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5 Things to Look for in a Glencairn Glass

5 Things to Look for in a Glencairn Glass

Whether you’re drinking scotch or want to get the full connoisseurial experience of tasting whiskeys, you want a Glencairn glass. Similar to a snifter glass but meant solely for whiskey, the Glencairn glass is what experienced whiskey distillers use. Every whiskey lover should have Glencairn glasses in their home bar. Glencairns come in many varieties, yet there is a standard form. From getting custom whiskey glasses to determining if they are the right shape and fit for your hand, here is what you need to look for in the perfect Glencairn glass for you.



First, you want a custom whiskey glass that has been personalized to you. After all, chances are good you’re the one who will use the Glencairn the most. Make sure you can get your Glencairn glass deeply engraved for a unique look. Deep engraving creates a shadow in the glass and gives the glass a raised, 3D relief. If you’re on a budget or looking to buy in larger quantities, consider UV laser engraving, which provides better engraving than traditional CO2 laser or rotary methods. It produces a clean, crisp etching befitting the whiskey you pour into it.


Color of the Glass

The traditional color for a Glencairn glass is clear to see the color of the whiskey better. However, if you have a decanter and can already enjoy the color, you may want to color coordinate with your home’s aesthetic. You can find Glencairns made from colored glass, such as black, red or blue. This can also help you differentiate between glasses when guests are over for a whiskey party.


Matching Other Personalized Glassware

Another factor that can help you decide on the perfect Glencairn glass is how well it matches your existing barware. You might pick from the same set, making it easy, but if you have a personalized whiskey decanter, you will want to get the same general aesthetic for the Glencairn glass it is pouring into. You will also want to match or coordinate personalizations.


The Shape for Swirling

There are a few different shapes associated with the Glencairn. The critical aspect is to get one that fits your hand but ensures your hand has no contact with the glass bulb. This can unnaturally warm your whiskey. Smaller hands may find Canadian or Mini Glencairn glasses pleasing, while larger hands might need traditional-sized Glencairn glasses. The bulb must be big enough to swirl the whiskey, especially after adding water. It must also be large enough to fit your nose after swirling, letting you breathe in the aroma.


Channels Aromas While Maintaining a Thin Lip

The goal of a Glencairn glass is to channel aromas. The base and bulb should be sturdy, but the part of the glass that narrows to the lip should be delicate. It should be dainty yet made of sturdy material. This tulip-shaped glass should effectively channel the aroma. The lip should be thin and tapered and an out-turned one should highlight a single malt’s sweetness. This comes down to personal preference.


About Crystal Imagery

Eric Schuchart planted the seeds of Crystal Imagery when he started a hobby in 2001. The side project involved making personalized engraved glasses for his family and friends. The glasses received rave reviews. Sherri Blum, a noted interior designer for celebrities, joined Eric in 2013, and Crystal Imagery blossomed. Crystal Imagery uses a deep carving technique to produce a depth and shadow that traditional rotary surface etching methods just can’t match. Crystal Imagery offers personalized whiskey glasses, customized beer glasses, decanters, crystal ice buckets, growlers, and several other glassware options. Add a touch of luxury to your home bar with Crystal Imagery’s deeply engraved, customized glassware.


Find custom engraved Glencairn glasses at