In recent years, whiskey aficionados have achieved the kind of stature more often associated with oenophiles. These spirits obsessives are as passionate about their favorite small-batch bourbons and special cask-finish scotches as wine lovers are about the best Napa Cabernets. And like their wine-sipping cousins, serious whiskey collectors understand that premium glassware can elevate the experience. Our favorite whiskey sippers are rocks or double-Old Fashioned glasses.
Rocks glasses have wide rims to allow room for the rocks, aka the ice. And if you’re partial to a slow melting cube so too much water doesn’t dilute your dram, you’ll want to be sure one of those giant rounds of ice can fit into the glass. If you take your bourbon neat, the wide rim allows for the gentle and more delicious aromas to waft out. Narrower rims can concentrate the scent of alcohol, which can shift the whole experience of drinking a cask-strength beauty from delicious to downright unpleasant.
And if you’re going to buy new barware, make it worthy of your best bottles. That Macallan 18 needs something respectable. The four we’ve highlighted here should live up to it nicely.
1. Baccarat Nancy Tumbler Rocks Glass
If Macallan is a household name (especially in your house), it should meet the household name in the world of crystal: Baccarat. And a classic spirits calls for a classic look, especially when the glass will last a lifetime. This rocks glass from Baccarat delivers on that promise. Made in France, the Nancy Tumbler Rocks Glass offers a classic, elegant design that’s matched only by its quality crystal. The handsome cut design and weight of the glass feel as good as it looks in hand. While it’s an investment, if treated well, this glass could become a family heirloom—even if the Macallan is long gone.
Pros: Elegant, timeless design from one of the most respected crystal brands in the world.
Cons: This model doesn’t come in a set, so you’ll have to buy individual glasses.
2. Waterford Lismore Tumbler Rocks Glass Set
Waterford made a name for itself by producing incredible crystal products. And that reputation for quality is still behind its barware, like this set of four rocks glasses. Crafted in Europe, the elegant crystal glasses are elegant raise the art of sipping to one of luxury. Each of the four glasses is presented in a different Waterford pattern, which gives it a modern design twist.
Pros: Quality crystal craftsmanship, a variety of attractive patterns within one set.
Cons: Not for those who prefer uniformity across their barware.
3. Riedel Rocks Glass
Designed to be both functional and stylish, this rocks glass from Austrian glassmaker Riedel is built to accommodate larger blocks of ice, so any melt is gradual and doesn’t water down your special whiskey or favorite cocktail. The wider design comes courtesy of spirits specialist Zane Harris, who worked with Riedel to ensure versatility. This lovely glass allows you to take some of the experience of drinking at a craft cocktail bar into your home.
Pros: Ideal for those who prefer a big block of ice over cubes.
Cons: The glasses don’t come with ready-made blocks of ice.
4. Marquis Rocks Glass Set
Part of Waterford’s offerings of rocks glasses, this Marquis-brand set is an affordable and attractive alternative to other premium options. The set of four makes sense for entertaining. The cut crystal pattern lends a level of elegance and sophistication usually offered by more expensive sets. Each glass is hand-wash only, which will add some time your cleanup. But with the glasses this handsome, it’ll be worth it.
Pros: Elegant glasses at an incredible value, especially for a set of four.
Cons: They require washing by hand.