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A historically correct rye/bourbon glass?


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Hey guys. I mostly drink rye (sometimes straight bourbon). I want to get some glasses with history.

 

What is the correct pattern of glass for drinking Rye and the correct pattern for drinking bourbon?

 

Looking for an American made glass (something cheap like Libbey or Anchor is fine if they have the proper pattern)

 

Just interested in a glass style with history.

 

Thanks so much!

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Harry in WashDC

Welcome to SB.  Quite a few members love rye, and (presuming you haven't had a chance to wander around in here yet) there are several topics or threads devoted to rye.  Several threads including a recent one discuss glassware specifically and others cover it in passing (like, anybody seen this square glass with a rock in the glass so you can freeze it? or some such).  Under the "Browse Activity Community Map Chat" line on the upper left of this page, you'll see "Home".  If you click on "Home", you'll get a list of the major Forum categories the moderators try to keep us penned up in.  Most of us a pretty good at helping control the chaos, and late at night I use it to help me find my way into corners of SB I haven't visited lately.

 

Under "Home" and under the category "Bourbon Discussion", there is a topic listed (if you scroll down) as "Paraphernalia".  There are several glassware threads in there.  Even further down is a topic under "Other American Whiskey" that is devoted to ryes we are drinking.  I notw this because my answer to your question may not be enough.

 

DO NOT FRET!!  You don't have to remember all this BECAUSE all those topics appear magically under "General Bourbon Discussion" whenever anybody posts a comment on a thread.  But knowing it is there can sure help late at night when you need reading material.

 

NOW TO YOUR QUESTION = Unlike Belgian beers and some wines, bourbon and rye don't have a special glass that I know of.  The scotch Glencairns are favored by many for all whiskeys/whiskies, but each of us may have favorites and special dislikes.  MY favorite bourbon glasses for neat drinking happen to be either of two types - a regular-sized old fashioned glass (straight-sides about 9 OZ) and a Glemcairn with StraightBourbon etched on it, the latter being used more than the former.  I also like using a plastic Tossware 3 OZ glass that I keep near my TV chair.  Brandy snifters don't work for me, even for brandy, unless the bowl is wide enough to accommodate most of my nose when I sip.  The large bowl isn't needed on my OF and Glencairns because I sniff BEFORE I put the glass to mouth.  I do like a glass that leaves about 1.5 to 2 vertical inches of airspace above the fluid level so some evaporation can hold smells in the top of the glass.

 

EDIT - Please excuse the length of this - lunch is just too far away for me to sit idly.

 

What bourbons and ryes have you settled on, if any?  While I prefer bourbons over ryes for neat sipping, my cocktail preference is rye.

 

I look forward to your comments and contributions.

Edited by Harry in WashDC
had a though - SURPRISE!!
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smokinjoe

I like to bounce around with various styles of glassware, as each can give a different experience with the same whiskey. That said, I don’t think anything beats the common rocks glass for overall utility.  From a historical standpoint, I think the rocks glass for bourbon and rye checks that box, too.  

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What we usually call a rocks glass or old fashioned glass is really a double old fashioned glass.  If you look at glasses from the 1800s - early 1900s, they are shaped like a modern old fashioned glass, but about half the size.  They look like something in between a modern shot glass and a rocks glass.  The pre-prohibition glasses are not very thick or heavy either.  It's more like the thickness of a water glass.  There is a site called prepro.com with many examples.

You can find modern version that are similar.  I found some I really like (made by Arcoroc France) in a thrift store.  Retailers like Crate & Barrel, or World Market have lots of glassware.  Also, nothing wrong with getting some free rocks glasses with a holiday gift box, if they're still around.

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fishnbowljoe

With the exception of an occasional mixed drink, my favorite glass for drinking pretty much anything is a Glencairn. This isn’t right or wrong, it’s just my personal preference. You’ll find your favorite glass, and again, it won’t be right or wrong. It will be what you prefer. 

The perfect glass. The perfect bourbon. The perfect rye. The perfect anything.  It’s all a matter of personal preference. When I first got into bourbon, I was kinda on a quest to find the perfect bourbon. Thanks to this site I found it. Numerous times.🤨 

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it again......

