That Clear Crystal Fountain

A while back, as I mentioned, Spirit Sippers sent me their full line of…well…Spirit Sippers. Here I review their rum glass:

So you've seen this already? It's still my best shot of the Flare.

So you've seen this already? Yes, and? It's still my best shot of the Flare.

Spirit Sippers Inc.: The Flare Rum Tasting Glass

Eye: The glass has a gorgeous hourglass shape. While I did not get much of a presentation, it was shipped with lots of padding wrapped in tissue paper and then two large pieces of bubble wrap.

Nose: I found this glass to be wonderful. I will slowly taste a variety of rums in it to see how rougher rums fare, but with the El Dorado 15, the nose was completely smooth in the Flare, but a London dock glass provided a noticeably rough nose. In the Pampero Aniversario was similarly smooth, and much fruitier than my notes indicated from a snifter.

Hand: This is my only complaint about this glass. I would have preferred a bit more of a stem. While the glass is elegant enough without the stem, I think a bit more stem would provide additional ability to control the temperature of the glass, as well as a more comfortable hold.

Numbers: The bowl holds about .75 oz, and if you put the glass on its side, it will hold about a third of an ounce. If you were to fill it to the brim, it would hold 5 oz.

Addendum: I have been using this glass for most of my neat rum drinking, and all of my rum reviewing, and it has been wonderful. I feel that any rum you want to sip will come through clearer with this than at least any basic tasting glass (a short tumbler, a London dock glass, or an European-style whisky glass). I feel that some rums would probably fair better in other styles of glass. For example, a smoky rum might do better in a chimney-style whisky glass than this. Given that rum is such a varied spirit in comparison to a most other commonly drunk distillates, I think that the Flare does well at capturing them and presenting their variation.

Conclusion: I like this glass. It has a gorgeous elegant shape. If only it had a slightly longer stem, it might well be the perfect glass

So hand me the punch ladle, and I’ll fill up my flare,
The Scribe

I Love Mail!

Like everyone else, I love getting packages, and today, I got two wonderful ones:

  • One package was from an outfit called Spirit Sippers out of Washington, D.C. They contacted a bunch of people who hang out at the Ministry of Rum to try out their new rum tasting glass, the Flair. I was lucky enough to be sent one to review. You can see the preliminary review here, but I will be posting an in depth review here some time next month. When I mentioned to them that I also drank a wide variety of whiskys and fortified wines, as well as the occasional brandy, they asked me to review the rest of their line up, and today it arrived. In addition to the Flair, I got the Glencairn for old world whiskys, the Wide Mouth (a larger snifter) for American whisky, and the Tulip for Tequila. I personally really like the Flare, but the Glencairn is the most elegant, and I’m super excited.
  • The Munat brothers, aka Mssrs. Mixeur, put together what they humbly called a packet, but is really more of a book called Left Coast Libations. Libations is a compilation, as the name suggests of mixed drinks from the Left Coast. It’s contributors list reads like a who’s who of the cocktail blogosphere: Robert Hess, Paul Clarke, Jamie Bourdreau, the Munat Brothers, I coud go on. 27 contributors, 68 recipes and dozens of ingredients, including Amer Budreau, Limoncello, bacon fat washed bourbon, syrups, infusions, gastriques, shrubs, sugars, the list goes on. They handed it out free at Tales, and they were generous enough to send a copy to me as well. It’s all in promotion of their new cocktail database, Imbiblia.com. It’s not up yet, but be sure to check it out once it is.

Keep on drinking,
The Scribe

Through a Crystal, Darkly

Go into a bar today and order a mixed drink, and, unless you happen to be in a tiki bar, odds are very good your drink with come in either a short tumbler (rocks or old fashioned glass), a long glass (collins or tall glass), or a cocktail glass. If you happen to get a Champaign cocktail, you might end up with a champaign flute, or you might get a glass mug (Irish coffee glass) if you are getting a hot drink. What amazes me is the fact that had you gone into a bar in an earlier time, you would see drinks served not only in those five glasses, but a coupe, especially before the advent of the flute, a wine glass, a sherry glass, a cordial glass, a snifter, or any of dozens of other glasses.

Why do I raise this point? I had a very interesting experience a while back which I was thinking of recently. We went to a local restaurant, and my mother asked for a glass of wine. We heard a crash from the kitchen, and the waiter brought out a cocktail glass full of red wine. He apologized, saying that while getting down the case of wine glasses, we had dropped it, and the restaurant was out of wine glasses. My mother tasted the wine, and it was awful, and offered a sip to the rest of us. It was atrocious. Another waiter came out, having found a wine glass in the dishwasher. I saw the waiter pour the wine from the cocktail glass to the wine glass. When the wine was passed around again it was completely drinkable.

This example goes to show that glassware can have a huge effect on the drinking experience. I feel that in creating drinks, we often overlook that effect. If it has ice, it goes in either tumbler or a long glass depending on quantity, while if it doesn’t have ice, it goes into a cocktail glass. People who drink spirits neat or on with water, or simply wine, sometimes spend an inordinate amount of effort picking the precise perfect glass. I think that goes a little far, but if the nose of the cocktail is enjoyable, should we simply be letting it float away out of the glass? I have been noticing that a lot of people recommend that when making a mint julep, you use a straw short enough that the drinker is forced to put his or her nose right in the mint garnish. Why not simply trap those aromas?

Happy drinking,
The Scribe