The Norlan glass

The Norlan Whisky Glass

Jim Mcewan, master distiller from Bruichladdich distillery in Islay Described the glass as “fantastic, absolutely just great” noting that “the fact you can get your nose into the glass, and the little fins they’ve done the aeration. You can see it working their you can hear the sound of the waves, the aeration is good. It certainly brings the flavours out for sure” adding that he would certainly “use it professionally”. Heather Green author of “Whisky Distilled” describes the glass as a combination of the “nosing and tasting and an old fashioned glass” adding that she “Got a lot of notes that she hadn’t gotten the first time, and she’d be excited to serve this in her house”. Whisky is arguable the worlds best loved spirit and drinking it often an intimate sensory experience involving sight touch taste and most importantly smell, everyone drinks whisky differently and nearly everyone has a favourite glass which defines this special moment but we've discovered that none of these glasses help the spirit live up to its fullest potential. Introducing Normal the glass that will change whisky, whisky is made up of a great many compounds some volatile ones are the ones we don't want in the glass so we have to aerate so we let these ones out so the ones we're left with are the more aromatic ones. Existing nosing glasses often concentrate the vapour in such a way that they tightly focus it causing the ethanol to punch you in the eyes, burn the nose and numb the tasting receptors. Another potential downside to using the nosing glass is that it changes the drinking experience to an antisocial activity whereby the head is tilted up and back cutting the drinker off from his (or her) social engagement preventing him (or her) from enjoying the dram to the fullest. A traditional tumbler maintains a social drinking experience but all of the whisky aromatics are diffused and flattened out resulting in a much more diminished flavour, why wouldn't you want a glass that both optimises the taste and the experience of your high quality spirit? Existing whisky glasses come down to a compromise of good delivery of spirit and good looking design, we engineered a new type of whisky glass by mirroring a scientifically performing inside with an aesthetically beautiful outside. I began designing the Norlan glass through a process of combining fluid dynamics modelling and biomimicry born out of the love of whisky and frustration with the glassware available. One day i was watching the waves and thinking about the glass and it hit me, we have to apply biomimicry techniques to copy the natural way the waves move inside the glass and create a standing wave effect when you swirl so as to add air into the fluid for massive optimisation. I met Martin Hanczyc we got into a heavy conversation about the xxxx effect andf the rate of ethanol oxidisation to surface volume. Increasing the surface to air volume allows considerably more ethanol to evaporate. Distribution of molecules between the lower liquid phase and the upper phase in whisky is of critical importance for how a whisky tastes. The Norlan glass is specifically designed with these fins at the bottom or these protrusions which give a different quality to the whisky when you swirl it in the glass bringing up different types of molecules into the head space which give the whisky a fuller flavour.

Scent delivery

The Norlan glass through over 90 design revisions both focuses and defuses in such a way that notes hidden to most distillers are revealed. This fantastically improves the taste of the whisky. The development of Norlan took over one year and included a four day workshop with master whisky distillers and experts. The distillers were the counterpoint between the qualitative applying their unique experience to patiently work through the results over four days while we redesgined and 3D printed the models on the spot

Hybrid Design

Norlan is the perfect marriage of a modern tumbler with an exceptionally improved nosing glass the stem-lets at the bottom allow you to examine the whisky without getting fingerprints on the bowl. The Norlan glass is designed to allow users to inhale the aromatics and drink without breaking eye contact with friends. We wanted to make sure we were making the best possible glass both for whisky lovers and for casual drinkers and felt we needed to have it tested by the experts. Many of my guests confuse the punch of the alcohol with the actual smell of the spirit and I think an different glass. I can see how this glass can elevate someones experience of their favourite whisky the same way a glass can change the experience of your favourite wine. We've really created a new category of drinking glass that offers an improved experience in the way that it combines the cool ease of a tumbler with the nosing and tasting qualities of a snifter.