We Tested the Best Whiskey Glasses for Your Home Bar

The Riedel Tumbler Collection Spey Whisky Set is the overall winner

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Whiskey glasses

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Tested & Approved

Our top choice is the Riedel Tumbler Collection Spey Whisky Set, which our tester found versatile, durable, and perfect for everyday use as well as for entertaining. For those looking for a classic glass for nosing, tasting, and sipping, go with the Glencairn Whiskey Glasses.

Fred Noe, Beam Family Seventh Generation Master Distiller, puts it pretty simply: “I always say you can drink bourbon any way you want to, and that goes for the glass. There are no set rules, but I like to enjoy mine in a nice rocks glass with a few cubes of ice or with a little water, too.”

Mr. Noe is right. The whiskey—spelled "whiskey" when it's made in America or Ireland and "whisky" when made anywhere else—glass you choose comes down to personal taste. Pouring some fine Scotch or bourbon at the end of the day is a tiny but satisfying ceremony for a whiskey drinker, and the glass should add a touch of joy to the ritual.

That being said, we wanted to give you expert insights and observations to help you decide on the whiskey glass that's best suited to your taste so we sent some top-rated options in a variety of price points and styles to be tested in a home bar setting. Each glass was rated on its size, design, durability, quality, and overall value.

Whether you prefer a glass that feels substantial in the hand, one that helps you better enjoy the aromas, or a glass that just looks cool, here are the best whiskey glasses to elevate the drinking experience.  

Best Overall: Riedel Tumbler Collection Spey Whisky, Set of 2

4.8
Riedel Spey Glass

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

What We Like
  • Large enough for a cocktail

  • Versatile enough for everyday use

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Clear, cut crystal

What We Don't Like
  • Not stackable

What do buyers say? 89% of 800+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

Riedel Crystal has been designing some of the world’s most exquisite glassware since 1756. The company is older than America. And those 300 years have led to the craftsmanship that can be seen in the brand's Spey Whisky Tumblers.

This glass offers a rare combination of quality and style at an affordable price. Taking its name from Scotland’s River Spey, an area that is renowned for producing fine whisky, the glass features a chic design full of diamond and wedge cuts. The style is inspired by the Art Nouveau period. Even when you’re not drinking, these glasses, which come in a set of two, are so stunning that they work as a showpiece in your den, kitchen, or dining room.

The Spey Tumblers are heavily weighted at the bottom, guaranteeing a sturdy, measured sip every time. They're dishwasher safe, hold up to 10 ounces, and—the best part—come at an unbeatable price. Our tester found the glasses could handle a large portion of ice for all your old-fashioneds, Boulevardiers, and Manhattans on the rocks. They're also big enough to accommodate a beefy rock if you prefer to use large single cubes with those mixed drinks.

Price at time of publish: $40

riedel-spey-whisky-glass-set-drink

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: Crystal glass | Capacity: 10.4 ounces | Quantity: Set of 2

Testing Takeaway

"Versatile and great for everyday use, they add a touch of fun and flair whether you’re having a drink solo or offering a guest a tipple in any form."

Best for Single Malt: Glencairn Whiskey Glasses

5
glencairn-glass

Courtesy of Glencairn

What We Like
  • Nosing-optimized design

  • Dishwasher safe

  • A cost-conscious option

  • Solid feel

What We Don't Like
  • Unsuitable for cocktails or ice

  • Not stackable

If you’ve been to a legit whiskey tasting, odds are you have sampled the wares from a Glencairn glass. The tulip-like design funnels aromas to the nose to better help you appreciate the nuanced notes of your bourbon, malt, or rye. Glencairns are also easy to hold and swirl. Plus they’re affordable, so it won’t cost a fortune to keep a good number on hand for you and some friends to sample a few varieties of whiskey. Made from lead-free crystal, the glasses are dishwasher safe.

Our tester called the weight of the glass "substantial but not excessive" and also enjoyed the tapered rim, which makes sipping easy. While these glasses aren't big enough for cocktails and ice, their classic design is perfect for anyone who enjoys their whiskey neat.

