An exciting new whiskey glass is making its debut this week. The NEAT™ glass takes the experience of nosing spirits to new levels of discovery and appreciation. Lots of science has gone into its design, with the result being a separation of the “bad” (ethanol) from the “good” (the liquid itself) aromas of whiskey.
The new glass will be featured this weekend during the whisky events onboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, during their annual Scottish Festival. For more information, please visit http://www.whiskytastings.com and click on What’s New.
I had the privilege of writing the following article about the glass. Hope you enjoy it.
New Whiskey Glass a Combination of Aesthetics and Science
By Ray Pearson
Whiskey drinkers, rejoice! Forget traditional shapes of glasses that direct all the whiskey’s aromas to the nose; here’s a scientifically-designed glass that lets “the alcohol smell” escape, and emphasizes only the pleasant aromas.
The making and enjoyment of whiskey is actually more about its aroma than its taste. In Scotland, at least one Master Blender’s nose is insured by Lloyds of London for north of one million dollars (no word on similar coverage for the palate).
Aroma is paramount when it comes to personal enjoyment, too, and the shape of the glass you’re drinking from makes a big difference. Most glasses are wide at the bottom and narrower at the top, to allow the aromas to rise and meet the nose. In glass science, this type of design is called “convergent rim.” Copitas, spirit nosing glasses, snifters, or any of the many other designs currently on the market, do the minimum to create upward movement of the spirit, and almost nothing to enhance all the nuances of the whiskey’s character. In fact, in most cases, they collect and focus significant alcohol directly to the nose, interfering with the wonderful aromas of the liquid.
A new glass design, meticulously researched in the USA at Arsilica, Inc., approaches the nosing and drinking experience from a scientific standpoint. Called NEAT ™, the pot-still shape relies on Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology. Business partners George Manska and Christine Crnek, executives at Arsilica discovered that not all aromas should be collected at the nose. The prime example is ethanol, the “alcohol smell” in whiskey. Ethanol is disagreeable, numbs and kills the olfactory neurons and obscures the desirable and pleasant aromas which occur naturally in fermented and distilled beverages. Manska explains, “The widely flared lip and its proximity to the surface of the liquid allows the ethanol to escape before nosing, and positions the nose directly over the concentrated vapors.” Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, back up this claim and prove the ethanol is dissipated, allowing only flavorful esters and aromas to remain.
Test marketing the NEAT™ glass at whiskey events around the country has evoked comments like “I can finally smell the earthy herbs my husband talks about”, “It’s so comfortable to hold”, and “This glass reminds me of the beautiful copper stills at the distillery we visited”.
Glass has developed over the millennia since it first appeared in Mesopotamia over 5000 years ago, as the material from which to drink liquids. For centuries, glass’s economy, neutrality to taste and aroma, and its ability to conform to beautiful designs have been taken for granted. The NEAT™ glass combines artisanal craft with scientific aroma technology to take spirits appreciation to new sensory heights. Forrest Cokely, Certified Spirits Specialist with Hi Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, California says, “This [the NEAT™ glass] is definitely an advancement in the appreciation of whiskey, and other fine spirits. It’s a new way to enjoy, examine and understand your whiskey.”
NEAT™ glasses are hand-made, mouth blown in the USA in 100% lead-free Crystalyn ™ crystal. Function and design patents are peCurrently, the NEAT™ glass is sold on-line at www.theneatglass.com (enter Special Offer Code 50743 on the order form to receive a special introductory Internet price). For more information about this article, contact Ray Pearson through www.whiskytastings.com or 714.204.7689.