Whiskey glasses enhance your drink, but expensive whiskey glasses can make you feel as if you’ve been transported to a world of refined taste and sophistication. That’s why I wanted to find 10 expensive and luxury whiskey glasses that are perfect for opulent sipping.
1. Glencairn Cut Crystal Whisky Glass – $52 For 2
The classic Glencairn is one of the world’s most popular whisky glasses. The Cut Crystal Glencairn is its luxury and expensive version – $52 for a set of two.
Both have the well-known Glencairn Whisky Glass shape (a wide bowl that narrows towards the top with a short stem and thick base), but what makes the Cut Crystal Glencairn superior and therefore more expensive, is the fact that it’s handmade from 24% leaded crystal and has a very fine and detailed diamond and wedge cut.
The following table shows the differences between these two glasses more clearly:
|Classic Glencairn||Cut Crystal Glencairn|
|Plain||Diamond and wedge cut|
|Lead free||24% leaded crystal|
It’s important to point out at this point that there’s some controversy about using any glasses made from lead crystal, due to concerns that the lead might leach from the glass into the drink.
While some say that there’s no health risk as whiskey is generally not in a glass long enough for lead to leach and if it is (and we’re talking a few hours), the quantity of lead leached is much smaller than the quantity of lead consumed daily in an ordinary diet, others argue that no amount of lead is safe for consumption and that lead crystal should not be used under any circumstances.
So why are so many whiskey glasses made from the more controversial and more expensive lead crystal? For two reasons. The first is because lead crystal bends light more than lead free crystal. This makes the glass clearer, and the whiskey it holds look that much better. It also makes the glass look brighter and more reflective, so they’ll sparkle extravagantly in your hand.
The second reason for using lead crystal is because it can be spun thin while maintaining its strength. Which is why lead crystal whiskey glasses often look more delicate and refined than their lead-free counterparts.
If you’re interested in buying the Glencairn Cut Crystal Whisky Glass then check out its price at glencairn.co.uk, here.
2. The Norlan Whisky Glass – $65 For 2
The reason why so many whisky glasses have the unusual tulip shape mentioned above, is because it enhances your drink. The wide bowl lets more air get to the whiskey so that more of the alcohol will evaporate and more of its flavors will open up. The long narrow neck causes the whiskey’s aromas to accumulate, so you can detect them and get the full flavor of your whiskey.
The downside to these types of whiskey glasses is that many people find the tulip shape not as aesthetically pleasing as the shape and look of the heavier, straight sides and flat-bottomed, whiskey tumbler.
That’s where the Norlan Whisky Glass comes in. It has the shape and look of a whiskey tumbler, but it works like a tulip shaped nosing glass.
This is possible because it’s actually a nosing glass inside a tumbler. The Norlan Whisky Glass has two independent walls – an outer wall with the preferred design and an inner wall with the more functional alcohol reducing, aroma accumulating tulip shape. It’s no wonder then, that at $65 for two, it’s more expensive than your average whiskey glass.
Additionally, the Norlan Whisky Glass improves the function of nosing glasses in two ways. The first is by adding fins or protrusions at the bottom of the glass. This creates a wave shape when you swirl your whiskey so that more air can get to it and more alcohol can evaporate. The second improved function is the slight widening of the rim of the inner glass, which diffuses the alcohol away from your face.
If you’re interested in buying the Norlan Whisky Glass then check out its price at uk.norlanglass.com, here.
3. Riedel Sommeliers Whisky Glass – $138 For 2
Both have an elongated thistle shape on a truncated stem, and both have a small, slightly outturned lip which directs the whiskey onto the tip of the tongue, where sweetness is perceived, which brings out the elegant creaminess of your whiskey.
The reason for the difference in price is because the Sommeliers Glass is handmade and the Vinum Glass is machine made. Although being handmade makes the Sommeliers Glass much more expensive, it also means that each glass is individually crafted, so no two will be exactly the same, and each glass will have its own unique character.
If you’re interested in buying the Riedel Sommeliers Single Malt Whisky Glass then check out its price at riedel.com, here.
4. Orrefors Street Double Old Fashioned – $140 For 2
The Orrefors Street Double Old Fashioned Whiskey Glass is expensive – ($140 for two), for several reasons. It’s crafted with high-quality crystal which gives it an exceptional clarity and brilliance, and it’s solid and well-balanced. It exudes a sense of luxury and craftsmanship.
Its unique design is inspired by the bustling streets of New York City, with a hand-cut grid pattern etched into the crystal surface that resembles Manhattan’s famous street network. This intricate pattern not only adds a touch of modern flair but also provides a comfortable grip, allowing you to hold the glass and savor your whiskey with ease.
Another great aspect of this whiskey glass is that it matches other barware with the same design, including:
- A highball glass
- A martini glass
- A cognac glass
- A champagne glass
- A decanter
If you’re interested in buying the Orrefors Street Double Old Fashioned then check out its price at orrefors.us, here.
5. Waterford Lismore Double Old Fashioned – $210 For 2
Waterford has a long-standing heritage as one of the world’s leading crystal manufacturers. The brand has a reputation for excellence and a commitment to producing superior products with exceptional quality, which is why three of the whiskey glasses on this list are from Waterford and why they’re all very expensive.
The Lismore Double Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses are $210 for two and they epitomize luxury and sophistication.
They’re handcrafted from the finest luxury crystal by skilled artisans, using traditional glassmaking techniques that have been refined over centuries. Additionally, they have a timeless design and feature the iconic Lismore pattern which is characterized by the intricate diamond and wedge cuts that catch and refract the light beautifully, giving them an unrivaled sparkle.
