The Norlan Whisky Glass Compared to Traditional

We’ve seen lots of distillers turn to Kickstarter for startup funding, this time, instead of the distilling the spirits, the Norlan Whisky Glass wants to provide you with a new concept in glass that will teach you how to drink whisky in a whole new way.

UPDATE: In less than 2 1/2 days, this project is fully funded, exceeding its $75,000 goal!

The Norlan team made up of Designer – Sruli Recht, Brand Director – Brian Fichtner and COO – Shane Bahng, have done a nice job presenting their case. They have a wonderful video, beautiful images (many animated) a compelling story, nice incentives (including the glass itself) and a testimonial by recently retired Bruichladdich Master Distiller Jim McEwan from Isle of Islay.

Master Distiller Jim McEwan
Jim Mcewan - Master Distiller - Isle of Islay
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The Norlan Whisky Glass Story

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Here are the details from their Kickstarter campaign.

The hand-blown borosilicate Norlan Whisky Glass has been developed through a process of combining fluid dynamics modeling and bio-mimicry, out of a love for whisky matched with a frustration by the poor glassware available to whisky enthusiasts. The glass marrys a scientifically performing inside with an aesthetically beautiful outside, it’s designed to capture whisky’s complex perfumes and deliver them to the senses better than any existing product.

Inside the Norlan Whisky Glass

Similar to wine, whisky is made up of hundreds of compounds, and with proper aeration the volatile undesirable elements will evaporate faster than the desirable, aromatic and flavorful ones, thus increasing the concentration of the aromatics.


Through specially developed protrusion forms inside the glass—adapted through studying bio-mimicry—when swirled around the glass the fluid forms a standing wave shape, which increases the surface to air ratio and rate of oxidization. The effect here is that considerably more ethanol evaporates. This resulting reduction in volatility allows the whisky to become significantly more expressive. This feature is an invention of the Norlan glass, which no other whisky glass will do this for you.

Aroma Focus

The second main performance feature is the shape of the inner walls, which close as they rise and then flare out again so as not to hit the nose. The height and diameter of the smallest aperture focuses the aromatics to the nose while simultaneously diffusing the ethanol away from the face, fantastically improving the taste of your whisky.

What Existing Whisky Glasses Get Wrong
Norlan Whisky Glass 3
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The casual drinker and aficionado alike commonly enjoy whisky or bourbon in an “old- fashioned” tumbler, a wide open-brimmed glass intended for iced cocktails. Many connoisseurs prefer a narrower aperture of the brim, opting for a tasting (or nosing) glass—a stemmed tulip-shaped snifter that concentrates the aromas and allow for inspection of the spirit’s color without marking the glass’ bowl with fingerprints.

Nosing glasses often concentrate the shape of the vapor in such a way that they tightly focus it, causing the ethanol to punch into the eyes and nose. A significant downside to using a nosing glass is that it changes the drinking experience to an introspective process, whereby the head is tilted up and back, cutting the drinker off from his surroundings.

A tumbler, on the other hand, allows one to sip while maintaining eye contact; a cool social glass. The social advantage of this is obvious, however the wide opening of the glass diffuses the aromatics of the spirit too widely, fading and flattening out the unique aromas of the spirit away from the nose—the drinker’s first and primary sensory point.

We took these two preferences to heart and through an extensive process of analyzing fluid dynamics and flavor transfer, iterative design, and expert feedback, created an entirely new whisky glass.

The Norlan Whisky Glass: Form and Construction

The Norlan glass is a transparent double walled vessel, formed with glass blowing technique into two separate two-part molds: one for the inner wall, and one for the outer wall. When the inner and outer glass walls are prepared, the rims are reheated and the inner glass is inserted, at which time the rims are sealed. This creates a hollow body glass with dramatically different inside shape to outside shape.

A unique effect of the double-walled construction is the intensity of color added to spirits in the bowl, which is further carried up into the rim of the glass.

Q & A

Q: What does Norlan stand mean?
A: Norlan is Scottish for ‘Northern’ or the ‘Northern part of Scotland.’ We went there a few times, and each visit we leave a little piece of our hearts.

Q: Why is the glass double-walled and not solid?
A: This is the best method for making a glass with a different internal and external shape. If it was solid it would weigh as much as your grandparents ashtrays from the 60’s.

Q: Is the glass designed for a man or a woman?
A: We don’t differentiate between women, men, transgender, gender-neutral, transhuman and maybe even post-humans. This glass can be enjoyed by anyone with a face.

Q: Can I use ice with the Norlan glass?
A: You can do whatever you like with the glass once you get it, including using Ice.

Q: Can the Norlan glass be used for other types of spirits or just whisky?
A: The Norlan glass was developed specifically with whisky in mind, but certainly you can use your glass for any other spirits you desire. We are agnostic about it.

Q: Isn’t it a little extreme to spend so long making a glass just because you really really like whisky?
A: Yes. Obviously. But that is how we roll. Whisky takes an age to make and perfect, and there’s no reason why a glass shouldn’t either.

Now, go support this startup!

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