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Dave_in_Canada

Glassware Poll

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Glassware Poll  

148 members have voted

  1. 1. Glassware Poll

    • Blender's Nosing Glass
      58
    • Scotch whisky or brandy
      15
    • Riedel scotch
      12
    • Riedel Bourbon
      71
    • Brandy, Cognac
      38
    • Lowball glass
      73


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Dave_in_Canada

[Please bear in mind that my ideas on glassware are generalizations and specific to times when I am serious about tasting, or enjoying a premium pour.]

That snifter (purchased at Wild Turkey) is a bit too large for my taste... the volume inside the glass ends up concentrating the alcohol, overpowering some of the more delicate components of smell. I have a couple of smaller snifters that seem to work better (ie. less volume).

The wine tasting glass on the far right, for me, seems to be the right balance of nose without the overpowering effect alcohol.

I'm talking Bourbon here, not other spirits. (for instance i prefer Cognac in a huge snifter, for some reason).

Incidentally, my wife, who is just "getting into" bourbon, prefers a lowball glass, as she dislikes the alcohol in the nose, but loves the flavour.

toast.gif

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Dave_in_Canada

That's a great link, thanks for posting it. It's very interesting to note that he rated the glasses differently for each malt. I agree with this, that each whiskey has it's particular merit(s ) and sometimes it takes a different shape of glass to discover it/them. This is one reason why a guy needs a huge collection of glassware! smile.gif

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CL

I have some department store snifters (4 for $20). With these snifters, I don't find the alcohol to be overpowering in the nose. I get a fully textured nose that is very satisfying. It almost feels like I can taste the bourbon. It's like a dense mist wafting down into my throat and mouth. In fact, as I have worked to curtail my consumption, I spend alot more time savoring the nose. It helps increase the time between sips.

I've wondered alot about whether I should buy special-purpose bourbon or whiskey glassware, but your description has helped me realize I am on the right track with my snifter glasses. Thanks. smile.gif

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Dave_in_Canada

Hi Chuck, I don't meanto flog the deadhorse.gif but this topic is one that really interests me.

The smaller dept. store style snifters are great. The one advantage of taster glass is that the sides are less steep, providing a smoother delivery... (I like how Jeff put it earlier "gently places the bourbon on your tongue"). Nevertheless, it's all about enjoyment, that's the key.

toast.gif

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cowdery

I've been tasting spirits with some degree of seriousness for more than 20 years and have tried a lot of different glasses: large and small snifters, large and small wine glasses, large and small shot glasses, on-the-rocks glasses, lowball glasses, and the blender's nosing glass, to which I was just introduced in recent years.

When I wanted to do some serious nosing I would use a snifter, but it was really too effective, especially the large ones. The snifter is perfect for cognac, pretty good for scotch, and too good for bourbon. The nose can just about knock you out.

As between snifters and wine glasses, wine glasses are better, and white wine rather than red. Just personal preferences here. I don't think there are any right or wrong answers about this.

Today I use the blender's nosing glass for serious tasting and a lowball glass for everyday drinking.

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MurphyDawg

Does this mean my signed Four Roses bottle is worth $200, cause if anybody wants to buy it offa me for that, I am not too terribly attached to it wink.gif.

TomC

post-89-14489811322595_thumb.jpg

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Gillman

Chuck, I am curious about your use of the term, "lowball glass". The term highball is well known of course; so is the vernacular term lowball (e.g. to make a "lowball offer", the term deriving from baseball usage). Everyone will know that you meant a short whiskey glass, but was that just a casual personal usage of yours or is the term lowball in fact generally used in the sense (in Chicago, perhaps?) you intended? I initiated a discussion the other day, on the Question and Answer forum of www.whiskymag.com, on the origin of the term highball. In the course of that discussion, I stated that lowball is not used in whiskey terminology to denote the opposite of highball! I have never heard or read that that it did until reading your post. Comments?

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CL

The snifter is perfect for cognac, pretty good for scotch, and too good for bourbon. The nose can just about knock you out.

I experienced this last night. I was nosing WT 12 yo and it about singed my nose hairs. My sinues may have been oversensitive because I spent all day flying back from California to NC; airplanes really dry me out.

But, I like your idea - I just may dig out the white wine glasses and give them a try.

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ratcheer

I am with you, Gillman. I am 52-years old and pretty widely read. I have heard the term "highball" all my life. But I first encountered the use of "lowball glass" here on sb.com a couple of months ago. I believe I may have mentioned that I thought it odd, possibly in this very thread.

Is a "lowball glass" different from an old fashioned glass? If yes, is it also different from an on-the-rocks glass?

Tim

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Gillman

Well, Bettye Jo has since informed me the term lowball indeed is used in the whiskey business to mean a short drink of whiskey, e.g. it is understood at Heaven Hill in that sense. I do not know if a lowball glass is the same size as an old-fashioned glass, though (or a tumbler if that is different).

This raises a question for history buffs: was the term lowball always so used, i.e., from the era when highball was first used to mean a tall drink? If so, perhaps the former term has a regional meaning only.

Alternatively, it might be a 1990's coinage, which is what I think.

I welcome further thoughts. On the www.whiskymag.com Question and Answer forum a contributor noted that "bolls of malt" was an early reference - in Scotland - to the barley malt used to make whisky. He suggested a link between that old (agricultural) expression, dating from the 1400's, and the expression "ball of malt". The latter is an Irish term meaning a drink of whiskey. The term is so defined in a lexicon of whisky terms posted on the site. I suggested on that forum that ball of malt, under American conditions, possibly became adapted to "highball". But I never thought (and in fact suggested therein to the contrary) that "lowball" meant the converse of highball in drinking terminology.

