View Full Version : Inexpensive tasting glasses.

02-16-2004, 09:54
Lots of people on here have the Reidel glasses, or one of many other expensive and/or hard to find tasting glasses that they use. I'm sure they're great, and I do appreciate fine glassware, but I'm a broke college student, and I like to spend my bourbon budget on bourbon, not more glasses http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif. So, after doing some searching, I've found 2 different glasses that I like quite a bit, and are quite inexpensive and attainable.

The first were small snifters I found at Crate and Barrel, in the $5 each range.
I like these quite a bit, they're very comfortable to drink out of and make a huge difference. In fact, out of sheer boredom one day I drank a Cherry Coke out of one of them. Finishing it out of the can, in comparison it tasted bland and stale.

My newer find is in the picture below. I found these at Cost Plus World Market for $2 each. Nice thick glass, so I don't have to worry about breaking them as easily, and I like the look. They're just as easy to drink out of as the Crate and Barrel ones, unless you like to cup the glass in your hand and to that "swril the cognac" thing. I find the stem is a little too thick to be comfortable in that case. I don't have any idea how these affect taste relative to the other ones, but I do enjoy drinking out of them too.


02-16-2004, 12:45
Good recommendations, and I can definitely sympathize with the whole broke college student thing--it certainly makes enjoying this hobby (to its fullest, anyway) much more difficult.

And though I am in the same boat (income-wise) as you, I think I might just end up sinking the extra bucks into some bonafide Reidel bourbon glasses. Sure, they cost a bit more, but I'm of the mindset that the higher initial investment will pay off in the long run. If you take good care of them, they could last forever. I use cognac snifters myself right now when enjoying my higher-end bourbons, but I'm excited to see (or taste, rather http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif) the difference that the Reidel glasses make.

My two cents, anyway...

02-16-2004, 12:53
I gave some good friends a tour, not long ago. We went upstairs, for a tasting.
This is the glass that Heaven Hill gave us, for the tasting.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

02-16-2004, 13:02
I always thought it was BS that a glass could make a difference in ones perception of a frequently consumed pour... But that all changed once I bought a set of the Riedel Bourbon Glasses. They are great glasses that are manufactured well, improve both nose and taste perceptions as well as being a decent value. And if one is even more worried about their price, chekc eBay. There was a guy not too long ago selling sets of 4 that frequently ended up selling for approx $12 plus shipping which I think was a modest $5-6. Not bad for about 5 bucks a glass. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

02-16-2004, 13:08
Let's see, Rittenhouse 10 year Bottled in Bond Rye and Evan Williams Single Barrel 1994 from Barrel number 1. ( After some is given to the press and other functions , the remainder is retained for Max. He has what is left from the first barrel of all EWSB years. I think they keep the barrel too.)
That was a good day! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

02-17-2004, 20:59
Great pics. I like the Crate and Barrel look. I have to say I'm won over with the Riedel ones myself. However, they even cost me wholesale $5 a glass since I only buy a case of 12 at a time.

The snifter shape usually concentrates the alcohol too much for my liking. The Riedel shape seems to really highlight more subtle aromas that I don't get in a rocks or snifter.

02-17-2004, 22:24
I'm still trying to figure out how a broke college student comes up with two bottles of BMH and one of Hirsch. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif I was lucky to be able to buy a half pint of 905 bourbon when I was in college. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/stickpoke.gif

02-17-2004, 22:47
I budget the cost of going to a bar one night a week, then go to the liquor store instead. Works out quite well, I have a great selection, and I never have to worry about DUI's. Even letting my friends drink for free, it's much cheaper than going out. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif


02-17-2004, 23:52
Steve, you're lucky. When I went to college the emphasis was on quantity rather than quality. But then way back then, University of Missouri was disqualified from Rolling Stone Magazine's top party colleges list because drinking there was considered a pasttime (I believe that was their article said) and that students there were considered professionals. We drank anything we could get our hands on and mostly the cheapest we could find. The only way a bottle lasted more than one night was if you passed out and they couldn't pry it out of your hands. I cringe to think of what damage that crowd would have done to my current bunker. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif Of course those guys would have made Milwaukees Best and Pappy Van Winkle boilermakers http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

