Updated on December 2018: Living with a whiskey connoisseur? Want to add that extra little splash of class to your living room? Or do you simply want to treat yourself to a gorgeously elegant and completely practical gift? Well, any of these reasons would justify a purchase of a whiskey decanter. Whiskey decanters, plainly put, are containers that store your finest whiskey. Whilst not being the most necessary household furnishing, a whiskey decanter is sure to attract the eye and give your household a definite sense of sophistication.
So, if this all sounds like something you are interested in then keep on reading! You have stumbled upon the ultimate whiskey decanter guide. This brief but thorough article will give you all of the necessary information that is required when purchasing a whiskey decanter, such as different styles, how to get the best value for your money, and our top recommendations for each type of decanter.
Luxury Whiskey Decanter Sets
Luxury decanter sets are of the highest quality and offer the most stylish designs on the market. If you are looking at purchasing a luxury decanter for your own use, then you are sure to love the elegant designs and the prestigious look that they are guaranteed to bring to your household. Alternatively, luxury decanter sets are the perfect gift for those celebrating a particularly special occasion such as a wedding, a significant birthday or a big anniversary date. And while the price of these sets is usually relatively high, their design and style is always guaranteed to be of the utmost quality.
A classic yet equally contemporary design, this Lismore rounded decanter looks simply exquisite. With a capacity of 18.6 fluid ounces, this is also one very practical decanter. The clear Waterford Crystal design is a tried and tested formula that has stood the test of time, looking just as gorgeous as it ever did. It is easy to see why this product is classed as a luxury decanter.
An immediately stunning design, this luxury decanter varies from the Lismore decanter in several key ways. One way in which it differs is the decanters very contemporary style. As opposed to the classic Waterford Crystal design of the Lismore decanter, the Zwiesel has a very subtle and contemporary design that just exudes sophistication. These decanters are hand-crafted and made from tritan crystal glass that resists breakage and chipping, so longevity is guaranteed.
A product that is very similar to the previous Lismore entry on our list, this decanter has the same level of classical sophistication that is paralleled in its cousin. Made from the same materials as the other Lismore decanter, the same level of quality is assured. However, the main difference between these decanters is their design. This decanter forms a diamond shape that extends elegantly from the top in a downwards fashion whereas the other Lismore entry is a more rounded shape.
Best Premium Decanters and Sets
Premium decanter sets usually offer the most value when it comes to price versus quality. Premium decanters usually offer an affordable but very high-quality product that strikes the balance between price and style perfectly. Premium decanters not only make a great gift for yourself but also a great gift for any special occasion such as a birthday, anniversary or any holiday gift like at Christmas.
One of the best premium decanters on the market, the Crystal Beveled Blade decanter by Ravenscroft is an exceptionally practical and stylish whiskey decanter. This particular decanter offers a whole 28 ounces of space inside, making it perfect to store a 750ml bottle of your finest whiskey. The hand-made nature of this piece ensures that every product is unique in some way.
A premium decanter with a refined and sleek design, this Reed & Barton crystal Soho square decanter will fit right in to any kitchen, bar or living room area. This is primarily due to the simple yet effective design of the product. The crystal pattern on the decanter gives the set a “streaky” look (described as a “vertical cut-flame design”) that is sure to intrigue the eyes of many. However, this particular decanter does have a slightly lower capacity than the Ravenscroft decanter previously mentioned, having a 26-ounce capacity, which is still a considerable amount.
Clean and concise is the perfect description for this decanter. What you see is what you get. A clear crystal decanter that oozes with subtle elegance and provides complete practicality. This decanter offers a 26-ounce capacity, similar to the Reed & Barton decanter, but has a decidedly cleaner look, choosing to refrain from any needless blemishes that would obscure your fine whiskey.
Affordable Decanters and Sets
Affordable decanters are exactly what they sound like; decanters that still retain their sophistication and stylish nature but come at a much more reasonable price. If you are seeking a decanter as a gift, or for personal use, but the recipient does not consider themselves to be a connoisseur of whiskey or the occasion is not considered major in terms of importance then consider some of the following decanters.
Definitely one of the top picks for affordable decanters, this Ravenscroft decanter emphasises its subtle design when whiskey is poured in. The decanter has a “misty” look that entices the eye and makes the whiskey look cool to touch, and very appealing. This is an affordable and hand-crafted gift that will be suited for any special occasion.
This decanter has an immediately striking design with the bottom of the decanter being shaped like an iceberg. The very presence of the iceberg elicits an image of drinking some ice-cold whiskey. The rest of the decanter extends upwards, similarly mimicking the shape of an iceberg. The elegant design is finished off by the exquisitely cut topper that adds a regal look to the decanter.
Ashcroft seem to be masters at making affordable whiskey decanters as this twist decanter, much as the iceberg decanter mentioned previously, has a very striking design that is almost guaranteed to catch the eye of everyone who glances upon it. The topper of the decanter has a very definitive “twist” pattern that continues down the entire decanter, slowly twisting elegantly and carefully around the container.
Coming in at a very reasonable price, this Dorchester Scotch decanter has a very classic design that is sure to please the eye and the mind. Boasting a considerable 27-ounce capacity, this decanter is not only very affordable but also very practical. This is definitely a top pick for those who want to prioritise practicality over style.