Price at time of publish: $30

glencairn-whisky-glasses-set-of-4-table

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: Crystal | Capacity: 6 ounces | Quantity: Set of 4

Testing Takeaway

"I’m not a snob—not every tipple I pour goes into a Glencairn—but when I’m trying something new, contrasting a few different drams, or engaged in a full-on tasting, these are my go-to."

Best for Bourbon: Libbey Signature Kentucky Bourbon Trail Whiskey Glasses

4
Libbey Signature Kentucky Bourbon Trail Whiskey Glasses

Amazon

What We Like
  • The shape funnels aroma well

  • Large enough to add a little ice

  • Stackable

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Not good for cocktails 

These are the official glasses of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which is probably all that needs to be said. Made from ClearFire glass, they are thin but hearty and feature a wide bowl so you can swirl while you sip. The shape also tapers toward the top to help you soak in aromas. These 8-ounce bourbon glasses come in a set of four, so you can easily pour yourself a flight. Plus they are dishwasher safe and stackable for easy cleanup and minimal storage.

While they look like the Glencairn’s little brother, they are a bit different. Our tester, a long-time user of the Glencairn glass, found the Libbey distinct enough that you may want to own both. The mouth is wide enough to fit a medium-sized cube of ice, but not large enough for a big craft ball or rock.

Price at time of publish: $40

libbey-signature-kentucky-bourbon-trail-whiskey-glasses-closeup

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: ClearFire glass | Capacity: 8 ounces | Quantity: Set of 4

Testing Takeaway

"The shape of the glass helps funnel aromas to the olfactory, which helps the drinker engage with more of the flavors in the drink, and because of its deliberate design, it gives you the feel of a serious tasting experience, even if you’re only drinking good-old Maker's Mark."

Best Double Wall: Norlan Whisky Glass

4.4
Norlan Whisky Glass

Wine Enthusiast

What We Like
  • Great showpieces

  • Double-walled so your hand won’t warm the spirit

  • Nice weight in hand

What We Don't Like
  • Not stackable

  • Not dishwasher safe

The Norlan whisky glass is all the rage with double-wall enthusiasts. The company takes two molded pieces of borosilicate glass and fuses the two together by spinning them across a linear flame. The result reflects the hue of the whiskey back up through the rim, giving it the shimmering appearance of gold paint. While the Norlan holds 5.9 ounces, you won’t want to fill it up or add aroma-killing ice to allow your senses to take full advantage of the glass’s design. Sold in pairs, the company does not recommend putting them in the dishwasher. 

Our tester reported that the shape funnels aromas well and the double-wall construction seems to keep your hand from increasing the temperature. They also have a nice weight in the hand.

Price at time of publish: $48

Norlan_WhiskyGlass_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: Borosilicate Glass | Capacity: 5.9 ounces | Quantity: Set of 2

Testing Takeaway

“These are a fun way to share a dram with friends. They actually feel sturdier in the hand than you’d expect. But because Norlan doesn’t recommend them for the dishwasher, I probably wouldn’t use them on a daily basis.”

Best Gift: Well Told Urban Map Glass

4
urban-map-glass

Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Cool design

  • Nice hand feel and weight

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • All cities aren't available

  • Hand wash recommended

Need a cool gift for a whiskey drinker? Consider these Urban Map glasses from the Boston-based Well Told design shop. The vessels themselves are made in Ohio and then etched in New Hampshire. Each detailed design flows around the glass. From Atlanta to Los Angeles and Miami to Pittsburgh, there's a large number of cities from which to choose, whether your recipient left his heart in San Francisco or she calls Chicago home sweet home. The glasses are 11 ounces, so they are big enough to hold a sizable drink.

