If you are new to craft beer you may have heard that the type of glass you drink from has an impact on the flavor and aroma of a beer. Sam Adams has a commercial out about the glass they developed specifically for their beers that help concentrate aromas and highlight flavors. The question is does the glass you drink from actually impact the beer you are drinking?
If you have been a reader of this site for any period of time you will see that I generally drink all of my beer out of two styles of glass a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner and a Spiegelau Lager Glass (don’t worry the links are not commission linked).I used the Stemmed Pilsner for IPAs, high alcohol beers, and Belgians. The Lager glass gets everything else. I have dozens of traditional pint glasses but I don’t use them for beer drinking. Spiegelau has recently come out with an IPA glass, which you will begin seeing on this site, and it made me want to do an experiment.
To begin with I got a glass of the four types mentioned above and lined them up. I then got two of the same beers and split them among the glasses. I think took some notes about smell and taste. You can see the results for each of the glasses below. One note, the beer I used is a balanced IPA that has a good amount of hops along with a great malt body.
Traditional Pint Glass
Smell: You can tell this beer has hops but they seem a bit muted or aged. The hops are not bright. There is also some malt odors in there mainly bread and biscuit.
Taste: As with the nose, the hops seems a bit muted. Not clear hop flavor but I would edge on a slight grapefruit going to pine. The malt is round and is a bit stronger than the hops.
Smell: Grapefruit and piney hops with a good helping of malt character. Slight caramel with bread.
Taste: Good hop kick with the flavors that the nose promised. Malt is crisp and full. Lots of good bread, biscuit, and caramel.
Smell: Concentrated hops right off the bat. Malt comes in a bit later with some caramels and bread.
Taste: Bright but balanced hops. Grapefruit hops that flow in to a pine flavor. Crisp hop ending note. Malt is balanced and has some great caramels and bread flavors.
Smell: Smell matches that of the stemmed pilsner.
Taste: Taste matches the stemmed pilsner
As you can see the aroma and flavor of this beer changed greatly depending on the glass that it was in. The pint glass really muted the flavors and made this beer seem less interesting and fresh than what it was. The lager glass was nice but the hops was not nearly as bright as the other stemmed pilsner or the IPA glass. The stemmed pilsner and IPA were about the same for me. The only difference I found was that the IPA kept the beer smelling fresher for a longer period of time.