Most whiskey drinkers are pretty particular about how they store their whiskey because they want to preserve the flavor of the whiskey for as long as possible, especially for the whiskey is a pricey one.
The bottle that the whiskey comes in is a good choice, but some people may want something with a touch more class and elegance, such as a whiskey decanter.
Are whiskey decanters good for your whiskey, and how do you go about choosing the best one?
The best whiskey decanter set is one that has an interesting, eye-catching design, an airtight stopper, matching glasses, and sufficient capacity to hold a bottle of whiskey. The design should be such that it showcases the whiskey inside rather than the design being all about the decanter.
There is absolutely no problem with storing your whiskey in a beautiful decanter or flask.
But when you are looking for a whiskey decanter set, you should be aware of a few characteristics in such a set that will be good for the whiskey.
After all, you don’t want your fancy decanter to detract from the taste of the contents!
You also need to store your decanter correctly to protect the whiskey inside.
To Decant Your Whiskey Or Not
There is much controversy in the whiskey drinking community about whether decanting your whiskey into a fine decanter set is a wise choice or not.
Those who are against the practice are convinced that it can cause the whiskey to lose flavor and color and lose its alcohol content due to evaporation.
While there is some measure of truth to these claims, most of the problems with decanters can be mitigated by the right choice of a decanter and correct storage of the decanter.
We will address these concerns as we discuss the characteristics of a good decanter that you should consider if you are looking for a set.
Some people like using decanters for their whiskey because they like the look of the decanters, and it is simply a personal choice that they prefer.
If you are on the fence as to whether it is worth decanting or not, you can rest assured that if you make the right choice of decanter type, your whiskey will be safe and retain its color and flavor.
- If you are newer in the whiskey world read our Beginners Guide of What Does Whiskey Taste Like?
What To Look For In A Whiskey Decanter Set
The main purpose of a whiskey decanter set is the beauty of the glass that accentuates the amber color of the whiskey inside, and the two, when combined, look like a work of art.
When choosing your whiskey decanter, there are some characteristics and attributes you should look for to make sure that it will look good and be good for your whiskey.
- Interesting design. One of the main reasons for using a decanter is to have something beautiful and eye-catching to look at. If the decanter and glass set is not striking, unusual, or novel, then you may as well leave the whiskey in its original bottle.
- An airtight stopper. Some decanters come with an airtight stopper, and some don’t. If you are going to be leaving your whiskey in the decanter permanently, then an airtight stopper is preferable. It will prevent the alcohol from evaporating from the whisky. If the decanter stopper is not airtight, then it would be wise to pour any remaining whiskey in the decanter back into the bottle for storage after your guests have left. Unlike wine, whiskey does not need to be left to breathe to enhance the flavor.
- Lead-free crystal. There is some controversy whether the lead in lead crystal glass will leach into the whiskey in significant amounts as to be dangerous. If you have a decanter that is lead crystal, I would not recommend leaving whiskey in it for long periods, just to be on the safe side. There are, however, sufficient choices available in lead-free crystal that you can have a quality decanter set that is free of lead.
- Decanter size. If you intend to keep the whiskey in the decanter, make sure that it can hold the entire whiskey bottle contents. The usual whiskey bottle size is 750ml, so make sure your decanter can hold at least this amount. If you prefer to decant for occasions and only the amount you intend to consume, then you can go for a smaller set that does not hold an entire bottle.
- Matching glasses. There just seems to be no point in having a stunning, elegant looking decanter and then pour the whiskey from the decanter into very plain, uninteresting glasses! Most decanters come as a set with matching glasses, but if you have a decanter that you have acquired without glasses, it would be a good idea to find an elegant glass set to match the decanter as close as possible.
- Novelty decanter sets. Novelty decanter sets do not add any level of class or elegance to your whiskey drinking. It would seem rather uncouth and incongruent with the whiskey to serve a 30-year old single malt from a decanter shaped like an AK47 or a hand grenade! Rather save these decanters for your cheaper, everyday dinking whiskeys rather than the pricier ones.
The Downside Of Decanters
There are some downsides to storing your whiskey long term in a decanter if you store the decanter incorrectly.
As we have mentioned, a decanter with an airtight seal stopper would be the best choice for storing your whiskey long term.
The other factor that will cause your whiskey to deteriorate in a decanter is the exposure to light.
Light and whiskey do not mix well, and it is for this reason that many whiskey bottles are dark-colored, and those that are clear come in a container that blocks the light.
Most decanters are clear glass, which is one of the characteristics that makes them attractive, but it also lets the light through to the whiskey.
For this reason, it is not a good idea to leave your whiskey permanently on display in the decanter. Once your guests have left, rather place the decanter in your liquor cabinet, which hopefully does not have glass doors!
The aspect of light accessing the whiskey through the decanter glass is, however, a minor problem that is easily overcome and should not influence your decision to get a decanter or not.
You will just have to exercise wisdom in the storage of your decanter full of whiskey.
Best Whiskey Decanter Sets
If you ask a whiskey drinker what is the best whiskey decanter set, he would probably tell you that it is the one holding his favorite whiskey.
Whiskey drinking is more about the whiskey that the container it is in, but having a nice decanter set does enhance the visual experience of the whiskey, and it is pleasing to the eye.
