View Full Version : Glencairn 'Malt Blender's Glass'
A month ago I ordered a pair of Glencairn crystal whiskey glasses from Malt Advocate. http://www.whiskeypages.com/marketplace/index.html
It is very much a hybred between a traditional 'nosing glass' and a snifter. It's a rather odd bird in that it sits on a kind of solid crystal pedestal that protrudes from the bottom of the glass. It is also small. Two ounces of bourbon fills the bulged out snifter like bottom third of the glass and almost into the straight 'nosing' portion. This dosen't seem like a serious drinking glass for those of us that consider a half cup of bourbon as a reasonable portion.
I field tested the Glencairn in a recent tasting and it worked quite well. It's just as good a drinker as any snifter and not quite as good a noser as my 'whisky blenders glass' from PubGear. http://www.pubgear.com/scotwhisnosg.html
All told they're servicable little whiskey glasses for neat drinking and nosing, and I'm happy to have them.
It's deja vu all over again. Or is it?
I ordered a pair of the Glencairn glasses a couple of days ago, and I thought the prompt was one of your posts. Maybe it was someone else.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to joining in the fun of testing various glasses, using a single bourbon. My initial test line-up will consist of the Glencairn glass, an eight-ounce snifter, an eight-ounce Old Fashioned (I'm guessing here) glass with a gold "Gentleman Jack" legend, and a three-ounce, straight-sided glass with a black "Jack Daniel's Whiskey" logo. I guess I would be courting disaster to include my Chivas Regal glass, eh? (Just kidding; I don't really have one.)
I think I'll start with Russell's Reserve as my first test bourbon. Let's see that's four glasses at, let's say, two ounces per glass... Gee, maybe I'd better pick up another bottle; I'd hate to run out, mid-test. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Of course I could use the same two ounces of bourbon and just pour it back and forth among glasses, but the other way sounds like more fun.
Toward the other end of the cost scale, while still being very enjoyable, Old Forester 86* will probably be my next choice. Maybe I'll finally be able to put a label on the distinctive element in its aroma and flavor.
I'm curious as to how useful are the markings on the Pubgear whiskey blender's glass. Or did you get the plain one? From the picture on the website it appears that the volume is marked in ounces. That seems less than useful to serve the stated intent of assisting in measuring the amount of water added. I would have thought that for serious taste testing one would add water in much smaller increments than ounces. I always pictured using a dropper of some kind.
Dave you're going to like the Glencairn's. There will be no real need for the 'whisky blender's glass', but you may want one all the same.The markings are really for measuring portions of different whiskies from different distilleries when blending the 'malt horror'.John Dube (Blackkeno) talks about many different glasses in an answer to my earlier thread entitled 'Glassware'. I almost posted this report there, but since this is a true field test of a specific piece of glassware that is compared and contrasted with another highly thought of glass I just went ahead and started a new thread. This topic board is so rarely posted upon I thought a new thread might just churn up some interest. Good glassware really is a must for serious nosing and tasting. It's also just plain fun to have around. Besides regular folks think you're just plain nuts to have all these funny little glasses. Right JD?
I went back and looked at John's post. I remember looking at it shortly after I joined the group and wondering what I had gotten myself into. It makes more sense to me now. (Blanton's definitely tastes better from a Welch's grape jelly jar than from a mason jar with a threaded top, and I don't dribble as much down my chin. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif )
The comparing of glassware is fascinating in several respects. For one thing, blind testing, in the usual sense, isn't really practical. I would suppose that from a bourbonian's standpoint the point of testing would be to reveal ways in which a glass influences the appearance, taste, and aroma of the product being drunk. Yet how can the look and feel (to both one's hand and lips) of the filled glass not affect one's perceptions of the bourbon, and vice versa?
I also suppose that a property that is beneficial for the enjoyment of one bourbon might be detrimental to another. If the bourbon is of low quality and the aroma is rough, then concentrating the vapors and directing them to the taster's nose is not a plus. On the other hand, when I'm drinking Old Rip 10 y/p 107*, I don't want a single molecule to escape.
As for the whiskey blender's glass, the only reason I might get one is so I can look like the guys in Chuck's video. Or were those just wine glasses? (That scene was almost to polished for my taste. Chuck, couldn't you get somebody who would do the scene without pants? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif )
Nuts and loving it!
Linn said: "not quite as good a noser as my 'whisky blenders glass' from PubGear. http://www.pubgear.com/scotwhisnosg.html "
Just looking at the shape of the glass alone, it looks to me like the old Whiskey Sour glasses of the 60's and 70's.
Doug while I do remember the 60's and 70's as a kind of blur I can't recall ever seeing a glass like that. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif The 'whisky blender's glass' really brings the vapors into focus. So much so that it is easy to 'singe' your nostrals. It's a lousey drinker, and is only good for working up a bourbon review. That's all I use it for.
I don't recall exactly, but I think they may have been wine glasses.
While it may have been "too polished," it was a fun scene to do. Those were production and management guys, not marketing guys. It really was a chance to get spontaneous reactions to something other than an interview question and it seemed like something we should do, i.e., have a tasting and talk about it. I'm there, participating, but I edited myself out. I think you can see maybe a jacket sleeve or something.
