Whether you like your whisky with an “e” or without, on World Whiskey Day and beyond, in Scotland and around the world, tapering mouths will be directed towards East Kilbride’s Kelvin South Business Park to toast the fortieth anniversary of Glencairn Crystal and the twenty-first birthday of the definitive whisky vessel and an official glass of the Scottish Whisky Association.
Founded by Raymond Davidson in 1981, the Scottish glass designer and manufacturer has created decanters to hold the world’s oldest whisky, oldest port, and oldest rum. The birthdays will be marked later this year with the official opening of the new expanded £1m Glencairn Crystal Studio site in Glasgow.
“When I started Glencairn Crystal, it was my ambition to create the most innovative, creative, and impressive crystal decanters for the drinks industry,” says Davidson, who worked for Honeywell, Crown Paints, Matchbox Toys, and Edinburgh Crystal before starting his iconic, high-end cut crystal glassware business. The company designed the famous teardrop decanter (2010) for “Mortlach 70-Year-Old Generations” as well as the limited edition Royal Brackla decanter (2014) and the Glenfarclas Pagoda Series Ruby and Sapphire decanters (2020).
Amongst many other clients, Glencairn has worked with Appleton Estates, Old Rip Van Winkle, Glenmorangie, Glengoyne, Whyte & Mackay, and Stolichnaya. It made all the glassware for the 2015 Ryder Cup and the decanters used on the QE11.
Inspired by copita sherry nosing glasses used in whisky distillery laboratories, Davidson designed the 50ml Glencairn Glass with the late Jim Drysdale to be functional as well as aesthetic, and allow whisky drinkers to greater appreciate, the color, aroma, and taste of their favorite tipple. Curving inwards the glass allows aromas to be held and focussed. The shape essentially directs vapors and esters straight into the nostrils. Three million Glencairn whisky glasses are sold every year.
“I couldn’t be prouder of everyone at Glencairn and what we have achieved together in the last forty years,” comments Davidson. Adds his son, Scott Davidson, Glencairn’s Product Development Manager: “We could not have built the business without our talented and passionate team, including the best craftspeople in the industry, some of whom have over 30 years experience in working with crystal. We look forward to continuing to lead the market in crystal, glass, and container innovation and craftsmanship, whilst working with friends and colleagues across the industry.”
As well as Glencairn Gin Goblet, the world’s most famous whisky glassmaker has also introduced a new core range of colored glasses.
International Whisky Day, which supports Parkinson’s Disease, was created in honor of the late British drinks writer and beer and whisky guru, Michael Jackson.
A trio of single malt 38,43 and 48 whiskies from the ‘lost’ Brora Highlands Distillery has been released in handcrafted Glencairn Crystal decanters. Each limited-edition set of the Brora Triptych includes three 500ml decanters and has been individually numbered by Glencairn. The Brora distillery closed in 1983 but is set to re-open after a three-year restoration project by Diageo.
The Brora Triptych decanter project is the first time that Glencairn Crystal has used a new process to create the three stone patterns on the hand-crafted metal components. The Triptych will be available from mid-May priced at £30,000. A genuine lead-free crystal Glencairn whisky glass will cost you a mere £6.