My favorite glass, the one on my hand. 
My favorite bourbon, the one in my glass.


So don’t think too much about it. Just kick back and relax, have fun, and above all enjoy. 😉

 

Biba! Joe

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Thanks so much for all the info guys!

 

Could somebody post a photo of what they mean when they say rocks or old fashioned glass? When I search this it seems to be all kinds of different patterns. 

And is 9oz the standard (historically)? I see a lot of different rocks glass sizes.

 

Thanks again

Edited by iyiyi
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I should also mention that I only drink my rye or bourbon neat (not sure if that matters here)

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Harry in WashDC

If that's a 750ml bottle next to it, the glass appears to be about the right size.😃  What's it hold?  About a pint?🤣

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Harry in WashDC

I have been kicked out of the kitchen until I am told dinner prep is far enough along that my presence WILL NOT DISTRACT!!!!, Per posts by flahute, PaulO, and the others, I decided to expand upon this here subject.

 

Attached is a photo with several objects in it.  Included are two "Old Fashioned" glasses.  The big one, a "Double Old Fashioned" glass, is about 3.75" high and holds about 11.25 OZ of liquid and ice when filled to about 1/8 inch of its rim.  The small one, an "Old Fashioned" glass, is about 3" high and holds about 9 OZ of liquid and ice.  The Writers Tears, which I happen to be addicted to this week, is a 750ml bottle.  That bulbous thing is a Tossware plastic glass which I mentioned above.  I use it for tastings, samples, yard drinking with friends, etc., as they come in a lifetime supply box for a reasonable price.

 

Both my wife and I are in our '70s and, as such, have ended up with quite a bit of 1930s-1970s glassware and crystalware that siblings did not want when older relatives no longer needed drinkware.   We even built lit cabinets to hold them all and have winnowed our "collection" down over the years.

 

The fascinating thing we have noticed about our drinkware for liquors which dates from pre- and barely post-Prohibition is that the glasses pre-Pro are TINY.  Watch "The Thin Man" closely, and you'll see that Nick Charles' SIX martinis are in thimble-size glasses, and Nora (Myrna Loy) says to the bartender to give her what he's having and line them all up here.  She gets six martinis that, if you poured them all into one drink, might match a standard "double" you can get in any GOOD restaurant or bar today.

 

And thanks to PaulO for the pre-pro link.  I have an upper shelf with logo-heavy shot glasses, Glencairns, OF glasses of various sizes, etc.  When I no longer care, some heir will realize maybe $2  per glass from my collection.  BIG WHOOP!!!😅1148197203_OFglasses.thumb.JPG.24af3ebbd51e9fdd2f5795ae6b614c8c.JPG 

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1 hour ago, Harry in WashDC said:

If that's a 750ml bottle next to it, the glass appears to be about the right size.😃  What's it hold?  About a pint?🤣

LOL! It's a squat bottle so it makes the glass look bigger. That said, it IS on the large side of the size spectrum.

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Hey Harry, the smaller size Martini doesn't get the chance to start getting warm - tastes much better.  Higher proof gin helps too, fresh Vermouth, and just a drop of orange bitters if you have it. 🍸👍

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fishnbowljoe

I currently have 25 or 30 glasses that I've collected over the years. This is way less than I used to have. I've shared a few with other members here, including Galvin0791. I've also sold some at my brother and sister in laws garage sales over the years. Pictured below are just a few different ones that I kinda like.

 

Biba! Joe

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33 minutes ago, fishnbowljoe said:

I currently have 25 or 30 glasses that I've collected over the years. This is way less than I used to have. I've shared a few with other members here, including Galvin0791. I've also sold some at my brother and sister in laws garage sales over the years. Pictured below are just a few different ones that I kinda like.

 

Biba! Joe

DSC_0002 2.JPG

Ohhhhhh.......love that ER rocks glass.

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fishnbowljoe
5 minutes ago, flahute said:

Ohhhhhh.......love that ER rocks glass.

When I first got into bourbon, I bought lots of bourbon related stuff. Among my purchases were ER glasses, a mirror, and a clock. Same with MM. I went to an estate sale a number of years go just a couple of blocks from my house. From what I was told, the lady had been a secretary for a local liquor distributor for years. Their Xmas gifts every year were glasses and other liquor related paraphernalia. I bought some old Kentucky Tavern and Yellowstone glasses, plus an old cigar stand/ashtray. Cool stuff.

