If you're looking to upgrade your next Zoom happy hour during quarantine, consider scoring the very same glasses used to judge the world's best whiskeys at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits competition.
The Neat Glass is a squat, honey pot-shaped vessel designed with olfactory senses in mind, and is available now on Amazon for just $23, a steal of a deal spotted by Gear Patrol, which explained how the smell-centric glasses differ from traditional whiskey snifters.
The Neat Glass runs opposite the traditional Glencairn, where a narrow top opening flushes the nose of a whiskey more directly to you; the Neat Glass, on the other hand, uses an outward-flaring rim.
This is to fight off ethanol, the enemy of accurate spirit analysis, which numbs the nose and shrouds aromas; it’s why blenders, distillers and spirits competition judges water their whiskey down before drinking. And it’s the reason the glass looks like a cocktail glass ran into a Belgian beer glass.
The Neat Glass site further breaks down why properly smelling whiskey is so important: “Humans detect over 10,000 aromas but only five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami). You don’t taste raspberries, you smell raspberries and taste sweet. Add mouth feel (oily, dry, temperature, texture, minty, hot) to get total flavor. Flavor = Aroma + Taste + Mouth Feel. Flavor is 90% aroma."
Anything that makes tasting whiskey even more enjoyable during these trying times sound good to us.