Are Whiskey And Bourbon Glasses The Same?

Whiskey is a lot different from bourbon. While they are both considered whiskeys, the main difference between whiskey and Bourbon is whiskey has been made in Scotland and is made from malted grains. Bourbon contains a certain percentage of corn and is generally made in the USA. With that knowledge, we need to take a look at the difference between whiskey and Bourbon glasses.

There is no specific difference between a whiskey glass and a bourbon glass. This is because there is no such thing as a bourbon glass. Some glasses are best suited for drinking bourbon out of, but those are also whiskey glasses. For example, a tumbler is a whiskey glass but is also used for bourbon.

In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at this topic. We will discuss everything you need to know about the most common whiskey glass, and we will take a look at whether or not a glass matters when drinking whiskey or bourbon. Finally, we will mention the three best glasses for drinking whiskey and bourbon out of. So, keep reading.

The Key Differences Between Whiskey Glasses And Bourbon Glasses

This is a question that we get asked a lot, and we give the same answer for it all the time. What are the key differences between whiskey glasses and bourbon glasses?

There can’t be any differences between whiskey glasses and bourbon glass because while you do get a whiskey glass, there is no specific glass made, designed, developed, or used as a bourbon glass.

Most bourbon whiskeys get served in whiskey glasses, and not all whiskey glasses look the same, and not even all tumblers look the same.

What Is A Whiskey Glass?

In this section, we are going to discuss what a whiskey glass is. We are not going to name each and every single class that gets used for whiskey. We are simply going to talk about the traditional tumbler glass and maybe the glass used for whiskey tastings because they are different.

A traditional whiskey glass is a tumbler. Another name for this is the “rocks glass.” I know that many of you will probably throw something at your screen after reading this, but most people do actually drink ice with their whiskey. The tumbler glass has a wide rim and a flat bottom, which helps accommodate this ice.

Tumblers can come in various shapes and sizes, but generally, they are either round or square. Personally, I prefer using a square tumbler, and in my opinion, it makes the whiskey easier to drink and tastes a lot smoother.

Some people prefer round tumblers for the same reasons as I prefer square ones. You could also boil it down to the fact that round tumblers make the whiskey easier to swirl, and the more you swell your whiskey, the less it evaporates.

What Is A Bourbon Glass?

There is no bourbon glass; it is as plain and simple as that. Most bourbons are served in whiskey glasses, mainly in tumblers. You will notice that it is more common for bourbons to be served with ice than to be served without ice. Bourbons are also great for making mixers. Again, you will notice this being done in a round tumbler.

There is not much more to say in the section except for maybe that later on in this article we will discuss the best whiskey glasses and this will include whiskeys and bourbons as well.

Does The Glass Even Matter For Whiskey Or Bourbon?

At the end of the day, the question of whether or not a whiskey glass matters is subjective.

The best whiskey glass for you is the whiskey glass that you want to drink your whiskey out of. It does not matter if it is out of a tumbler, a long glass, a tulip, a snifter, the bottle, or a plastic cup. If you drink whiskey out of a certain glass and it tastes best, that is how you should drink the whiskey.

There are instances where you want to know what glass to drink out of, maybe for business lunches. Whiskey should be served in a tumbler or a snifter—the tumbler when you want ice and the snifter when it is neat. People are different so ask your guests how they prefer it.

Does The Glass Change The Taste Of Whiskey And Bourbon

Yes, the glass that you drink your whiskey or your bourbon out of can significantly change the flavor and aroma of the whiskey. For this, I will use a snifter and a tumbler to try and explain what the difference would be.

The taste and aroma of the whiskey or a bourbon out of a snifter glass will be stronger because while the snifter has a rounded bottom, the top of the glass is narrow to trap the aroma of the whiskey and bourbon.

In a tumbler, this is different because a tumbler is generally supposed to be used with ice. Therefore, it does not need the narrow top because you are probably not concerned with trapping any of the whiskey or bourbon aromas, and therefore, the whiskey will feel a lot smoother but not as flavorful.

For this reason, at most whiskey tastings or whiskey events, you will end up doing your taste out of either a snifter or a tulip glass because they trap the flavors and aromas more efficiently. Therefore you get a more accurate tasting of what the whiskey or bourbon tastes like.

Does Anyone Care What Glass You Use?

The only people who will have a go at you for the glass you drink out of are people whose opinion doesn’t even matter because they are just trying to show off or they are trying to elevate themselves to a status that they think will make them more relevant.

Anyone who truly enjoys their whiskey might make a suggestion, which is perfectly fine, but if they try and make you feel bad, just discard their opinion.

3 Of The Best Glasses For Whiskey And Bourbon

In this section, we will look at the main types of glasses that whiskey and bourbon get served in.


I think we have discussed, in detail, the tumbler glass in this article. So, let’s keep this one as brief as possible. The tumbler glass is the most common way to consume whiskey or bourbon.

Snifter (Brandy/Cognac Glass)

For me, this is very interesting because snifter glasses make for great whiskey and bourbon glasses. In fact, it is one of my favorite ways of drinking whiskey, and while I usually don’t request that the snifter be warmed up, I usually warm up the whiskey with my hand cupped to the bottom of the glass.

The snifter glass is also known as the brandy or cognac glass. The bottom of the snifter is quite round, and this allows for evaporation, but the aromas that lift off of the alcohol get trapped by the narrow mouthpiece.

This makes the brandy, or in this case, whiskey or bourbon, have a stronger taste and aroma. If you have never had whiskey out of a snifter, I highly recommend trying a single malt. Give it a slight swirl, cup the glass cup at the bottom with your hands and slowly drink your whiskey or bourbon.

Tulip Glasses

Most tulip glasses have somewhat of an hourglass shape, and they closely resemble snifter glasses. You will find that most whiskey events use tulip glasses for their whiskey and bourbon tasting. This is because, much like with the snifter, the aromas and flavors get trapped inside the Glass by the narrow top mouthpiece.


That brings us to the end of this article, and my goal was to answer a question that I get asked frequently, and hopefully, you found the information in this article helpful. In one of the sections, I emphasize that you shouldn’t care what people say about what glass you drink whiskey in.

While people will give you suggestions and maybe think that you didn’t know any better, they are only trying to help you. This is great, and in fact, you should try their recommendation, but the minute somebody starts putting you down for the glass you choose, they are just annoying.

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