I grew up watching my dad have a glass of scotch and cup of ice cream every night, and while I used to think his favorite drink tasted a bit like Band-Aids, I’ve grown to appreciate it as I’ve gotten older.
So when I heard Norlan glasses would elevate the whiskey-drinking experience, I couldn’t think of anyone better to try them out with me than my father. We sat down with a few bottles of his favorite spirits and a Norlan whiskey glass, and here’s what we found.
What Makes the Norlan Whiskey Glass Special?
Camryn Rabideau for Taste of Home
This isn’t your average low-ball glass. The Norlan whiskey glass is a stunning blown-glass vessel with a unique double-walled construction. The design was refined with the help of a master distiller, and the end result is a beautiful glass that will improve your drinking experience in a number of ways.
For instance, the Norlan whiskey glass is supposed to aerate spirits like a decanter, reducing the intensity of the “alcohol” smell and letting the aromatics shine. It’s also designed to allow you to smell and drink whiskey without tilting your head back as far. Not to mention, the glass is lightweight and pretty enough to keep on your bar cart.
What You Get
The two glasses are packaged in a sleek tube, and they’re carefully wrapped to ensure the delicate glass is protected during shipping. They also come with a polishing cloth that you can use to shine up your glasses after washing. (Hand-wash only for these beauties.)
Upon unwrapping the glasses, I was struck by how lightweight they are! I’m used to my father’s crystal tumblers, which have quite a bit of heft to them, and by comparison, the Norlan glasses seem quite delicate. The double-walled construction reminded me of the espresso glasses I own, but these whiskey glasses are one solid piece with no seams or holes, ensuring moisture doesn’t get in between the walls.
Here’s What We Loved About the Norlan Whiskey Glasses
Camryn Rabideau for Taste of Home
To try out the glasses, my father brought out a bottle of his favorite 16-year-old scotch whisky (a type of whisky made in Scotland). Since the glasses are supposed to improve the aroma of the spirits, we decided to do a side-by-side comparison with a regular crystal tumbler.
I expected a subtle variation, at best, but holy cow! Even a casual drinker like me could tell the difference. When we nosed the standard tumbler, the first scent you get is ethanol. However, with the Norlan glass, that alcohol smell is essentially gone, and you’re greeted by the more subtle, welcoming scents of the scotch.
The drinking experience itself is also elevated with the Norlan glasses. The thicker rim makes it easy to sip from, and as claimed, you don’t have to tilt your head back as far to smell and sip the whiskey. Consider me impressed!
Are There Any Downsides?
While the overall experience is quite good, there are a few downsides to these glasses. Perhaps the biggest deal breaker is that you can only use them to drink your whiskey neat. The glass is so delicate that whiskey stones would likely crack it—the same holds true for ice cubes. If you like your drink on the rocks, you’ll want to opt for the Norlan Rauk heavy tumbler instead.
We also decided these glasses don’t make a huge difference if you’re drinking inexpensive whiskey. They’re a must-have for well-aged spirits (for instance, any of the bottles on our list of the best whiskeys), but they’re not going to do much to elevate the inexpensive, unaged bottle you might drink on a daily basis.
If you’re a whiskey connoisseur or avid host, you’ll love the experience of drinking from the Norlan whiskey glasses. The approved aromatics, stunning aesthetic and easy sipping are well worth the cost of $48 for two glasses—especially when you break out that special bottle of whiskey to eat with your evening ice cream.