the roly-poly bottoms? I have a set of those and they work quite well. Nice heft, easy fit in the hand.

Gillman
01-21-2011, 14:21
Not sure what you mean by roly-poly Robert. The glass is rounded, medium-height, the cut type, with a flat base about one-third inch thick. I like the heft but there is no color appreciation except from the top, which is okay but I prefer a clear perfectly transparent glass. Then too any port in a storm I suppose (and I know from that standpoint these conversations are angels-on-a-pin type, but hey it's Friday afternoon. :)). As Fortune Magazine said in its 1933 article on the looming post-Prohibtion liquor business (I think, of rum), "and it's pretty good from the neck, too". :)

Gary

squire
01-21-2011, 14:31
Yeah I drink out of glass, the bottle it came in.

squire
01-21-2011, 14:36
Gary I thought the surface differences on crystal were due to the nubile young ladies in the finishing room, but lacking a source reference I guess my opinion is uninformed and should be disregarded.

Gillman
01-21-2011, 14:46
Well Squire, there are different forms of reality, including the poetic/romantic, and in that realm you are surely right. :)

Gary

DeanSheen
01-21-2011, 14:55
Gary: Waterford Lismore Roly Poly

Pop that in a search engine and you will see what I mean.

Gillman
01-21-2011, 16:09
I'll check it out, for sure.

Gary

Gillman
01-24-2011, 11:11
I found online pictures of Waterford Roly Poly, the Lismore tumbler type, that are very similar to what I have. But another type called Roly Poly pictured from this company isn't (apart from the cut crystal style which is the same obviously), and this is the one with a small base maybe 1.5 in square, where the glass is perched so to speak on the base. I don't have that kind. Mine have a base that is more about .50 in thick and the walls come straight down to the edges or gently round to it. They are long-lived by the way, initially we didn't use the dishwasher for them but finally threw them in there and it doesn't seem to do much harm.

Gary

DeanSheen
01-24-2011, 13:33
Yeah I never understood the non dishwasher instructions but figured it had to do with excessive heat or possibly cloudiness?

After having used my father in laws crystal glasses about 5 years ago I became obsessed with owning some. I love the heft and the way the cuts rub the hand, makes drinking a much more tactile experience.

Then again I'm a sucker for glasses having at least 7 or 8 different styles for beer. Thus far I have held myself back from buying some hand blown wine glasses from Italy but I have plenty of space in the cabinets for them.