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“Decanting whiskey is very different than for wine,” says Jordan Nova, assistant director of food and beverage at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, an American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts property. He explains that while wine decanters introduce oxygen to the spirit, which mellows its acidic taste, it’s a completely different story with whiskey.
“Since whiskey has higher [levels of] alcohol, relatively little tannin and no acidity, it won’t change in the decanter,” Nova adds. So, why decant, you may ask?
“We decant because they [decanters] look great,” he says. And we couldn’t agree more.
But not all whiskey decanters were created equal. Consider the glass quality and thickness first, Nova suggests. Look for a product with fairly solid and stable bottom since you’ll be lifting and setting it down often.
If you opt for a crystal decanter, then make sure it's not leaded. “The amount of lead that could leech into whatever liquid you place in there could become dangerous rather quickly. Spirits stored over a number of years could certainly have an exponentially higher level of lead in them,” says Josh Curtis, bar director at Malibu Beach Inn.
Another thing to pay attention to when purchasing a whiskey decanter is whether the stopper or the lid has a rubber or plastic liner. If they don’t, they will grind the edges every time the glass connects making a fine dust of glass that will certainly be in whatever liquid you store in it, according to Curtis.
“This seal for the lid will also aid in not allowing any booze to evaporate over time,” he adds.
Now check out the best and most elegant decanters that will surely jazz up your home décor as well.
Waterford Lismore Black Square Decanter
If eye-catching is what you’re after then this crystal decanter fits the bill. The black shade and the clear faceted crystal create a dramatic effect that looks so luxurious. We can guarantee you it will impress your guests.
To buy: $395, bloomingdales.com
Jonathan Adler Porcelain Whiskey Rocket Decanter
Ready for takeoff? This rocket-shaped porcelain decanter will keep the party going while adding character to your bar cart. It has silver decals and 16-karat gold accents.
To buy: $198, saksfifthavenue.com
Vista Alegre Fenix Whiskey Decanter with Gold Details
This whiskey decanter from the Felix collection of Vista Alegre sports a striking design that has won multiple awards. It is entirely handmade in Portugal using 20.6-karat gold paint and sandblast engraving. It holds up to 27 ounces of whiskey.
To buy: $895, neimanmarcus.com
Ralph Lauren Greenwich Decanter
The design of this classic decanter reflects Ralph Lauren’s preppy aesthetic thanks to the classic square shape and subtle plaid motif. It is mouth-blown, sports a square stopper, and has a capacity of 26 ounces.
To buy: $195, bloomingdales.com
Lalique Aphrodite Gold Luster Decanter
Serve your finest whiskey in this eclectic piece of barware. The classic round decanter is topped off with a stopper inspired by Aphrodite that elevates the entire piece to a work of art.
To buy: $2,975, bloomingdales.com
Baccarat Harmonie Whiskey Decanter
Baccarat’s best-selling Harmonie square decanter evokes the shape of a column with its delicately engraved lines. Handcrafted in France from Baccarat crystal, it will definitely elevate cocktail hour with its timeless look.
To buy: $1,315, neimanmarcus.com
Juliska Dean Whiskey Decanter
Add an Old Europe vibe to your home bar with this beautiful glass decanter mouth-blown in the Czech Republic. The round bottle and topper have subtle rope detailing that jazz up the classic design.
To buy: $175, onekingslane.com
Nude Shade Crystal Whiskey Decanter
Nude favors simple, minimal aesthetics where design and function marry in a an effective and visually-appealing way without one overpowering the other. For proof, look no further than this crystal whiskey decanter topped off with a skull-shaped stopper.
To buy: $135, barneys.com
William Yeoward Classic Decanter Bottle
Sleek, no-frills silhouette makes this whiskey decanter a must-have for any home bar. A globe-shaped stopper crowns the classic bottle-sized decanter, which is easy to hold and pour from.
To buy: $145, neimanmarcus.com
Pottery Barn Stag Decanter
This decanter has a stag’s head-shaped stopper cast from pewter for an antique look. The square bottle also sports a pewter-covered neck and it can be monogrammed with your initials—or the ones of someone you love as this decanter would make a wonderful gift.
To buy: $149, potterybarn.com