The Glencairn Whisky Glass

The Glencairn nosing glass is an iconic standard for the enjoyment of high-quality single malts: the Glencairn glass is indispensable for tastings around the world. Connoisseurs appreciate his qualities in nosing and tasting as well as the stable processing. We present you the Glencairn Nosing Glass in detail today - is it always the first choice?

You can’t see it in the timeless Glencairn glass, but the design only dates from the 1970s: the short-stemmed Nosing glass was designed by designer Raymond Davidson. He wanted to develop a glass for whisky connoisseurs that optimally brings out the multi-layered aromas of high-quality single malts when nosing and tasting.

Davidson had observed that long-handled nosing glasses break quickly when used in bars. He therefore devised a shape for his Glencairn glass that did without the fragile stem. In the Glencairn, the belly of the glass goes directly into the solid foot.

The Glencairn glass was developed with master blenders

When glass designer Davidson introduced his first Glencairn to various master blenders in Scottish whisky distilleries, they had various suggestions for improvement. Together with their expertise, the Glencairn glass was further developed and brought into its current form.

  • The shape of the Glencairn glass resembles a tulip: the aromas of single malt can develop well in the stomach. However, other nosing glasses sometimes offer a wider body and are then an advantage in this discipline. Due to the narrowing opening towards the top, the aromas are bundled and do not evaporate immediately.
  • The size of the Glencairn is ideally suited to hold 35 ml of whisky and at the same time offers enough space for a few drops of water if you want to unlock the single malt to expand your taste.
  • The brilliant crystal glass allows a good view of the color and viscosity of the whisky. If you hold the Glencairn against the light, the golden-brown spirit shimmers in beautiful facets.

The Glencairn glass for everyday dramming

There is hardly another nosing glass that is as comfortable to hold as the Glencairn. The index and middle fingers find a good space between the base and the vitreous body, on the other hand the thumb forms the counterweight. Visually, the Glencairn glass looks very elegant in this handle despite its rather compact shape. A positive side effect: by transferring the hand warmth to the glass, the aroma of the whisky contained can develop even better.

We have used the Glencairn glasses at tastings for many years and can therefore confirm that they are very stable. They like to go in the upper basket of the dishwasher and are not damaged during many washes. The Glencairns are absolutely dishwasher safe.

One of the best selling nosing glasses in the world

Today you will encounter Glencairn whisky glass in Scottish distilleries as well as at countless large whisky fairs around the world. It can also be found in numerous renowned bars. Even if whisky tastings occasionally use the slightly more elegant whisky snifter from Spiegelau . Last but not least, the Glencairn is the standard glass for most tastings. As a Glencairn glass with engraving, it also becomes an individual gift.

Incidentally, this success was not a matter of course: after its development, the designs of the Glencairn glass slept in Raymond Davidson’s cupboard for many years. At the time, the economic success of a glass only seemed too uncertain for single malt whisky.

It was only his sons Paul and Scott Davidson who rediscovered their father’s designs and launched the Glencairn glass around 25 years later. Since its publication in 2001, Glencairn Glass has won numerous awards, including the prestigious “Queen’s Award for Innovation” - which is personally conferred by Queen Elisabeth II

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