Have you been enamoured recently by a beautiful scotch whisky decanter? “Should you be getting a decanter for your whisky?”, one might ask.
Of course, decanters give your whisky an elegance that is hard to find.
But with so many options available, such as twisted decanters, gold decanters, square decanters, and diamond-shaped ones, you might be stymied for choice!
In this article, I will discuss why a decanter is great for storing drinks (such as wine) and whether they have any specific benefit for whiskey.
A Brief History of Decanters
Decanters go back to the ancient Romans, whose servants used to fill wine from an amphora in a glass vessel and serve it at the table.
Once glass became scarce after the western Roman empire fell, bronze, silver, gold, and earthenware decanters became popular.
In the early 1700s, Britishers added stoppers to decanters, limiting air exposure to the drink.
Today, starting with wine, decanters are used for many types of drinks, including scotch whiskey, cognac, and single malts.
Why Are Decanters Needed for Wine?
Wine contains sediments that you can remove through decantation. You will often find that old or improperly filtered wines will have these sediments.
If you let the wine settle for a while, the sediments will deposit themselves at the bottom in the original vessel. After this, you can pour the clear drink into your decanter, leaving behind the old vessel’s residues.
Another benefit of decantation is that your wine gets aerated. Allowing the wine to get some air before serving it adds to its aroma and flavour.
Does Whisky Get The Same Benefit From a Decanter?
Whisky is different. It does not have any sediments, and therefore there is no significant benefit from decantation. It does oxidise once poured from the bottle, but the process is relatively slow. The reason is that whisky has 40% alcohol content, and alcohol hinders oxidation.
That is why aerating contact will not change the taste of whisky. That’s why open mouth decanters are of no use in the case of whisky.
So, Why Use A Decanter For Whisky?
You might be wondering: why do people keep their whisky in a decanter, if it does not add any benefit to the taste?
Well, there are other reasons for using a decanter to serve whisky.
A decanter can be a beautiful piece of decor for your dining table or home bar. The golden brown and burgundy hues of whisky look nothing less than nectar when nestled in a glass or crystalline container.
Crystalline decanters add a sparkle to your aperitif. You can see the light dancing off the drink in the right light, which may inspire many a poet!
With so many beautiful designs available, decanters can add a bit of panache to your drink.
The decanter cap is another reason why whisky should be kept in it. You can make decanter stoppers from many substances, but their design always limits your drink’s exposure to air.
Decanter stoppers add a further touch of class to the drunk and keep your whisky fresh and aromatic.
What Should You Consider Before Buying A Whisky Decanter
Whisky decanters are smaller in size as compared to wine decanters. As people drink whisky in small quantities, smaller decanters are better.
Also, whisky decanters are heavier than wine decanters because they need more stability.
One of the decanters we suggest is Godinger Whisky Decanter Globe Set. This beautifully designed globe-shaped hand-blown glass decanter has an antique ship design on it. You also get two matching glasses with a globe design.
Whisky does not need air because whisky oxidises slowly and does not change the flavours much. Therefore, the whisky decanter does not require a wide-open mouth.
Whisky decanters have a strong and airtight stopper, which protects the drink by shielding it from dust and other contaminants.
If you are looking for a nice decanter with an airtight stopper, you should look into the one from Paksh Capitol. It has an elegant Italian design, an ornate stopper, and six exquisitely designed glasses.
Glass or Crystal
Whisky decanters can be either glass or crystal. Crystal is more elegant and gives a more beautiful look to your drink.
Many crystals are lead-free these days, but some do contain lead up to some extent.
Lead affects the drink and, in the long run, is not suitable for health. If you are looking for a lead-free crystal decanter for your scotch of bourbon, you should check out the James Scott Irish-Cut Crystal Decanter.
Most whisky decanters are square-cut with elaborate engraving, including a stopper. Other designs are globe or diamond cut. The design shows off the colour of the whisky and adds charm to the drink.
The Lefonte Whisky Decanter is an elegant square cut option, which has a fine cut and design.
The Ruglush Whisky Decanter is an excellent option if you are looking for a diamond cut decanter. It is made from hand-cut and hand-blown glass, with a surprisingly lightweight and beautiful diamond shape.
How To Clean a Whisky Decanter?
Decanters need care before, during, and after the decanting process. You must clean them thoroughly to remove any odour or sediments leftover from decantation. There are many ways to clean a decanter:
Hot water cleaning
The simplest way is to use hot water. Just fill the decanter with hot water, roll using a brush and rinse properly. You should do this immediately after the decanter gets empty so that no odour or sediment can settle down in the decanter.
Vinegar will not only clean the decanter but will also remove any odour from the vessel. The acid in the vinegar thoroughly washes and removes stains.
It is challenging to wash a decanter with a small opening using a hand. So, there are brushes available in the market to ease the cleaning process.
They are made from foam bristles and long enough to reach the decanter’s bottom and clean properly.
Salt and ice
A combination of salt and crushed ice can clean the decanter as well. It removes stains and scrubs in the corners of the decanter.
Stainless steel beads are an ideal tool to clean a decanter. They remove stains and prevent sediments from settling down at the bottom. You need to swirl the beads with water and clean the decanter thoroughly.
While a whisky decanter does not help reduce sediments or aerate the drink, there are many reasons why you should still use a decanter for whisky.
A simple bottle can never achieve the elegance and sophistication that a decanter can bring to your whisky.
The cuts and engraving on a crystal decanter add a certain sparkle to your whisky, making it come alive in the right light.