I just went back and watched the video (for only about the fifth time -- too bad it wasn't more interesting http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif ), and I didn't even see a coat sleeve.
I did notice that the glasses had white rings around the bowl part. The glasses were smaller than I remembered; I make the capacity to be six ounces, tops. The most interesting thing to me was that nobody ever took a sip. The bourbon must have been dizzy from all that swirling. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
Speaking of Alfred-Hitchcock-type-appearances, was that you doing the interview with Booker Noe? If so, I now know what your laugh sounds like (after Booker ends with, "I hope that wasn't what did him in"). Booker reminds me of a distant yet close cousin, Merv Ozier (Hi Merv! How are things up there?), who was about Booker's size and shared his love of life, family, and tradition.
I did all of the interviews so, yes, that's me.
In further defense of the tasting, most of tasting is smelling. We also did a little sipping, but I guess that got edited out.
Glad you like the tape.
The main thing is that I love the tape. I hope no one takes my comments as anything but an expression of my interest in detail, an interest that would be absent were the tape not chock-full of good material.
One thing I've been meaning to ask, have you documented, perhaps in this forum, major changes that have occured since 1992? For example, are all of the interviewees still living? Has the overseas market continued to grow? The home market?
Things have not changed too terribly much, considering the long span of time. At the time that was shot, United had just recently acquired Glenmore. United is now Diageo and they have sold everything except I.W. Harper and George Dickel. Several of the Heaven Hill rackhouses you can see in some of the shots were destroyed in the fire and HH now operates the distillery United built in Louisville at Bernheim, which was brand new in the video. Ancient Age is now Buffalo Trace, but it's still part of Sazerac, as it was then. Labrot & Graham, in ruins in the video, is now beautifully restored. (I like to think my video gave them the idea.)
I believe everyone I interviewed is still living. Export sales continue to grow. Domestic sales continue to be flat, expect in the super-premium segment, which is growing. The biggest change is that the industry was just then entering its first period of true stability in the 20th century, which has continued into the 21st.
My glasses arrived today, and I couldn't resist using one for my afternoon drink; never mind all my big talk in the earlier reply about testing against other glasses. (Well, maybe later.)
As you said they are indeed a bit small. Your description was quite accurate; I simply failed to grasp just how small they are until I saw them. At first I was a bit put off by that, but I got over it quickly.
I poured just enough EC12 to reach the widest part of the glass, figuring that the greatest possible surface area would yield the most aroma. It's been a while since I tasted EC12, but I don't remember it tasting as good as it did this afternoon from my new glass.
I'm not sure what's going on here, but I think that the tall, narrow top portion of the glass collects vapors, which than cascade over one's nostrils as one tips the glass up to take a sip. The effect seems to be that the nose characterstics are physically forced to carry over into the tasting phase. That's quite in contrast to my usual old-fashioned glasses, which allow the aroma to disperse more readily.
I can hardly wait to do at least part of the comparison that I wrote about earlier.
Thanks for the tip regarding these glasses, which will certainly add to my enjoyment of bourbon.
Kudos to you Dave! Anything to get rid of your haunted glass and stopped up sinuses is a good thing. Think pure thoughts and you'll even loose weight when you use your new glass. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
As you know from other posts, I too have a new Glencairn glass. Some thoughts - the crystal is strikingly clear and uniform, allowing a good assessment of color and "legs". Like Dave, I found that whiskey just seems to taste better from it than from my small snifters, probably because of the aroma concentration. The recurved sides mean that you don't get your whiskey taste when you think it's coming - you have to wait for your drink as the whiskey travels over the "hump" in the tilted glass. That gives it a chance to give you another wave of smell. As to the size, I measured 3 oz. (an average pour for me), which came to the top of the bulbous section of the glass, and definitely not into the "chimney". Although the glass could be scaled up slightly, it's got a nice compact heft as it is. I like the general "pot still" shape and use it regularly - with my luck I'll probably drop it on the kitchen floor within a week!
I picked up one of the Malt Advocate Glencairns during WhiskyFest. I thought it seemed a little different than the ones I had ordered from Whisky Magazine. It turned out the Malt Advocate glasses were noticeable thicker at least in the rim area.
Both of these had etchings from their respective magazines. Has anyone tried both the plain Glencairn's as well as either or both magazine's? I would be curious to know if the plain ones are more like Malt Advocate's or Whisky Magazine's.
I ordered my pair from Malt Advocate back around July, and they have no markings on them.
BTW, I discovered today that I enjoy ORVW 10/107 more when I drink it from one of my JD rocks glasses, rather than a Glencairn nosing glass. The JD glass yields a more pleasant (and more diffuse) nose, and its thinner, smoother rim also adds somehow to my enjoyment. I have not made a similar comparison of glassware using other bourbons.
John mine are unmarked. The rim is not as thin as my whisky blenders glass from Pubgear. This glass in entirely too fragile, both at the rim and the stem. I tend to like the thicker glass of the Glencairn better.The Glencairn neatly splits the difference between a pure nosing glass and a snifter.
I compared the pair of glasses that I ordered from Malt Advocate with the one I received at WhiskyFest. They appear to be exactly the same, except for the etching.
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