02-20-2004, 01:43
I think the tasting glass being worth that much seems a little silly-except I don't think riedel's bourbon glass would do anything better than those shown here in the pix by the broke college student.
Unless they are shatterproof, then that would be a real distinction.
Of course if the point is just to have nice glasses to offer to your Pops when sharing bourbon, or for when other company is around, then I guess it's just normal.
My big problem, is that I saw on wineenthusiast.com or a similar site that has a newsstand magazine also, the reidel glasses were more than $100.00 a PIECE. !!!
I could be wrong, and maybe that was for a "typical" number of glasses in a set, but I don't think so.

My 2 centavos

02-20-2004, 17:31
I have one Reidel glass, which do I like for drinking bourbon (or any other whisk(e)y. I got it at Whiskyfest, last year. However, I think that the price is a little too high, for the nice look, even if it is considered well suited for tastings. I would need a lot of glasses for the type of blind tastings I do with friends.

I have found small, six oz. brandy snifters work well for boutbon tastings. I buy them from one of two resturant supply houses that are close to me here in Cincinnati. You have to buy them by the case or by the dozen, but, they end up about $1.80 apiece. I have four dozen of them! By the way, they are blown and not molded, like some cheap glasses tend to be.

I do like the bottom glass (pictured) with the thick stem. It seems like it would do the job and I think the thick stem would fit well in the hand (although you tend to hold the bowl when tasting). The other two are similar to the glasses I buy, except the stems are a little longer (taller) and the bowls are more elongated.

Good job, for a starving student! I wish I had taken up bourbon when I was in school. Smart student, to boot! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

02-21-2004, 16:44
My big problem, is that I saw on wineenthusiast.com or a similar site that has a newsstand magazine also, the reidel glasses were more than $100.00 a PIECE. !!!

I've never seen any Riedel at $100 a glass. The sommelier grand cru series of Riedel glasses are the most expensive, running about $60-80 each. They're huge, handblown crystal glasses, though. The Burgundy Grand Cru glass holds 37oz! Of course, you're supposed to only pour a small amount in the bottom and not fill the whole thing up.

02-24-2004, 14:44
Hi Guys.

This is an interesting discussion, about Riedel glass. My brother-in-law used to sell Riedel stemware, so we know the Family. They are from Kufstein, Austria. We visited their factory a couple of years ago, and the thing that struck me the most is that George (owner) has a very interesting tour that investigates all the senses. It is really a great presentation, where you visit several rooms, each representing a different sense - touch, smell, sight, etc.

He is very pursuasive in making a case for a different glass shape, size, weight, etc., for different kinds of drink. They hadn't come out with the bourbon snifter when I was there, unfortunately. George designs a lot, if not all, of the crystal.

It was a terrific experience, and if you ever get there, ask them for a tour. It is fun. Kufstein is a terrific place, as well. They have a web page at Riedel Glass (http://www.riedelcrystal.com/index.htm)

That is a nice choice of bourbons in those pics, by the way. I wish I could go back to college !!


Jim McCarn

02-25-2004, 01:31
Well, having just had a birthday I'm not quite so broke at the moment, so you guys have me convinced that I need to track down at least one Reidel bourbon glass, just for fun. I'm going to check some previous threads to track down a source, but any input is, of course, appreciated http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


02-25-2004, 13:42

Someone, perhaps elswhere in this thread, pointed to an auction on eBay where a set of four glasses were being auctioned, with a minimum bid of $24.99, IIRC.

I have since found two such auctions. I used eSnipe to place a bid of $24.99, but I didn't win either auction. In each case the winning bid was in the low 30's. I suspect that price will hold up as the seller continues to offer them one set at a time.

I'm not sure how that price compares with that of a conventional source.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

02-25-2004, 13:56
I just looked on eBay and the guy who was selling sets months back in the low teens no longer has sets up for sale. A good thing never does last unfortunately. Even at $25, I think these glasses are worth it though.

02-25-2004, 14:48
I won one of the Ebay lots this week at $24.95. With shipping, it'll come to about $8 a glass. Figured that wasn't too bad.