A bit over two years ago,
when I was brand new to Bourbon & Banter, I wrote an article called Glassware
101: Choose the Best Glass to Enjoy Your Bourbon. The purpose was to
demonstrate how vital glassware is in the whiskey experience. I compared the
differences between a shot glass, a rocks glass, a white wine glass, a
Glencairn glass, and a NEAT glass. In that experiment, Glencairn came out the
Recently, I received Aged
& Ore's Duo Glass to review, and rather than simply writing about the
glass itself, I've opted to learn how it works in a similar experiment. Rather
than comparing the Duo Glass to the other five glasses, I'm putting it against
the previous winner, a standard Glencairn glass (etched with the Bourbon &
The Duo Glass is a
hand-blown glass that resembles a Norlan whiskey glass. Both are
double-walled, both are amazingly lightweight, and both look fragile. The Duo
Glass has 1-ounce pour line indicators on the inner wall and lacks the Norlan's
“fins” on the bottom of the inner glass. The Duo Glass is also ready for an ice
sphere and includes a silicone mold. Finally, the design eliminates
condensation, meaning you wouldn't necessarily need a coaster.
To recreate the quality of
the initial experiment, I'm pouring one whiskey into each glass. This time, I
chose an Elijah Craig Single Barrel that I know has a fruity nose and
creamy, vanilla palate to see how the glasses affect the Bourbon. Another
reason I chose it is the proof is low enough that I won't get blitzed and risk
spoiling the results.
The experiment considered
three important nuances: nose, delivery
to the mouth, and palate. I started each with the Glencairn and finished with
the Duo Glass.
The Glencairn glass was
easy to grasp by the base and hold at all three nosing zones: with the rim at
my chin, lips, and nostrils. Nosing provided the expected fruity notes of the
Bourbon, a slight oakiness, and the vanilla typical of Elijah Craig.
The Duo Glass was more
cumbersome to pick up from the table. However, it fit my hands comfortably from
the base and was more manageable than a Norlan to hold. The fruit was more
prominent than the Glencairn, the oak was non-existent, and the vanilla was
The mouth delivery is
essential because, in the last experiment, the NEAT glass provided the most
superior nosing experience; however, it was challenging to drink from, which
erased any advantage it had over the others.
The Glencairn glass
provided a relatively easy delivery. I have a big schnoz, and the fluted rim
tapped me right at the edge of my nostrils. It provided a natural stopping
point for the glass and didn't require me to tip my head back more than usual.
The Duo Glass required no
tipping back of my head. My nose easily cleared the rim, and it was merely a
matter of moving the glass instead of my head. That sensation isn't completely
foreign because I occasionally sip from a Canadian Glencairn.
In my opinion, this is the
most crucial aspect of glassware. How well can the glass deliver the whiskey
to my palate? I've had glassware that provides a good nosing experience but
a completely flat palate (again, the NEAT glass).
The Glencairn set the
liquid at the tip of my tongue. The mouthfeel was creamy. The fruit, caramel, and
brown sugar came quickly, and the oak and pepper melded together on the finish.
Overall, the tasting notes were as expected.
The Duo Glass dumped the
liquid over my entire mouth. The caramel came up front, followed by brown
sugar, oak, and pepper. It took a second sip before I picked up the fruit. As
such, I eventually picked up everything I expected; however, I will say the
mouthfeel was creamier than the Glencairn.
There is, of course, one
more matter of serious contention to continue before I can give an overall
rating, and that's the price.
A standard Glencairn can be
purchased starting at about $8.00 each. That's a minimal barrier to entry.
The Duo Glass has a current
Kickstarter price of $36.00 for a pair, which includes two ice molds. That
breaks it down to $18.00 a glass. Considering the Norlan glass, which is very
similar, is $48.00 a pair, that's not a bad price.
I'm very much a Glencairn
guy and have dozens. I give them away to friends who have never experienced
them. I keep a box in my car on the off-chance I'm at a bar that doesn't have
them. They're super-affordable. They're the industry standard. To repeat, I'm a
But the Duo glass is very
impressive. It won on nosing and delivery and was only slightly outperformed on
the palate by the Glencairn.
My only real complaint
about the Duo Glass is it feels very fragile, whereas the Glencairn has a more
solid feel and costs less than half the price.
As much as I am a Glencairn
guy, the Duo Glass wins this contest, if only because of the nosing experience.
A final note: I'm sure some wonder how the glass performed
with the ice sphere. I used the mold to create an ice sphere just to see how it
worked, which was fine. However, I never add ice to my whiskey, so I didn't
experiment with how the ice interacted with the whiskey in the glass.
& Ore provided Bourbon & Banter with a product sample for this review.
We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no
strings attached. Thank you.
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.