Does glassware make a difference? Whether wine or spirits, you bet it does. And that’s probably why Romeo Hristov has turned his attention to glassware for tequila and mezcal, where aroma plays a key role in a high-end tasting.
Since late 2016 Stölzle Lausitz GmbH (a German glass manufacturer that makes, among other items, the Glencairn whisky glasses) and I started the development and testing of new glasses for tequila and mezcal inspired by the drinking jars [jarritos] for pulque and mezcal. The use of this particular drinking vessel for alcoholic beverages from agave (most likely fermented, not distilled) goes back to the fourth century BC, but its shape is remarkably similar to the modern stemless tulip snifters, and offers an interesting blend from tradition and functionality.
These glasses are currently available as high-end hand-blown crystal glasses, but this year Hristov is aiming to bring out a more affordable machine-blown version. He sent a pair of glasses, one for tequila, one for mezcal, for us to check out. I’ve been experimenting with them with a variety of spirits, but primarily am analyzing them in their intended purpose, comparing performance to a standard Glencairn.
Some thoughts follow.
Chisholm Trail/Stölzle Lausitz Jarrito Tequila Glass (narrow mouth) – In tasting the tequila-intended jarrito, I found that a Glencairn focused the aromas more clearly at the top of the glass, though with very high-proof spirits, this can be a negative, as the jarrito allows more alcohol to evaporate more quickly. The glass is more effective with anejo tequilas than blancos (and it works very well with whiskey), as the spicier and sweeter elements of the spirit coalesce more clearly in its broader bowl. In actual use, the jarrito was also more successful at delivering tequila to the right part of the palate, though, and the overall shape of the glass is quite pleasing in the hand. A-
Chisholm Trail/Stölzle Lausitz Jarrito Mezcal Glass (wide mouth) – With mezcal, the wider jarrito first delivers a ton of smoke to the nose, but that blows off quickly, translating to a sweet and expressive palate. I definitely enjoyed drinking mezcal — which is traditionally served in a wide dish of sorts called a copita — more from the jarrito than a Glencairn, as it was more effective at opening up the spirit, allowing it to showcase more of its underlying charms. As with the above, the glass fits very well in the hand, working almost like a tumbler at times. A
prices TBD / chisholmtrailcraftsglasses.com