Oser Communications Group

KNHR July 2014

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Retailing Feature RETAILING FEATURE 2 0 KITCHENWARE NEWS & HOUSEWARES REVIEW ■ JULY 2014 ■ www.kitchenwarenews.com BY AMBER GALLEGOS Known as the "water of life," f rom the Gaelic origination of the word, whiskey is experiencing a resurging popularity reminiscent of the prohibition era. Not to worr y though, whiskey isn't going anywhere. In fact, the demand for whiskey, scotch, and bourbon has been steadily increasing so much so that there is a variety of whiskey glassware to suit every purpose and fit all personalities. American distillers of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exported just over $1 billion in 2013, hitting that mark for the first time ever and nearly tripling the amount exported a decade ago in 2002 which was only $376 million, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DICUS). Also in 2013, 18 million 9-liter cases of Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey were sold in the United States, generating over $2.4 billion in revenue for distillers. Although whiskey has been around for centuries, an official corresponding glass has never been dubbed. So while wine, martinis, margaritas and champagne all enjoy the certainty of knowing which glass to be poured into, whiskey has been at the whims of servers' personal glassware preferences. Contributing to this conundrum could be the fact that any vessel can hold the whiskey, of course, but depending on the intended use of the beverage, different glasses will offer varied benefits. However, new and clever approaches to the whiskey glass are ensuring that no matter where it's poured, whiskey is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed. Whiskey purists all over the world have embraced the Glencairn whiskey glass since it was introduced to the industry in 2001. The glass is celebrated for its design and function that allows the full spectrum of flavors and aromas to be experienced. It was first designed by the Scottish company's founder Raymond Davidson in 1982 and eventually further developed with the help of master blenders f rom the scotch whiskey industr y, only to be completely forgotten about as other parts of the business took over. It was rediscovered in 2000 and then made widely available to the public in 2008. The glass lends well to the purpose of nosing whiskey, thanks to the tulip shaped body and tapered mouth. "If you're not in the mood to nose or take time to appreciate your whiskey, if you're just looking to sip it casually in f ront of a warm fire, a rocks tumbler will do the job," says Andy Davidson, Glencairn's Global Sales Director. "But if you're looking to get a wee bit more f rom your whiskey then it has to be tulip shaped. It can't be anything but tulip shaped if you want to appreciate the nose. If you want to add water, you can still use a copita or a Glencairn glass, but if you chose to add ice or a mixer, the Glencairn glass isn't for you." Another option for serious whiskey drinkers is the NEAT Glass, which features Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology. The patented glass has a squeezed neck that concentrates and intensifies aromas, and a flared rim that disperses alcohol, eliminating nose burn and providing a "sweet spot" in which the nose detects intense, recognizable aromas. NEAT began back in 2003 and was not finalized until it had undergone intensive testing by the chemistr y department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The glass was introduced to the public in February 2012, and has since come to be used as the judging glass for many international spirits competitions. " We are the first to approach the problem with pure science. We know a glass has to promote evaporation or there is nothing to smell, we know the nose must be close to the liquid or you miss most of the intriguing aromas, and we know alcohol burns the nose and just gets in the way; so we designed a short, fat glass which swirls well, and uses a unique restriction to disperse alcohol and intensify aromas. Simple science, form follows function. Holding NEAT at the neck avoids hand heat without adding a stem," says George Manska, inventor of the Whiskey Glasses Serve Up Personality concept. The Cupa-Rocks ICE glass f rom Sempli also focuses on swirling through its tapered bottom that comes to a curved point rather than a flat edge. The glass is designed to be hand-held, allowing the drinker to naturally warm the beverage. It creates a swirling motion when set down which assists the aeration of whiskey and promotes an aromatic experience. The f rosted finish further sets the glass apart f rom other whiskey glasses and the sleek look reflects the background of its Swedish designer, Daniele Semeraro, who has lived in Italy since 2000. Of course enjoying whiskey does not always have to be an exercise in discerning aromas and subtle flavors. The new whiskey glass f rom Libbey 's Perfect Collection aims to combine both function and enjoyment by sticking to the narrow opening, combined with outward sloping sides that gently lead to defined points creating the widest section of the glass before inclining inward to a compact base to create a look that is decidedly modern. " W hen people are enjoying brown liquors they 're using more expensive levels of brown liquors, so they want to serve it in something a little more unusual than a typical rocks glass f rom behind the bar," says Robert Zollweg, Libbey 's Creative Director who designed the Perfect Collection. "When you're spending $20 or $25 for a two-ounce pour, you don't want it in a basic old tumbler glass; you want something special, more unique and different." Supplier revenues for high end U.S. bourbon and Tennessee whiskey have nearly doubled since 2003 and the super premium versions have more than quadrupled, according to DISCUS. This growth is reflected in the increasing amount of whiskies offered by craft distillers all over the country. " There's a great movement in this country to craft anything, and the laws have been liberalized. People are realizing there is stuff on the shelf that really isn't that great, and the artisan craftsmen are proving it every day," says Manska. "So what you're getting here is artisan craft people making their own concoctions and coming up with things that are much more pleasant to drink than stuff that 's made in thousands and thousands of gallons a day. W hat you get is a lot of care; people are more interested in what the smell is and the aroma is, the characteristics and this type of thing." Normann Copenhagen's whiskey glass speaks to the imbiber seeking to combine well defined aesthetics with finely crafted spirits. It features an inverted point at the bottom of the glass that looks like a rounded pyramid centerpiece for liquid once the whiskey is poured in. The glass has a wide base that sits perfectly in the hand to allow for a relaxing experience. "My inspiration for the whiskey glass stems f rom my passion for collecting stones on the beach. The act of playing with stones in one's hand in a serene, meditative movement can be summed up in a functional and aesthetic design," says Rikke Hagen, who designed the glass for Normann Copenhagen. "The curve at the bottom provides a natural grasp for the glass, and the little bubble elegantly elevates the ice cubes like little ice blocks." For whiskey drinkers who don't mind ice with their liquor, Final Touch has introduced the On The Rock Glass + Ice Ball. The bottom of the glass has a pointed "ROCK" center inside that is reminiscent of a glacier. The set includes a silicon mold which creates a single 2-inch spherical ice block to be placed inside the glass. The ice sphere is perfectly shaped to rotate around the peak with a slight hand movement. Finally, for the ultimate in personal expressions, Manready Mercantile has created The Gentleman's Glassware Whiskey Glasses. The four piece set has 11 ounce glasses that are individually hand dipped in a black polymer to give the glasses a dripping wax effect. The tumbler style glasses are made in Houston, Texas and are perfect for serving up a cool and fun cocktail. www.libbey.com www.theneatglass.com www.manready.com www.normann-copenhagen.com www.whiskyglass.com www.sempli.com www.finaltouchwine.com For More Information

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