At the recent Nightclub & Bar Conference in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure to attend a seminar lead by Georg Riedel. What a treat, not only did I learn firsthand from a master about fine glassware and how it enhances all types of spirits but I learned how the Reidel family figured it all out. Said Greog to my question, “We’ve been doing this a long time.” And they have the family-run Austrian company has been making glass for 11 generations of Riedels, over 250 years.
The tasting ran through 5 glasses and three spirits. The glassware consisted of a plastic cup and ordinary brandy snifter and a Riedel scotch, cognac and tequila glass. The specialized glasses bring out the unique flavor profile of each spirit. The spirits we tasted were Patrón Silver Tequila, Hennessy VSOP and Talisker 12 Year Single Malt Scotch.
We were first asked to try each spirit in the plastic cup. OK… kinda blah. Not bad, but not great. Next came the brandy snifter supplied by the caterers. We were told this glass was designed to withstand being tossed against the wall, not for drinking fine cognac. The cognac was better in this glass than the plastic cup, but it is not much of a competition.
We then moved on to the Riedel glasses. Each is designed to bring our the unique flavors of the spirit. This is achieved through a combination of height, diameter and shape of the glass bowl. The height of the stem is purely aesthetic. First by trying cognac from each of the three glasses. It was incredible how the same Hennessy VSOP tasted in the three different glasses. Of course, the most pleasing of the three samples came from the cognac glass. All the fruity goodness and none of the harsh alcohol were detected. We repeated the exercise with the Takisker and Patrón with similar results each time.
Of course, you’re not going to use these for a cocktail, but for sipping the finer cognacs, single-malt scotch and tequilas. However, if you enjoy drinking the fine spirits and want to experience then the way they were meant to be, invest in a set of Riedel glasses.
They’ve been doing this a long time.
Riedel Glas Austria