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Which is the right whiskey decanter for you, and how to use it?

This blog covers Decanters 101: the different styles, how to use them, and why?

Whether you are a whiskey enthusiast or simply looking to add a decorative piece to your home bar, a whiskey decanter is a great investment.


Firstly, they are used to store whiskey. Decanters are typically made of glass, which helps to protect the whiskey from light and air. This is important because exposure to light and air can cause the whiskey to oxidize and change in flavor.

Secondly, decanters are often used for serving whiskey. The design of a decanter allows for easy pouring, making it a convenient option for sharing a drink with friends or family.

Lastly, whiskey decanters can also be decorative pieces. They come in a variety of designs and styles, making them a great addition to any home bar or whiskey collection.

Types of Whiskey Decanters:

There are several types of whiskey decanters available on the market, each with its own unique design and purpose.

1) Traditional Decanters - These decanters are the most common type and are typically made of glass with a stopper. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are often used for storing and serving whiskey.

2) Globe Decanters - These decanters are designed to look like a globe or world map. They are often used for decorative purposes and can make for a great conversation piece.

3) Crystal Decanters - These decanters are made of crystal and are often considered more luxurious than traditional glass decanters. They are typically used for storing and serving high-end whiskeys.

4) Novelty Decanters - These decanters come in a variety of unique designs, such as whiskey barrels, ships, or animals. They are often used for decorative purposes and can be a fun addition to any home bar.

A whiskey decanter can be a great way to impress guests when entertaining at home. 


Whiskey decanters are not only functional and stylish, but they also come with a set of etiquettes that should be followed when using them. 

1) Handle with Care

Whiskey decanters are often made of delicate materials such as glass or crystal, so it is important to handle them with care. When picking up or moving a decanter, always grasp it by the base of the neck, avoiding the body of the decanter itself. This helps to prevent smudging or fingerprints on the surface, as well as avoid accidental drops or breakages.

2) Clean and Dry Before Use

Before using a whiskey decanter, it is essential to clean it thoroughly with warm water and mild soap. Rinse the decanter with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth or paper towel. This helps to ensure that the decanter is free of dust, dirt, or any residue from previous uses. This is especially important if you are switching to a new whiskey, as even small amounts of the previous whiskey can change the flavor of the new one.

3) Pouring from a Decanter

When pouring whiskey from a decanter, hold the decanter at a slight angle, with the stopper or lid securely in place. This allows for a smooth and steady pour, without any spills or splashes. When pouring for others, always offer the glass first and then pour the whiskey. And remember, it is always better to under-pour and offer a second glass than over-pour and waste whiskey.

4) Serving Temperature

The serving temperature of whiskey can greatly affect its flavor and aroma. Whiskey decanters are typically used for serving room-temperature whiskey, but some people prefer to chill or heat their whiskey before serving. If you are serving chilled or heated whiskey, make sure to indicate this to your guests and use appropriate glassware, such as a whiskey tumbler for chilled whiskey or a snifter for heated whiskey.

5) Storage

When not in use, whiskey decanters should be stored in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Exposure to light and heat can affect the quality and flavor of the whiskey. If you plan on storing whiskey in a decanter for an extended period, make sure to check the whiskey regularly to ensure it has not gone bad or changed in taste.

By following these tips, you can impress your guests and show off your knowledge of whiskey culture. So go ahead, pour yourself a dram, and enjoy it with the proper etiquette in mind!

Written by Stuti Khetan, Beverage Trade Network

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