The glass is versatile. Ice melts at an average rate, and it easily holds a dozen small cubes or one large one. You certainly could sip whiskey neat, but this glass is better for a drink on the rocks or a cocktail. Our tester reported that the glass has a nice hand feel and weight, and the shape is fine for tasting—though connoisseurs will most likely prefer a Glencairn for sniffing/tasting.

You definitely want to wash these a few times before you use them as our tester had a few tiny flakes of glass come off on his fingers while he was admiring the design right out of the box. They are not dishwasher safe to protect the design.

Price at time of publish: $18

WellTold_UrbanMapGlass_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: Glass | Capacity: 11 ounces | Quantity: 1

Testing Takeaway

“This is a fun piece for a collector. The etching actually makes the glass easier to hold. ”

Best Crystal: Lorren Home Trends Opera RCR 11 Oz. Crystal Whiskey Glass

5
whiskey-glass-set

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Substantial weight

  • Beautiful formal look

  • Large enough for an old-fashioned

What We Don't Like
  • Not stackable

A classic double old-fashioned glass is a must for every home bar, and nothing feels quite like crystal when you’re sipping whiskey. The weight of the glass makes even a dull dram feel more substantial. This handsome set of six RCR crystal glasses from Lorren Home Trends is a great value, and since their 11-ounce capacity makes them excellent for cocktails as well as whiskey, they're also versatile.

Our tester reported that these glasses are great for daily use. The design elevates cocktails and the drinking experience, and ice melts at a very normal rate.

While they are dishwasher-safe and lead-free, washing by hand is recommended to preserve the glasses’ sparkle and translucence. Our reviewer didn't notice any durability issues during testing.

Price at time of publish: $56

LorrenHomeTrends_OperaRCR_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: RCR crystal | Capacity: 11 ounces | Quantity: Set of 6

Testing Takeaway

“These truly do feel luxe at an affordable price point. They have a nice weight in the hand and easily fit a large ice cube for even your fussiest craft cocktail.”

Best Design: NEAT Glass Official Competition Judging Glass

4.8
NEAT Glass Official Competition Judging Glass

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Nice conversation piece

  • Thoughtful design

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Not for cocktails

If you are serious about enjoying the nose of your whiskey and want to get the most out of the bottles you buy, you might want to try the Neat glass. Particularly great for Japanese whisky, this is a vessel made with love—development lasted nine years and took 52 design revisions. Made from Slovakian's finest lead-free, dishwasher-safe crystalline, the glass features a wide bowl that holds a 1.5-ounce pour at the apex. Neat recommends swirling and placing your nose at the center of the rim so you can smell the whiskey without exposing your beak to unwanted alcohol burn, which can impair your ability to pick up on aromas.

Our tester reported a nice weight and hand feel, though they might skew slightly fragile. They are stackable, which is nice for storage purposes.

Price at time of publish: $22

Neat_OfficialCompetitionJudgingGlass_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: Crystalline | Capacity: 2 ounces | Quantity: Set of 2

Testing Takeaway

“The design is funky but fluid and the experience is similar to a Glencairn. Also, the Neat glasses are surprisingly stackable.”

Best Personalized: Home Wet Bar On the Rocks 12 oz. Whiskey Glass

4
personalized-glasses

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Easy customization

  • Big enough for mixed drinks

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Missing a luxury vibe

For some traditionalists, having monogrammed glasses is imperative. Home Wet Bar's 12-ounce version comes in a set of four that get etched to your specifications—which might give a few friends a chance to learn your middle name. But remember, when requesting your initials, go first name, last name, then the middle, so your family name ends up bigger than the others. The glass is dishwasher safe, but the company recommends handwashing. 

This glass is more suited for cocktails and whiskey on the rocks. You can pack numerous small cubes and easily a large hunk of ice. Our tester liked the size and weight of the glasses. Plus, they are stackable for easy storage.

Price at time of publish: $63

HomeWetBar_OnTheRocks_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Material: Glass | Capacity: 4 ounces | Quantity: Set of 2

Testing Takeaway

“After a couple of washes, durability seems good."

