View Full Version : What is a decanter?

06-20-2012, 21:13
I am a noob. And I hear talk of new decanters being released and decanters dug up while dusty hunting, but I have no idea what a decanter is. Some care to explain it to me in dummy terms?

Thanks :)

06-21-2012, 06:02
It is just a very special looking bottle. It used to mostly mean that you bought something in a normal bottle and decanted the contents into your own fancy bottle, such as a crystal decanter. But, as long as I can remember (which goes back at least to the early 70's), they have sold filled decanters at retail. Things such as "commemorative bottles".


06-21-2012, 06:05
Basically a decanter is a fancey bottle. If you see in an old movie, spirits or wine being served from a short, wide bottle, with no label; that's a decanter. Beam (and to a lesser extent some other brands) used to sell a lot of their whiskey in comemortive bottles; also sometimes called decanters. It seems this stopped around the late '70s-early '80s. These turn up in garage sales, and thrift shops all the time. Usually, decanters have a stopper, rather than a screw cap.

06-21-2012, 06:56
13715 Liquor Decanter

13716 Wine Decanter

13717 Wild Turkey Commemorative Decanter

06-21-2012, 11:29
A decanter is any container other than a standard bottle. The term refers to the verb "to decant," meaning to transfer a liquid from its original container into one for serving, but the meaning has been expanded to include special containers in which the spirit is sold. Those can range from glass pieces very similar to traditional decanters, up to very fanciful ceramics, of Elvis Presley, cars, trains, clowns, eagles, etc. You saw a lot of them for whiskey and other spirits in the 70s and 80s. Today not so much

06-21-2012, 12:52
And to complicate it further, some standard bottles are designed to look like glass decanters.


06-21-2012, 13:13
"Pawn Stars" had a segment about Jim Beam decanters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHm0sRls2XU

Makes you wonder if any of the bourbon in there is any good.....

06-21-2012, 22:09
Thanks for all the replies everybody!

I knew what decanters were for home use, but I didn't know what they referred to terms of retail bottlings. Thanks for the insight.

Are there anyones out there that people find particularly desirable (for the container only)? Obviously a Weller decanter from the 60's would be coveted for the SW juice it holds.