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Review & Comparison
Please enjoy our DIAMAS Tumbler Whiskey Glass Review!
Glassware may not be what we whiskey drinkers talk about most, but it is nonetheless very important. I think we all recognize that. Many people have their favorite type of glass, however they happened to arrive at it. I was recently sent a DIAMAS Tumbler, so it only made sense to review it and see how it compares to a couple of my favorite whiskey glasses.
What is the DIAMAS Tumbler?
The DIAMAS Tumbler is yet to be in production, and goes live for presale on a crowdfunding site starting August 1. You can find out more and reserve yours today at this link. I am told the final product will have a higher quality glass resin than the one that I was sent, but this prototype has the same configuration and should provide similar results.
The DIAMAS Tumbler is a very unique whiskey glass. It is quite heavy, so is unlikely to get tipped over. It also feels very sturdy when held. The glass has 5 inwardly convex angled walls in its lower portion. According to DIAMAS, the design “Enhances the Distribution of Spirit compounds, magnifying the Surface-to-air ratio and accelerating Oxidization when gently Swirling your favorite spirit”. The set includes a 12 sided (dodecahedron) granite cooling stone. Reminiscent of a die from Dungeons and Dragons, the stone fits perfectly in the lower section of the glass, minimizing its movement during each sip.
My Whiskey Glasses of Choice
My whiskey glasses of choice are generally the Glencairn Glass when I am doing tasting notes, and the Aged & Ore Neat Glass when I am traveling or at events. I also often use a (Libbey) Kentucky Bourbon Trail Glass or similar at home, but there are many others to choose from, too. With so many glasses, it is easy to wonder if there are any differences between them other than their aesthetics. I actually had done a side by side test a while back between the Glencairn Glass and the Kenzie Dram when I was deciding on which to use as my official Bourbon Obsessed glass. That test showed me that there was definitely a significant difference in the nosing and tasting experience between glass types. So, I expected some differences with the DIAMAS Tumbler, but I wasn’t anticipating them to be so pronounced.
The Whiskey Glass Comparison – Methods
Since I am a science person by training, I attempted to perform my tests of the DIAMAS Tumbler as scientifically as possible. To those means I chose my two favorite glasses, the Glencairn Glass and the Aged & Ore Neat Glass, to be the other contestants. I then put the glasses through a series of tests:
- Neat pour of 100 proof bourbon rested and nosed/tasted at 15 minutes (Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon)
- Neat pour of 100 proof bourbon nosed at 0, 5, 10, 15 & 20 minutes (Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon)
- Neat pour of 114 proof bourbon nosed at 0, 5, 10 & 15 minutes (Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon)
- Neat pour of 90 proof bourbon nosed at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 23 minutes (Wolcott Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey)
- Neat pour of a 110 proof Amburana finished bourbon nosed/tasted at 0, 5, 10 minutes only in the DIAMAS Tumbler (RD ONE Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished With Brazilian Amburana Wood)
- Cooling Test Using the Granite Dodecahedron whiskey stone
- All pours were 1 oz
- Samples from each glass were randomly tasted at various timepoints
- Random spot checks at some time points were done by a second observer
The Whiskey Glass Comparison – Results
The results were a bit surprising but relatively consistent for each whiskey glass across each test. In general, the Glencairn Glass provided a nose which had much more noticeable alcohol than the other two glasses. The DIAMAS Tumbler mitigated the alcohol vapor the most. However, the detection of subtle flavor notes in the nose was directly proportional to each glass’ effect on the intensity of the alcohol vapor. Therefore, subtle notes were most evident in the Glencairn Glass and least evident in the DIAMAS Tumbler, with the Aged & Ore Neat Glass somewhere in between, but often more similar to the DIAMAS glass than to the Glencairn.
All glasses demonstrated the dominant flavor notes in the nose. However, those flavors were more intense with the Glencairn Glass and more subdued with the DIAMAS Tumbler. However, the DIAMAS Tumbler preferentially subdued the spicier notes than the sweeter and softer ones. Therefore the nose provided by the DIAMAS glass was more subtle, but generally sweeter and smoother. Again, the efffect of the Neat glass was somewhere in the middle.
The Effect of Time
Another area where there were significant differences were the timepoints at which the whiskey glasses provided the most intense flavors. The Glencairn Glass, with its more narrow mouth, tended to provide full flavors over all of the timepoints tested. However, earlier on, the nose tended to be dominated by alcohol vapor, making the optimal time points for nosing 10-20 minutes, particularly with higher proof whiskeys. Both of the wider mouthed glasses, the DIAMAS Tumbler and the Aged & Ore Neat Glass, peaked earlier; their peaks were at the 5-10 minute mark, a little longer for the Neat glass. They also had their flavors dissipate much earlier, the DIAMAS before the Neat glass. The nose provided by the Glencairn Glass only minimally dissipated by the latest timepoint.
Whiskey Needs To Rest
Freshly poured whiskey in any glass generally needs to sit for a few minutes for the flavors to develop and accumulate in the glass. Therefore, at 1 minute, none of the glasses really provided full flavors in the nose. However, the alcohol punch was lowest with the DIAMAS Tumbler and next with the Neat glass. The Glencairn Glass will provide a nose hair burning blast of alcohol if a high proof bourbon is sniffed immediately after pouring.