Final Verdict

After sipping whiskey out of each vessel on this roundup, our tester chose the Riedel Tumbler Collection Spey Whisky Set as the best overall pick. The glasses are versatile, work well for everyday use, and look great whether on the bar or in your hand. For those looking for a true, authentic tasting experience, the Glencairn Whiskey Glasses can't be beaten.

How We Tested

The author of this roundup, whiskey and spirits writer Nicholas McClelland, personally tested each recommendation on this list by sipping whiskey and other cocktails out of the glasses, storing them, and cleaning them. He assessed the way each glass felt in the hand, the sipping/sniffing experience, and how long it took ice to melt in the glass. He then rated them on their size, design, durability, quality, and overall value. Finally, he determined which type of whisk(e)y drinker might gravitate toward each one.

Home Wet Bar Whiskey Glasses

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

What to Look for in a Whiskey Glass

Materials 

Most barware is made from glass. While some makers produce various metal vessels, plastic versions, and even wooden cups, we prefer glass to more opaque vessels because it allows the drinker to appreciate the nuanced colors of different whiskies and won’t impart any flavor to the spirit the way some metals and wood can. Humans have been using glass cups for millennia; it’s inexpensive, durable, and typically easy to clean.

Old fashioned cocktail recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

A bit fancier, crystal is a type of glass that adds a bit of sparkle to any drink, and the material allows the maker to craft more intricate designs. Of course, it’s typically handwash-only and can be rather expensive. While crystal has traditionally been made with lead oxide because it makes the glass more refractive, we recommend searching out lead-free versions as wines and spirits can leach lead over time plus lead can impart some unwanted flavors. However, according to the FDA, the occasional drink taken from a leaded crystal glass shouldn’t pose too much of an issue, unless you’re pregnant or plan on becoming so.

Other materials like plastic, wood, metal, and even ceramic can make good, attractive whiskey glasses, but you’ll want to think about what best serves your lifestyle and aesthetic and go from there.

Quantity 

How many glasses you should buy really depends on how often you entertain, your storage capacity, and how often you want to wash them. Typically, glasses are sold in packs of four. You may be able to get away with a single set, but even a modest gathering will require a few more. We like to keep eight to 12 Glencairn-style glasses for sipping, a dozen or more stackable, highly versatile tumblers, and at least eight coupés, in case your usual guests love to start an evening off with a Manhattan.

Classic highball cocktail recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Design 

There is no shortage of designs for whiskey glasses. You can find barware in nearly every shape and size as well as double-walled, adorned with etchings, monograms, bejeweled, patterned crystal, or even colorful glass. The world, in terms of aesthetics, is truly your oyster. But keep in mind that crystal, Murano glass, or anything with a metallic rim likely won’t be as easy to care for as types of whiskey glasses that are a little less precious.  

Price 

You can certainly find a whiskey glass for less than the price of a Big Mac; tumblers that cost a dollar or two are plentiful. Or you could shell out a tidy sum for a single piece of handmade crystal from Ireland or France; the cost of a set can reach four figures. Prices vary widely depending on what you want, but a set of four handsome glasses that you’ll enjoy in your hand and will fetch compliments from guests can easily be had for under $50.

Best Whiskey Glass Reviews

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Types of Whiskey Glasses

"Tasting" Glass

For sipping, we recommend something akin to the Glencairn or the NEAT, which are essentially whiskey-specific snifters that are much smaller than the brandy version. Glasses of this style are frequently used at serious whiskey tastings and competitions. Similar to a tulip glass, though stemless with a heavier base and generally featuring a wider bowl, the floral shape helps funnel aromas to your olfactory receptors so you’re better able to appreciate the nuances of your whiskey. It's also easy to eyeball a full dram pour, and the heavy base feels nice in the hand.

Tumbler

Classic tumbler-style or rocks-style glasses work for sipping neat as well, but are particularly great for a drinker who takes their bourbon, Scotch, or rye with a cube or two. The large mouth makes it easy to add ice and top with whiskey. While you can find an incredible number of handsome designs, you’ll want a set that isn’t too thinly blown with a good, stable base. 

