Liquor pouring from decanter into snifter glass
The Difference Between Glencairn And Snifter Bourbon Glasses
Glencairns and snifters are two common glasses used for tasting bourbon, and each glass has unique features to enhance your whiskey-drinking experience.
Inspired by sherry copita glasses, Glencairn glasses were created in 2001. They feature a sturdy base, a slim yet bulbous body, and a narrow mouth.
The Glencairn’s bulbous body allows the liquor to interact with oxygen while the narrow rim funnels aromas to the nose, and the base allows many comfortable grips.
Snifters, also called balloon glasses, brandy snifters, or cognac glasses, were used as early as the 19th century. They have a delicate stem, wide bulbous body, and tapered mouth.
The short stem and bulbous body force the drinker to nestle the stem between their fingers and rest the body in the palm of the hand, a feature some think is a flaw.
Since so much of the glass touches the skin, the whiskey inside quickly warms up. Those who prefer chilled liquor argue this is a flaw, while fans argue it mellows the spirit.
The large body of the snifter allows the liquor to interact with oxygen faster, but the wider mouth means that aromas will be less concentrated as they reach the nose.