Glencairn, The World’s Most Recognized Whisk(e)y Glass, Turns 20

Think for a moment to any recent time you’ve been into a bar or a distillery and ordered a decent glass of whisk(e)y. There’s a strong chance it was served to you in a rather interesting looking glass designed out of Scotland for the purpose of getting the most out of that spirit resting in it. Glencairn, the brand behind what’s deemed the world’s favorite whisk(e)y glass, is turning 20 this year, celebrating being the maker that created that drinking vessel you are sipping from.

The Glencairn Glass was crafted by the Glencairn Crystal Studio in 2000 (the company itself being founded nearly 40 years ag0), said to have been borne out of its founder Raymond Davidson’s desire to “create a glass that would encourage the user to fully appreciate the nose and palate of a whisky, whilst being an aesthetically pleasing object.” Davidson and Glencairn have hit it out of the park since that time, with over 3 million of these glasses being sold yearly across 140 different countries in every corner of the globe.

Glencairn at 20

Glencairn is celebrating 20 years (image via Glencairn)

The science behind the glass, as outlined by Glencairn, goes something like this, based upon how one might consider and taste a whisk(e)y within it:

  • Color: The wide crystal bowl allows for the fullest appreciation of the whisk(e)y’s color
  • Nose: The tapering mouth of the glass captures and focuses the aroma on the nose
  • Body: Its unique patented shape is the perfect form to admire the body of the whisk(e)y
  • Palate: Designed to fit in the hand comfortably & allow your whisk(e)y to develop in the glass over time
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“Elegant and effective, yet robust and practical,” noted Charles MacLean, a well regarded Scotch whisky expert, in a prepared statement. “The ideal whisky glass for appreciation and enjoyment.”

With two decades under its belt now set for a celebration, the Glencairn brand is planning the following for this year:

  • The new Glencairn PodGlass series: a first for the brand – a series of insightful and informative podcasts with Glencairn Crystal Founder, Raymond Davidson, and guest appearances by some of the whisky industry’s more renowned and respected names – some of whom were involved in the early development of The Glencairn Glass. The first PodGlass goes live on 5th May, visit for details.
  • New versions of the Glencairn Glass that will be added to the existing range.
  • A unique fundraising initiative with the proceeds going to the company’s chosen charity partners.
  • The official opening of the new expanded Glencairn Crystal Studio site in East Kilbride: which incorporates a stunning refurbishment and a substantial new build on the original Glencairn site to cater for expanding demand – all built by local businesses.
  • Social media: to keep whisky lovers going through the current challenging COVID-19 climate, @TheGlencairnGlass is inviting the online community to follow them and share their favourite stay at home Glencairn moments via a new platform: #beathomewithGlencairn #Glencairnmoments

More details will be coming forth later this year from Glencairn on celebrating 20 years, and we look forward to bringing you more news from the brand as we sip wonderful Scotch, bourbon, rye and other whiskeys from around the world from these glasses.


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