By 5-10 minutes, the alcohol vapor had subsided to some degree in all of the glasses, but the least so in the Glencairn Glass. The flavors in the nose were best appreciated in the DIAMAS Tumbler in this range. The Aged & Ore Neat Glass had a bit of a longer range, with the nose generally maintained from 5-15 minutes. The Glencairn Glass benefited from waiting a little longer to allow the alcohol to dissipate. Therefore, the Glencairn Glass was optimal in the 10-20 minute range.
Past all of these time ranges, the flavors in the nose decreased somewhat. That was most noticeable in the DIAMAS Tumbler and then the Aged & Ore Neat Glass. Some of the flavors could be released in the DIAMAS Tumbler and Neat Glass by swirling at the longer timepoints, but they were not as intense as earlier on. The Glencairn Glass had the least dissipation of flavors at longer timepoints.
In the cooling test, the granite whiskey stone was added to the DIAMAS Tumbler, and then the whiskey poured over it. The DIAMAS website states that greater cooling can be achieved if both the glass and stone are chilled. I only chilled the stone, which is probably why my cooling was relatively minimal. The whiskey dropped from 72F to 64F. That was a noticeable difference, and fine for me since I usually drink my whiskey neat.
All of the glasses provided a reasonably similar taste experience. The Glencairn glass did provide better detection of subtle flavors, however.
The Whiskey Glass Comparison – Discussion
A Few Things Are Clear
From the results, a few things are clear:
- The Glencairn Glass allows the best detection of subtle flavors. It really was no contest, once the whiskey rested for a few minutes and the alcohol was allowed to dissipate somewhat. This will remain my glass of choice for whiskey reviews.
- Alcohol vapor was the strongest and longest lasting with the Glencairn Glass. The DIAMAS Tumbler did the best job of dissipating alcohol vapor, followed by the Aged & Ore Neat Glass. These two glasses allowed whiskey to be enjoyed sooner after pouring, and the flavors could be enjoyed without inhaling strong alcohol vapor, as well.
- Flavors last longer in the nose with the Glencairn Glass, and dissipate most rapidly with the DIAMAS Glass and then with the Aged & Ore Neat Glass. This seems to be directly related to the ratio of the size of the glass’ mouth to the bowl, with the DIAMAS Tumbler having a mouth that is as wide as the bowl, and the Glencairn Glass having a mouth that is narrower than the bowl. The Aged & Ore Neat Glass is in between, but closer to the DIAMAS Tumbler. So, whiskey is ready to drink more quickly in the DIAMAS Tumbler than the in the Glencairn. However, it needs to be consumed more quickly, as well.
But Wait, There’s More!
- The results for all glasses are similar regardless of the proof or the intensity of the flavors of the whiskey. However, one glass may be more desirable at a given proof than another. For example, a high proof whiskey will be ready to drink sooner and will be less likely to overwhelm one with alcohol vapor in the DIAMAS Tumbler than in the Glencairn Glass.
- Whiskey is very enjoyable out of any of the glasses, and personal preference and needs will govern which to choose. One glass may be better for one purpose than another. For example, the Glencairn Glass will remain my choice for doing whiskey reviews since the subtle flavors are most evident with it. However, for times when I am simply enjoying a glass of whiskey, such as now, the DIAMAS Tumbler is perfect. The mitigation of alcohol and the ability to drink my whiskey and appreciate its flavors soon after pouring is a definite plus! Plus, the look and feel of the glass are quite pleasant, and I know I won’t easily accidentally tip it over.
- All of the glasses provide an enjoyable tasting experience. The effect of each glass on taste is not as pronounced as the effect of each glass on the nose. The Glencairn Glass did provide better detection of subtle flavors, which is not surprising since smell is a significant component of taste.
An Important Point
I think if you use any one of these whiskey glasses, you will have an enjoyable experience. Their differences really only become evident when compared side by side. It is not likely you would notice most of them if you used just one of the glasses in isolation.
Conclusion – DIAMAS Tumbler Whiskey Glass Review
Clearly, all whiskey glasses are not alike. Which one is best really depends on one’s needs, situation and personal preferences. The DIAMAS Tumbler, the focus of this review, is an excellent glass. It is the one that I am going to reach for when I want to relax with a high proof pour. I will be able to enjoy my whiskey and appreciate its flavors without my nasal passages suffering third degree burns. Even for lower proof pours, whilst the effect is not as striking, the DIAMAS Tumbler lets me enjoy my whiskey’s flavors sooner. And most importantly, I likely won’t accidentally knock it over!
If you give the DIAMAS Tumbler a try, let me know what you think! Cheers!🥃
I hope you have enjoyed my DIAMAS Tumbler whiskey glass review! If you would like to learn about related home bartending topics, check out our Guide For The Home Bourbon Bartender by Aften Locken!
DISCLOSURE: The DIAMAS Tumbler and Whiskey Stone were graciously provided for my review by DIAMAS. You can learn more about the DIAMAS Tumbler, as well as reserve one, at this link. If you purchase it through the links in this article, I will also receive a small commission.
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