 

Biba! Joe

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JCwhammie
53 minutes ago, fishnbowljoe said:

 

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I'm with @fishnbowljoe that I mostly drink out of a Glencairn. I also mix in a Canadian Glencairn and Neat Taster. 

 

My favorite rocks style glass is the one Four Roses gives at their distillery and warehouse tours. It's the next to last glass in the above photo that Joe posted. 

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12 minutes ago, JCwhammie said:

I'm with @fishnbowljoe that I mostly drink out of a Glencairn. I also mix in a Canadian Glencairn and Neat Taster. 

 

My favorite rocks style glass is the one Four Roses gives at their distillery and warehouse tours. It's the next to last glass in the above photo that Joe posted. 

Ah yes, I have a number of those. That tends to be my out of the freezer glass for the FRYL out of the freezer.

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This is also a great glass that Jim had made for the 2017 Gazebo. It's rocks glass size.

 

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fishnbowljoe

Here's some pics of most of my glasses and a coupe of other items.

 

Pic #1. My Four Roses glasses. I did the FR breakfast talk a number of years ago, and that's when Jim Rutledge signed my tasting glass.

Pic #2. My old Yellowstone and Kentucky Tavern glasses.

Pic #3. My Maker's Mark glasses.

Pic #4. An Evan Williams Single Barrel glass, my ER 10/101 glasses, and a Larceny glass.

Pic #5. My "extra" Glencairns, and a couple of HH tasting glasses that I got at a barrel pick that I attended with folks from the GBS.

Pic #6. A MM drink mixer, a FR metal shot glass, and a couple of flasks. For a number of years, my bowling flask was quite extensively used.

Pics #7 & #8. My Old Forester drink set. A glass ice holder w/tongs and rocks glasses. 

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The metal shot glass pictured is often referred to as a "jigger" and used for measuring.

I really like the OF Repeal sets in the background - nice.

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dad-proof
On 1/22/2021 at 4:53 PM, PaulO said:

They look like something in between a modern shot glass and a rocks glass. 

 

Further to the above, this size glass is currently easiest to find as an espresso glass. I have been eyeing the Spiegelau Perfect Espresso glass below. They are 2.7 ounces in size so filling up 1/2 to 2/3 of the way seems like the perfect "pre-pro fancy bar" pour. The wide opening should also help tame higher proofs a bit. Just wish there were a way to get 4 for a reasonable price as opposed to a case of 12. This brand seems to focus on food service sales. Unfortunately for you they are made in Germany - but owned by Libbey if that helps. Hey, it would be historically accurate to have glasses brought over from the old world!

 

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dad-proof

OK the Googles might be getting me into trouble, but I am building a small coffee/spirits bar in the basement, so only logical to equip it with some glass. I just ordered a set of 6 La Rochère Zinc Espresso Cups for ~$45 after discounts and shipping. I think the Spiegelau are nicer in quality and appearance, but didn't need to spend ~$100 for 12 as an experiment. Plus these are a bit bigger at 3.5 ounces. Hopefully the Aeropress fits over the top as well. 

 

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Edited by dad-proof
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  • 4 months later...

Sorry to resurrect this thread. Have bought a few glasses but still searching for some more. Would you guys say an 8oz/9oz rocks glass is a pretty standard size (for a non-double). I really don't like the large (12oz and up) glasses. I only drink my Whiskey neat. 

 

Also, the https://www.pre-pro.com website seams to only show advertising glasses. Were most of the glasses back then for advertising? The site also doesn't list the ounces size. Just curious what a typical whiskey glass would have looked like pre prohibition 

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I would say the 8 oz. rocks glass is standard for a single or double pour in bars and restaurants.  12 oz. or larger tumbler is not normally used for whiskey. 

The antique glasses with brand names were originally given with purchase of full bottles.

The pre prohibition standard size (those pictured on the site) held a volume about half the size of a modern rocks/ old fashioned glass - so around 4 ounces.  The glass was not very thick.  It's like a miniature water tumbler.

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