And they’re whiskey glasses from Waterford. Need I say more.
If you’re interested in buying the Waterford Lismore Double Old Fashioned Whiskey Glass then check out its price at waterford.com, here.
6. Lalique 100 Points Whiskey Glass – $250 For 2
Lalique is another leading crystal manufacturer, with a rich heritage that spans over a century and a commitment to excellence and innovation in every piece it produces. In 2012, their master craftsmen made the 100 Points Universal Glass that was designed by renowned American wine expert James Suckling to be, ‘as beautiful to look at and hold as it was functional to taste and drink from’.
Today, the 100 Points Collection (named after the wine scoring system) has expanded and consists of 15 different glasses and barware, including the 100 Points Whiskey Glass that costs $250 for two.
It’s handmade from the highest quality crystal and is fashioned by the best glass makers. It has a modern design with a ‘U’ shaped bowl that has a distinctive frosted rib around it that creates a beautiful contrast between the clear and satin-finished parts of the glass.
The 100 Points Whiskey Glass is a stunning fusion of design and functionality that seamlessly blends together elegance and ergonomic excellence. Owning one of these glasses is akin to owning a piece of Lalique’s legacy and a symbol of refined taste and sophistication.
If you’re interested in buying the Lalique 100 Points Whiskey Glass then check out its price at lalique.com, here.
7. Waterford Mastercraft Irish Lace – $380 For 2
An even more expensive Waterford Whiskey Glass than the Lismore Double Old Fashioned mentioned above (which costs $210 for two), the Mastercraft Irish Lace is $380 for two.
It too, is handcrafted from the finest luxury crystal by Master Craftsmen but this time the glass features a cut pattern inspired by the intricacies of Irish lacemaking, as it mimics the fine detailing of the bobbin and thread used to produce elegant lace patterns.
And since Waterford is located in Ireland, it’s only natural that it should create a tribute to Irish lacemaking, which in Ireland is a story of social and political importance. It’s also a world-renowned craft that spans over 190 years and gave birth to some of the most beautiful and intricate patterns and styles ever seen.
The stunning crystal pattern of the Waterford Mastercraft Irish Lace Whiskey Glass is therefore steeped in Irish history and age-old craftmanship.
If you’re interested in buying the Waterford Mastercraft Irish Lace Whiskey Glass then check out its price at waterford.com, here.
8. Waterford Short Stories Mixed – $420 For 4
Unlike the other whiskey glasses on this list, the Waterford Short Stories Mixed is a set of four different whiskey glasses that together cost $420. Although on the one hand that makes them cheaper as you’re paying less per glass, on the other hand since they come as a set, these whiskey glasses are quite expensive.
Each of the four tumblers are engraved with a different pattern that comes with its own story – hence the name of the collection, and together they take you on a journey through the history of Ireland. The four patterns and their stories are:
- The Lismore pattern mentioned above, whose diamond and wedge cuts were inspired by Lismore Castle that’s located in the idyllic countryside of County Waterford.
- The Cluin pattern which is a grid-like design that pays tribute to the towering oak bookshelves of Dublin’s carefully preserved 18th century Marsh’s Library. Cluin is derived from the Irish word for read.
- The Aras pattern is a design with vertical cuts that represent the striking architecture of the turrets seen in Ireland’s many beautiful castles. Aras is derived from the Irish word for home.
- The Olann pattern – derived from the Irish word for wool, is a design inspired by the famous Aran wool knit sweater and the Aran stitch which is a diamond stitch reminiscent of the small fields of Ireland.
If you’re interested in buying the Waterford Short Stories Mixed Whiskey Glasses Set then check out its price at waterford.com, here.
9. Baccarat Harcourt Abysse Tumbler – $465 For 2
Baccarat is another luxury brand that’s internationally recognized as a leading maker of high-end, exclusive crystal products. With over 250 years of glassmaking expertise, Baccarat blends traditional methods, high quality, innovation and creativity, and their award-winning artisans create prestigious home and table décor pieces.
The Harcourt collection is the oldest in the Baccarat archive – originally created in 1841, and the Abysse collection was created in 2010 by one of Baccarat’s most famous artists, Thomas Bastide. The Harcourt Abysse collection is comprised of various barware pieces, ranging from vodka shot glasses to decanters, and other home décor pieces including candlesticks, a clock, and a pencil holder.
The Harcourt Abysse Tumbler comes in a set of two, and at $465 is very expensive. They are hand-crafted with the brand’s signature exquisite crystal and have a hexagonal base, flat cut sides and architectural contours that beautifully refract the light.
The result is a stunning piece of glassware that has a contemporary appeal yet still exudes sophistication and refinement.
If you’re interested in buying the Harcourt Abysse Tumbler then check out its price at baccarat.com, here.
10. Lalique Owl Whisky Tumbler – $700 For 2
The most expensive whiskey glass on this list – and that I could find, is made by the above-mentioned Lalique and carries the high price of $700 for two.
Masterfully crafted of remarkably clear and pure crystal, the Lalique Owl Whisky Tumbler is a stunning whiskey glass which features a satin finished intricate and lifelike owl meticulously sculpted in highly detailed bas-relief running around the glass. The owl is set against a contrasting and shimmering background of swirling crystal waves.
Each glass is a technical masterpiece that captures the essence of these majestic creatures symbolizing wisdom, in great depth. They will certainly add a touch … or more … of elegance and refinement to your whiskey drinking experience. Especially if some of that wisdom rubs off on you.
If you’re interested in buying the Lalique Owl Whisky Tumbler then check out its price at lalique.com, here.