Another affordable decanter with a very classic design, the James Scott whiskey decanter offers all you could require with a decanter of this price. From practicality to style, this decanter has it all, and for a very low price. The excellent value of this set makes it a perfect gift for just about any occasion, whether it be a birthday, Christmas or anniversary.
A bold design is present on this decanter, looking as though spider webs were strewn across the piece. A slightly less subtle design than some of the other decanters on this list, this particular decanter has a definite style that cannot be found in some of the other more affordable decanters mentioned previously. This decanter can also usually be found for a very low price, making it one of the cheapest and most stylish decanters in the whole article.
Unique decanters are those that are a little unusual. They often boast a unique design that fits neither into the category of classic or contemporary. These unique decanters will please that one family member or friend with slightly unusual tastes, those who have a keen eye for the strange and peculiar.
This is certainly one of the most unique whiskey decanters out there. This decanter is shaped like a barrel, resting on a beautiful mahogany wood perch. There is a tap at one end of the barrel in which your whiskey can freely pour out. The main feature of the design, however, is the elegant (and surprisingly tasteful-looking) crystal ship at the base of the center of the barrel. With the right amount of whiskey in the decanter, the ship looks as though it is sailing on a sea of your finest spirits.
Another extremely stylish, unique and surprisingly remarkable decanters, this particular model is shaped like a globe. All of the continents have been engraved with the utmost care onto the surface of the decanter. A sleek wooden frame holds the globe decanter at a slightly tilted angle, much like how most real globes are. Whilst the design is certainly unique, it still retains a remarkable amount of sophistication and will almost certainly draw in plenty of attention.
This decanter holds a very prominent and striking design, with the whole decanter taking the shape of one large diamond. The decanter is propped up by a neat little wooden base that grasps the diamond decanter at its four downward corners, making sure that it does not topple and break. This is also a fairly large decanter, boasting a capacity of 1000ml. This decanter, much like the other unique decanters on this list, is sure to spark a lively discussion.
Personalized Whiskey Decanters
Personalised decanters are an incredible gift to those who are closest to you. If you desire a gift that not only has style, sophistication and quality but also carries a great deal of personal meaning then you needn’t look any further than a personalised decanter set. Dates, names and heart-felt messages can all be written into these decanters.
A very simple yet effective design, this personalized decanter has a wide array of variations that you can choose from. For example, customers can customise their decanters in ways such as changing the primary initial on the decanter, including text, changing the font and the size of the lettering. The deep level of customisation is sure to please both you and the recipient of your gift.
This decanter model is very similar to the previous entry above, except this particular variation has slightly more elaborate decoration around the name and initials. The same deep level of customisation is present here, offering different variations of font, initials and text. This personalized decanter also allows an engraving of a certain date, making it the perfect gift for birthdays or anniversaries.
5 key features to look for when choosing a whiskey decanter
When it comes to purchasing whiskey decanters there are some things that you definitely need to know. These five features are absolutely key when it comes to choosing the right decanter for you or someone you care about.
One of the most important features of a decanter is its capacity. In other words, how much whiskey can it hold? This can range quite a bit between manufacturers and models so make sure that you get a decanter that suits your particular needs. Try searching for a decanter with no less that 15 ounces of capacity.
This is particularly important if the person you are buying the decanter for has a particular taste. For example, they may dislike classically designed pieces and instead prefer a subtler and more contemporary look, especially if they wish to store it in a prominent location like the living room or lounge. Make sure that you know their likes and dislikes when it comes to style.
Does it contain lead?
This is a very important question to be aware of. If the decanter you have chosen contains any lead-based crystal, then the lead is likely to leach into the whiskey over time. This can occur progressively over time and can result in some serious health issues if an excessive amount of lead is ingested.
An obvious yet highly important factor to consider when purchasing a decanter is its price. It is important to weigh-up the benefits of the model and its price. Is the occasion you are buying for a major event? Is the person very close to you? Will they notice if you cut corners and sacrifice quality for a lower price? These are all important questions that you need to consider.
Whiskey oxidises in the presence of oxygen, meaning that prolonged exposure to the air can ruin the flavour and taste of the liquid. This is why it is imperative that you purchase a decanter with an airtight seal, especially if you intend on keeping your finest whiskey in there for long periods of time.
Is there a Difference Between a Whiskey Decanter, a Bourbon Decanter, and a Scotch Decanter?
This is a question that is often asked when it comes to decanters; just what is the difference between whiskey, bourbon and scotch? And the answer is: not a lot. The truth is, these are all just different types of whiskey, they differ in how they are made and how they taste but they have no impact on the decanter itself. It is simply the case that different companies and manufacturers name their particular decanters according to a specific type of whiskey.
When all is said and done, a whiskey decanter is a gift that you cannot go wrong with. Even if you get the cheapest and least stylish decanter available on the market, it will still please due to the very nature of its being. There are plenty of options available to you in terms of choice, as previously shown, so you needn’t worry about not being able to find the right one. There is a whiskey decanter out there for everyone and I hope this article has helped you, or your loved ones, find yours.