Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

It may not improve the aromas or impact the flavour of your favourite spirit, but every home bar still deserves a decanter…

It’s the crystal-clear, skilfully-cut centrepiece of every home bar; the decanter. Often square in shape, and always brimming with golden-toned, sumptuous spirit, there’s an unspoken, slightly shameful secret contained within these cut-glass creations; they don’t actually do very much at all. 

True, they look handsome — and will bring a touch of old school glamour to your home. But, beyond these good looks, a whisky decanter does very little to actually elevate the aromas and flavours of your favourite scotch or bourbon. While wine has a lower alcohol content, and benefits from the aeration and oxygenation of a decanter, whisky hits a higher ABV — and is less improved by the decanting process.

But that’s not to say a decanter won’t elevate your tasting experience. Whether it’s giving you a better look at the colour of your chosen whisky or just adding a little pomp and ceremony to your evening sip, these home bar accessories are must-haves for modern men. Here are six of the very best…

Soho Home ‘Roebling’ Decanter

Why this decanter? Because of the value for money. Cut crystal this may be, but Soho Home’s highly-polished ‘Roebling’ decanter — named for the architect who built the Brooklyn Bridge — is surprisingly affordable for a piece of hand-finished barware.

Which whisky? Something American. Created from the NYC-based DUMBO House, the straight lines are inspired by the cables on the iconic nearby bridge. As such, fill it with something from the five boroughs; we’d opt for Great Jones Straight Bourbon. 

How will it help? With sweet bourbon, you won’t get the same oxygenating effect that will benefit some of the more sapid single malts. Instead, it’s all about the visuals; allowing you to more fully appreciate the amber colour lost through Great Jones’ dark bottle. 

Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

Soho Home ‘Roebling’ Decanter

£110.00

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Tom Dixon ‘Tank’ Whiskey Decanter

Why this decanter? Because it’s a mainstay of Tom Dixon’s design collection; instantly recognisable as the mouth-blown, copper-finished work of the self-taught British designer. Equal parts sculpture and decanter, it’ll add an artistic measure to your home bar. 

Which whisky? Something that thinks outside of the box. A twist on the traditional, or a spin on classic whisky styles. We’d opt for Compass Box’s ‘Experimental Grain Whisky’, with notes of banana, rum and savoury barbecue smokiness.

How will it help? Sufficiently scientific for such an experimental whisky, this chemistry glassware-inspired decanter will help subtly oxygenate the whisky, rousing to life flavours of raspberry and burnt pine cones.

Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

Tom Dixon ‘Tank’ Whiskey Decanter

£125.00

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Asprey Hexagonal Decanter

Why this decanter? Why do you think? That colour — a vivid, vibrant orange that softens into a sunset of rich yellow — makes this as eye-catching as any decanter we’ve ever had the pleasure to pour from. 

Which whisky? Something as avant-garde and unexpected as the decanter itself. For this, we’d suggest going Swedish. Mackmyra is a distillery pushing boundaries out of Gävle, and its ‘Intelligens’ bottling — co-created with Microsoft using artificial intelligence — is perfect for this modernistic design. 

How will it help? It’ll not only give your evening drink a futuristic flavour — but Asprey’s decanter will allow the more nuanced aromas of Mackmyra’s whisky (think butterscotch, spicy pepper and juniper) to bloom. 

Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

Asprey Hexagonal Decanter

£1,550.00

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Waterford ‘Lismore’ Ships Decanter

Why this decanter? Because it’s drenched in history. With a large, splayed-out base, these decorative decanters were used on historic galleons to ensure no amount of wave-tossing would spill the captain’s spirits. 

Which whisky? Something smokey — and pirate-y. Ardbeg would be our go-to for both; with past expressions including the suitably mutinous ‘Arrrrrrrdbeg!’. For this one, however, we’d decant a bottle of the distillery’s ‘Wee Beastie’ — the rawest, smokiest Ardbeg ever.

How will it help? It’ll fan the flames of those charred flavours. Just as a good gust of oxygen can lick a flickering fire into shape, the same can be said of its aerating effects on whisky — especially one as sharp and smoky as this.

Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

Waterford ‘Lismore’ Ships Decanter

£395.00

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Richard Brendon Small Diamond Decanter

Why this decanter? Partly because of the craftsmanship — the design is completely hand-cut, mouth-blown and meticulously-made — and partly because of its size; a perfectly practical, slightly smaller decanter.

Which whisky? We’d suggest something to match its diminutive size; a small-batch single malt. Campbeltown-based distiller Glen Scotia recently revealed such a bottling; a 46-year-old spirit finished for four years in Oloroso sherry butts.

How will it help? It won’t — not necessarily. But that small decanter will heighten that feeling of exclusivity even further — and make your £6,750 bottle of whisky last just a little longer. 

Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

Richard Brendon Small Diamond Decanter

£260.00

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Linley ‘Thirlmere’ Square Decanter

Why this decanter? Because it does what Linley does best; understated elegance. With a walnut stopper, sterling silver plaque and diamond pattern etched across its crystal surface, this is a traditionally-styled treat.

Which whisky? Something equally traditional; as classic as whiskies come. We’d go for an Aberlour — either the 14-Year-Old or the flavourful A’Bunadh; a big, rich, sherry-matured single malt befitting of such a solid, stolid decanter.

How will it help? That slow exposure to oxygen will work wonders here. As long as you don’t leave your whisky decanted for decades, the trickle of fresh air will awaken Aberlour’s hidden notes — from cinnamon to spicy white pepper.

Here’s why every man should own a whisky decanter

Linley ‘Thirlmere’ Square Decanter

£695.00

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