There are many articles and posts all over the internet detailing the “perfect” whiskey/whisky glass and why you should be using it instead of what’s in your cabinet. These reasons range from the scientific properties highlighting the delivery of whiskey chemicals to your senses, to traditional elitists suggesting “you’re doing it wrong” if you don’t pour into the “proper” glass for your chosen spirit’s region. So many facts and theories muddled in with biased opinions detailing “the best”. Articles telling you what you’re doing wrong and how to do it right. This article is not one of them…
Instead of that, instead of preaching about one style verses another, let’s look at the favorite glass. Not just my favorite but yours as well. Many people have a preferred drinking vessel – whether it be a morning coffee cup, jumbo tumbler they carry around all day, branded beer glass, tiki cup they were suckered into buying on vacation and have grown to love, or of course the prized whiskey glass. For those of you who don’t care about glassware, who would be happy drinking out of the same red plastic disposable cup for eternity, I envy you. As does my wife, who would love to recover the currently unavailable storage space in multiple cabinets due to my glass obsession.
One of the highlights, and also biggest downfalls, of that favorite glass is just that: it’s glass. Glass (and crystal) brings an elegance with it; a sense of adulting properly. It’s non-porous and doesn’t interfere with the experience by imparting unwanted flavors or aromas to your dram. Glass also breaks. Glass tends to break at a higher rate for me when there’s alcohol involved. That’s where having a spare, a backup, will save you a many sad days in life.
Very recently, I had a heartbreaking loss to my collection. One of my favorites. It didn’t jump out of my hand. I didn’t tip it over on a marble counter. It didn’t go flying across the room in a fit of rage when I was outbid at the last second on that hard to find bottle of Bunnahabhain I’ve been chasing for years… Instead, like a civilized adult (and in order to impress upon my wife that I’m not the man-child I really am) I attempted to wash it. This is a rarity around my house. Usually I depend on that magical dish fairy to take it from sink to cabinet overnight while I’m sleeping. I love that fairy. More impressive than the laundry fairy, honestly. I didn’t even try to jam my sausage fingers into the glass while cleaning. I think I did a pretty great job. I managed to clean both inside and out without even breaking a sweat. There was just one step left. Quite simple really. Get it from hand to rack in one piece. And that’s where I fail. It was all a blur, yet slow motion at the same time. I saw my hand coming down on that stoneware coffee mug. I misjudged the dimensions I guess. I must have been in too much of a hurry to get to the next pour. Whatever happened, it happened HARD. You know when you hear a rock fly off the asphalt and hit your windshield on the highway? The frantic scanning to find the spot you just know is cracked? The wave of relief that sweeps over you when you don’t find anything wrong at all? It was just like that… minus the last part.
I did it! I cracked my crystal-cut Glencairn. One of my favorites. The dimensions are slightly off from a standard Glencairn, and I do notice a difference in the delivery, but the experience! The experience of holding that weight, the feel of it in my hand, the way light bounces off the cuts and into the whiskey, refracting again into the cuts on the other side. It truly was a gem and in the blink of an eye, it was gone forever. I felt the loss in my heart, and as people do when something traumatic happens in life, I immediately took to social media. “Cry with me! Acknowledge my pain!” Of course I kept it a little more together than that, but masked behind whatever words I did use were those emotions.
What stung the most was, not only was this one of my favorite glasses, but I neglected to buy a spare. I didn’t have a backup. There was nothing to take its place. Every glass purchase I’ve made has been made in duplicates at minimum. To avoid this. To spare the emotional turmoil I felt. I know it’s ridiculous, but I loved that glass. Don’t judge me! I can even remember making that call. Talking myself out of a second one. Looking at the price and saying “I’ll be really careful. I don’t need two. That’s a lot of money. One will be fine.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. It would have been so much easier to just have ordered two, even three when I did, instead of spending the night pouting on the couch and complaining on Facebook while ordering another. Well, two others actually.
So I implore you, learn from my mistakes. If you have a favorite glass, no matter what is and assuming it’s not an irreplaceable family keepsake you really shouldn’t be drinking from to begin with, splurge a bit and buy an extra. At least one. These things happen. When they do, they’re so much easier to deal with if you just learn how to back that glass up
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