It also brings a measure of sophistication to the whiskey sipping occasion!
There are many different styles and shapes of whiskey decanter sets available, and as long as the aspects of a good decanter set that we have mentioned are met, the actual style and shape is very much a personal choice and whatever catches your eye.
To give you some examples of whiskey decanter sets to get you started on a search for one that appeals to your taste, we have selected a few sets that we like and that we are sure will bring some additional pleasure to your next whisky sipping occasion!
I particularly like the twisted glass aspect of this set that starts with the bottle, and the same twist is reflected in the design of the glasses.
The glasses are made of a thick-walled glass, which adds some weight to the glass in your hand, which I like in a whiskey glass.
Another nice touch to this set is that it comes with six whiskey stones so that you can keep your whiskey chilled without diluting the flavor, and it has a set of coasters that match the stones.
The clear crystal glass allows the color of the whiskey to be appreciated while you sip it from the elegant glasses.
The set also comes in a classy wooden box, which makes an impression when presented as a gift!
The clean lines of this decanter set really appeal to me, and the design of the decanter, the stopper, and the glasses are both eye-catching and intriguing.
The design still allows the color of the whiskey to shine through the lead-free crystal glass.
The heavy-base design of the decanter makes sure that there is no danger of it toppling over and wasting your tipple!
It comes with four matching glasses that are durable and even dishwasher safe! Twelve granite whiskey stones are included in the set in the presentation box.
The capacity of the decanter is 30-ounces, which will easily accommodate an entire 750ml bottle of whiskey.
If you are looking for a decanter with a somewhat unusual design that will become a talking point when you bring out your decanter set, then the Diamond decanter set from Dragon Glassware fits the bill!
This gravity defying decanter and glass set will definitely attract attention.
The glasses rest at an ale on one of the diamond-like facets on the base of the glass. The Dragon Glassware logo embossed on the base of the glass also adds a pleasing effect.
The set comes with a stand and two glasses. The glassware of the decanter and both glasses is lead-free crystal. My single criticism of this set is that it would have been a little nicer if it came with four glasses instead of two.
The design is so attractive and interesting that it would be nicer to share it with more than just one other person!
The other aspect of this decanter set you need to be aware of about this set is that the decanter only holds 25-ounces, which is about 710ml, not quite a full whiskey bottle.
They say that a man’s home is his castle, so if you want to enjoy your whiskey as the king of your castle with an air of royalty, then this whiskey decanter set will do the trick.
The exquisitely cut, lead-free crystal glass decanter and glasses have 24-carat gold trim to further enhance the royal theme. This handcrafted set will definitely enhance the whisky sipping experience and wow your guests!
This is a prestigious set that would make a great wedding gift, retirement gift, or to celebrate a promotion, as long as it is partnered with at least a 20-year old single malt!
The handcrafted decanter holds 27-ounces or 800ml, and the capacity of the glasses is 7.5-ounces or 220ml, which is more than enough for a generous portion with room for an ice cube or two!
At first glance, this decanter set may seem like a novelty set, but the design has some very useful aspects that I will get to in a moment.
The clean lines of the decanter that allow the glorious color of the whiskey to be enjoyed are offset by the golf ball textured stopper.
On this set, what impresses me most are the two glasses that are included. They have a full, rounded shape with a fairly narrow opening.
The great thing that I like about this design is that the aroma of the whisky accumulates in the wide shape and does not dissipate quickly due to the narrow top of the glass.
When you bring the glass up for a sip, the first thing you get is the concentrated aroma of the whiskey through the narrow opening of the glass. This accentuates both the flavor and the aroma of the whiskey, which I enjoy!
The set also comes with eight whiskey stones. The shape of the stones is also a deviation from the normal standard cube shape.
They are round, like little golf balls, to stay true to the golfing theme of this awesome set. The decanter itself holds a full 750ml bottle of whiskey, which makes it a perfect size!
If you are looking for a whiskey decanter set that will fit in both the home bar and the corporate setting, then this decanter set is the ticket!
The classic, clean lines and delicate shape make it elegant without being pretentious!
The Godinger whiskey decanter set simply says quiet sophistication!
The handcrafted presentation tray is made from quality wood and stained with tones that complement the amber color of the whiskey that the decanter is intended to hold.
The glass of the decanter and the two accompanying glasses is lead-free crystal, and the classic bell shape of the glasses enhance the whisky aroma as you sip.
The only downside to this set is that the stopper is not airtight. As a result, I would not store whiskey in this decanter.
Pour as much as you intend to use into the decanter, and once you are done enjoying the whiskey, if there is any left, pour it back into the original bottle for storage.
Whiskey decanter sets are not for everybody. Some like to keep their whisky in the original bottle, and let’s face it, some modern whisky manufacturers have very appealing bottle designs.
However, for those whiskey drinkers who enjoy the class and the elegance of a whiskey decanter set, there are so many styles and designs available that you are sure to find a set that will suit your taste.
As long as you take heed of the basic guidelines in selecting your whiskey decanter set and maintain a few simple protocols about storing whiskey in the decanter, you should have no problems with your whiskey being negatively affected in any way.
I believe that a finely crafted decanter set will only enhance your enjoyment of the whiskey, whether you share it with friends or just want to have an after-work whiskey at home out of something special to savor the moment!