Highball Glass

For whiskey soda aficionados, highball glasses are a solid addition to any bar. Long and tall, these glasses will hold a stack of ice, a few ounces of liquor, and a portion of soda on top. Also, holding a big, ice-cold highball glass on a hot summer day is remarkably refreshing.

Manhattan cocktail

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Coupé

A large number of folks prefer their brown spirits mixed in a cocktail. While rocks glasses are great for an old-fashioned or a Vieux Carré, we think a drink served "up" requires something a little more delicate, like a stemmed coupé glass that doesn’t slosh quite as much as a martini glass

Shot Glass

Don’t bother with these unless you hate the taste of whiskey and just want to chase it with beer. No connoisseur would simply throw their expensive expression down the hatch in one big gulp. Sure, you could sip from a shot glass, but why would you? Its small size makes it hard to handle and too easy to spill your precious dram.    

Whiskey Glass Reviews

The Spruce Eats / Nicholas McClelland

Brands

Glencairn

Originally created in the early 2000s, the Glencairn quickly became the first choice of many distilleries and bars across Scotland and Ireland. Its distinctive glasses have become standard issue at whiskey tastings across the globe. Glencairn makes its glasses from lead-free crystal in a design that funnels all the amazing whiskey smells to the nose, informing the way you appreciate the drink's flavor.   

Libbey

Founded in Massachusetts as the New England Glass Company in 1818, Libbey later relocated to Toledo, Ohio, and at the beginning of the 20th century became the first firm to make machine-blown glass. It currently produces an incredible number of barware designs that are widely available at numerous retailers everywhere.   

Norlan

New on the scene, Norlan is an international brand that has quickly become known for its stunning, narrative-driven Sruli Recht designs. While the firm only produces a precious few products, all from lead-free crystal, it offers unique and highly conversational accoutrements to the whiskey-drinking experience.    

Old-Fashioned Cocktail

The Spruce Eats / Claire Cohen

Maintenance and Storage

Handwashing large numbers of crystal or delicate glassware can be tedious and annoying. For everyday use and large parties, consider finding versatile whiskey glasses that are dishwasher safe for no-fuss, no-muss cleanup. If you do choose crystal or a more delicate material, be sure to check the care label before you order. But generally, for all handwash-only glass and barware, you’ll want to use a soft sponge and non-abrasive soap. Never use steel wool, because you risk scratching or even severely damaging your piece. 

As for storage, if you want to keep a large number of glasses available for gatherings, consider those that are stackable. Barware can eat up cabinet space rather quickly. Also, leave some distance between glasses or stacks so they aren’t touching to help prevent accidental breakage. 

FAQs

Are whiskey and Scotch glasses the same?

There is not really a difference between Scotch and whiskey glasses. You can drink bourbon from a Glencairn and you can drink Scotch from a tumbler. It’s really a choose your own adventure situation.  

What kind of glass is used for a whiskey sour?

A whiskey sour on the rocks is typically served in a double old-fashioned glass while one served "up" may come in a coupé. The same goes for a Manhattan.

How many ounces does a whiskey glass typically hold?

Whiskey glasses come in a variety of sizes. A shot glass, for example, usually holds between 1 and 2 ounces, while a double old-fashioned glass typically has between a 10- and 12-ounce capacity. The iconic Glencairn glass, used by many distilleries and bars, holds 6.5 ounces—but filling these to the brim is not recommended.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Nicholas McClelland is a passionate whisk(e)y drinker who has written about spirits for Men’s Journal, Fatherly, and Inside Hook. His bar is deep with rare single malts, hard-to-find bourbons, and ryes, but he doesn't believe there's anything too precious to share with friends. His home bar is stocked with at least 20 Glencairn glasses and he also tested every other option on this list.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nichols, Jeannie. Watch out for kitchenware that could chemically contaminate your food. Michigan State University Extension.

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