OUR CHOICE OF STYLISH CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE WHISKEY AFICIONADOS IN YOUR LIFE:
Whiskey is one of humanity’s senior recreational vices, distilled from fermented grain and the drink of choice of monarchs and common men alike. After the art of distillation spread to Ireland and Scotland around the 15th century, it was initially used for the production of ‘aqua vitae’ with medicinal purposes. However, the practice swiftly turned from medicinal to secular via the Guild of Barber Surgeons.
Production surged and further developed over the centuries, giving rise to numerous brands and varieties across the world. By the time the 20th century rolled around, whiskey had become an iconic drink, recognised and consumed pretty much anywhere. It is Scotland’s best known manufactured product, with an increase of 82% in exports in the decade to 2012 alone, and a contribution of well over £4 billion to the UK economy.
An entire culture was built around the drink itself, from powerful brands to artful advertising and stylish accessories – and it’s the latter that we wish to cover in this article. With Christmas just around the corner, we’re sure that some of you are feeling the pressure of gift-shopping for your loved ones, your friends and even your co-workers and bosses.
If our personal experiences have taught us anything during the Christmas holidays, it’s that people will always appreciate good design behind a thoughtful gift. There are plenty of whiskey drinkers in the world today, so chances are that many of you will find something that resonates in our suggestions below. Then again, if you’re looking to refresh your personal glassware collection, do stick around – you might decide to spoil yourself this Christmas and serve it up in style.
We’ve scoured the stores and websites for the best and most stylish whiskey glasses we could find. Not many made the cut, but the ones that did are the embodiment of excellence as far as design and function go. Most importantly, we’ve picked out the glasses that truly stand out – challenging form without compromising on their utility or their quality.
Coming from the brilliant mind of Thomas Jenkins for Czech brand Bomma, the Module Two collection consists of glasses and a matching decanter. Inspired by artisan cut crystal and the mechanical gear cutting technology, each pair of tumblers features an opposing spiral profile – they mesh together, resembling interlocking gears. The same principle applies to the decanter as well.
For the traditional types out there, Scottish brand Glencairn offers a superb collection of whiskey glasses. The family-run business has been supplying the whiskey industry for over thirty years with premium crystal glassware, and the brand is now known not only for its iconic whiskey tumblers, but also for their superb and superior decanters.
Our personal favourites are the classic Glencairn glass and its Cut Crystal version – gift either of these superb pieces in sets of three, if you wish to make a long-lasting impression.
Danish design duo Iskos & Berlin created a gorgeous whiskey glassware collection, available on Gurasu – the IceBreaker set. The stunning deep cut single old fashioned crystal whiskey tumblers represent a combination between modern and traditional design.
According to the Copenhagen-based designers, the intention was to “reflect the masculinity of whiskey through bold and passionately random cuts in the ‘body’ of the glass”. Playing with refracted light each way they’re turned, these tumblers and their accompanying decanter are bound to impress and delight.
Another hidden gem from Gurasu comes in the form of the Quadro Twist Crystal Whiskey Set – this is a beautiful and high quality collection comprises a decanter and six double old fashioned tumblers. It’s a gorgeous complement to any setting – whether it’s the dinner table or the minibar.
Artfully blending classic with contemporary design, this is literally the heavy ol’ fashioned whiskey glass with a twist. The crystal clarity and comforting weight captured our attention.
For the über-stylish, Tom Dixon created his Tank collection– a superb line of whiskey tumblers and a matching decanter made from mouth-blown clear glass and ornamented with hand-painted copper detailing.
Perfect for any side board or cabinet, the Tank set’s chic contemporary design will enable the whiskey to breathe, whilst the glass stopper will preserve the aromas and eliminate evaporation. These are pieces to be admired for years to come, and the gift set will make quite the statement.
A now timeless companion to fine whiskey is the Madison Avenue tumbler and decanter set – luxurious glassware that incorporates a sleek 1960s design reminiscent of the “Mad Men” TV series. The tumblers are made of mouth-blown high quality and lead-free glass with a fine, silver rim, a design elegantly matched by the decanter.
Excellence through simplicity in design is never an easy feat, but we felt that the Madison Avenue line deserved a spot on our Christmas shopping list for whiskey aficionados – “serving nostalgia neat or on the rocks”.
Normann Copenhagen made it on our whiskey glass shopping list this year. The Danish design brand’s original whiskey glass set is a fantastic gift idea for the discerning whiskey drinker you know and/or love. The clear glass tumblers were blown with a wide bottom, granting stability and placing the glass perfectly in the palm of one’s hand.
The bottom curve creates a natural movement of the content, increasing the release of flavour and aroma. The glass closes in at the rim, intensifying and drawing aroma to the nose.
You can even take things to another level and appeal to science and design in order to offer the ultimate whiskey drinking experience. The Norlan glass was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in 2015 and its unique double-walled structure offers a seamless integration of a scientifically performing interior with a beautiful exterior.
The Norlan glass is formed with glass-blowing technique into two separate two-part moulds: one for the inner wall, and one for the outer wall. When the inner and outer walls are prepared, the rims are reheated and the inner glass is inserted, at which time the rims are sealed. This process creates a hollow body glass with a different inside shape.
A note-worthy effect of the double-walled design is the intensity of colour added to the whiskey poured into the tumbler, which is further carried up into the rim of the glass. Have a look at Norlan’s website to get a better understanding of how the glass works and don’t be afraid to purchase a set or two – any self-respecting whiskey drinker will appreciate thoughtful and intelligent design meant to maximise the drinking experience.
The thing with whiskey glasses as Christmas gifts is that they are aimed directly at the connoisseurs, bound to stir appreciation. But these superb pieces of glassware will also please novices and admirers of the spirited drink – particularly when they identify the thoughtfulness behind the gift, the intention of enhancing their whiskey drinking experience. So, shop away and make someone happy this Christmas!
Coshamie is a London-based boutique digital marketing agency that works exclusively with interior design and contemporary art brands, with a focus on great strategies – individually designed to grow brands and fit budgets. Our #EspressoBlog mirrors our commitment to, knowledge of and passion towards design and art. To find out more, have a look at our services or one of our case studies.