Gary

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boone

I have sold many, many, many Lo-Ball glasses...That is what Heaven Hill calls this type of glassware...If you ask for a low ball glass this is what ya gonna get.. http://www.theoldsod.com/emmet_lo-ball_glass_sets.htm simular to the bottom row, with Evan Williams on it...

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

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Gillman

Thanks Bettye Jo, this is very interesting, first, to show lowball (or lo-ball) has an established commercial meaning of a short glass of whiskey, but also because the designs on these glasses all relate to Irish culture. The glasses may be imported from Ireland (the bottom of the ad states Old Sod Imports). Possibly in Ireland the glasses are sold as "lo-ball" glasses too, although one can't tell from this particular ad. In any case, the Irish connection resurfaces! Ball of malt is an old Irish colloquial term for a drink of whiskey. Still, the term lo-ball glass may be American only (whether old-established or newish is hard to say without further evidence) and the Irish designs here may just be coincidence..

The glasses are nice and clearly intended for whiskey. They differ evidently from the old-fashioned or tumbler style of glass. They are shot-type glasses nicely stylized: exactly what one would expect to see today in the converse of the highball glass.

Gary

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ratcheer

Looks like "on the rocks" glasses, to me. But I do see that that is what they call them.

Tim

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cowdery

I would love to claim some arcane knowledge of glassware. In fact, I got "lowball" from the poll itself. It's the last one on the list and depicted at the far right in the picture. I have some, like them, and didn't know what to call them. They are bigger than a shot glass-even a jumbo shot--but smaller than an on-the-rocks glass.

Gary Regan in his The Bartenders Bible has a section on glassware. For whiskey drinks he offers (largest to smallest) Collins, Highball, Old-Fashioned and Shot. He describes the Collins as 10 to 14 oz., the Highball as 8 to 10 oz., the Old-Fashioned as 6 to 10 oz. and the Shot as 1 1/2 to 2 oz. The two glasses in my cupboard that I would consider lowballs are 6 and 8 oz. respectively so in Gary's lexicon, they would be small old-fashioned glasses.

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Dave_in_Canada

Chuck, I've seen the term lowball here in Canada for years, especially in reference to manhattans, etc. I've seen it used in alot of recipes, synonomous with the old-fashioned glass. The photo in the poll was actually taken from this web page which has other glassware photos.

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Black85L98

Tastes good out of any glass. Lowball or Old Fashioned I like a short clean look.

post-205-14489811326117_thumb.jpg

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kitzg

I think in the past the term "old fashioned glass" was popular. According to some sources, An Old Fashioned glass has a heavy bottom that can withstand the pressures of muddling fruit, sugar and bitters upon it.

As more of us might drink a shot or a rich shot (1.5 to 2 oz) either neat or on ice the term lowball has come to mean that small, often rounded bottom glass that holds the correct amount.

The rounded versions fit very smoothly in my hand.

-- Greg

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cowdery

The glassware makers are not consistent in their terminology. I have seen lines in which they offer both an "on-the-rocks" glass at maybe 10 oz. and an "old-fashioned" glass at maybe 12 oz.

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Buckky

For years I used an inexpensive but attractive cut-glass, "low-ball" glass that was purchased from a common discount store. This set of four has now dwindled to one after nearly 15 years and some cracks and drops. Recently I bought a christmas "gift pack" that had a bottle of Rare Breed and two very nice "lowball" glasses that have a square bottom with large round sides and a discreet Wild Turkey logo on the side. These are larger glasses than my previous ones but they have a great "feel" to them and are now my regular choice...the "survivor" cut glass now being retired. If you see this gift box, check it out. It's a great price for an excellent bourbon and two glasses... about $24 bucks.

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jeff

I'm glad you like those, as I am considering purchasing the set you mention. They are different from the Rare Breed glasses I got last year, but the do look nice enough.

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ratcheer

I recently bought a Rare Breed gift box with two "on the rocks" glasses. With a $4-off sale price, it is still $27 in Alabama ( the home of high liquor prices). frown.gif

Tim

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jeff

That's not a terrible price. It's $29 here in Lexington, glasses or none frown.gif

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njm

I've heard the term 'bathtub' referring to common glassware that is a bit wider and squarer at the base than the lowball glass (noted from the pictures that you so nicely provided in your poll). Buffalo Trace sold some pretty nice ones at its booth this year and made me push Bob's Jim Beam 'bathtubs' towards the back of the shelf in our already overcrowded glassware hutch. Reminiscently, a friend's husband told me that he and his dad would drink bourbon out of these 'bathtubs' with ice. I suppose the square base holds the ice cubes less awkwardly with less drippage from melting - so you can place a square peg in a squared off hole - and maintain ice cube temperature a little longer perhaps. Just this novice's little analysis of glass shape with regard to the rate at which the ice cubes melt, should you like your Bourbon on ice and not neat. blush.gif

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OneCubeOnly

Tom--remember before you mentioned the Maison du Whisky glasses? I found an online ordering site (in French), where they have 'em for 38 Euros:

http://www.whisky.fr/index.php?partie=1&rub=1&prod_id=2902&prod_ins=2902

The only problem is, I don't know French and don't recognize the United States in the list of 'destinations'...so they may not even ship here. Do you know French well enough to figure it out? (I'd like a set too!)

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MurphyDawg

I was gonna say, Rare Breed has been as high as $35 in Ohio, I see it running locally at a $28 holiday special around here.

As a side note, I have been drinking my hogher end bourbon from a champagne flute recently (one that is ever so slightly curved in at the top). It seems to be doing a good jon of balancing between nose, and palate entry. Something to try.

TomC

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