Read enough whisky blogs, or any articles where they talk about glassware and spirits you drink neat, and you’ll notice that most experts don’t recommend the iconic Old Fashioned glass.
When you’re enjoying something neat, most recommend scotch glasses that taper at the mouth.
The advantage of the taper is that it concentrates the aromas. When you stick your snozz into that baby, you’re get a straight shot of everything good and great about scotch piped directly into your brain. In the beginning, this will be a lot. Too much. Like turning on a flood light the second you wake up.
Eventually, as you ease into it, you’ll begin to enjoy it more. Sometimes you’ll need a few drops of water but eventually it’ll open up. You’ll start to detect various scents like caramel, dry and fresh fruit, vanilla, citrus peel, … the list goes on. That’s the beauty of the tapered mouth – it directs those scents right to your brain.
The disadvantage? Good luck making a cocktail in one!
The walls of a Reidel seem too too thin and delicate for ice, let alone mixing. A Glencairn’s tapered mouth makes getting anything other than the spirit inside a challenge. And it also looks… wrong. I can’t imagine a slice of fruit sitting on the edge of a Copita nosing glass.
That’s why you always need a few classic Old Fashioned glasses in your bar.
They don’t taper. They aren’t delicate. They’re workhorses.
The walls are vertical because they’re designed to hold an Old Fashioned cocktail (hence the name). The walls are also thicker, so you can muddle in the glass if you need to, and more accepting of ice cubes, especially massive ones.
So, the next time you’re thinking about glassware (as I know we all do), give the Old Fashioned some love, even if you’re enjoying it neat. 🙂