14 Best Whiskey Decanters in 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide


Table of Contents

What is a Whiskey Decanter?

The most common reason for decanting wine is to remove the sediments in it. However, in the case of the whiskey which does not have sediments, the whiskey decanter is used more out of aesthetics than any other reason. One whiskey decanter usually can hold one standard bottle of wine (750 ml).

Glass decanters have been used as early as during the Roman empire. The earlier design of decanters has evolved from glassware to bronze, silver, and earthenware and was usually without a stopper so the wine is exposed to air. In the 1730s, glass stoppers were introduced with the increased use of glass decanters. Since then, the wide-body and slender neck of the glass whiskey decanter have remained the basic design, although the designs have been innovated over the years, ranging from the classic design to the outrageous ones.

Why use a whiskey decanter?

The main reason to use a whiskey decanter is appearance and style. While designed with wine in mind, the aesthetics of decanters had a strong pull on many drinkers to decant their spirits. The whiskey decanter is a symbol of beauty and power. It also allows one to serve spirits without prejudice since they can remain anonymous. Everyday spirits can look especially enticing when served in a decanter. 

Another reason is to showcase the liquor itself as some dark rums, gold tequila, and other liquors are bottled in amber bottles, therefore denying the consumer of the beauty of the liquor. Colored liquors served in clear glass decanters are a beauty of its own in any home bar.

In the case of wine, allowing the liquor to “breathe” or allow aeration has been claimed to improve its quality and taste. However, this is not the case of whiskeys since interaction with oxygen can have negative effects on the flavor that is why airtight seals cannot be emphasized enough.

You have the idea of how to buy a decanter for your home or office bar so now you’re ready to treat yourself. Otherwise, let’s choose one just for you.

Our Pick

Most Affordable Whiskey Decanter

At its current discounted price, the James Scott Whiskey Decanter and Set is the most affordable whiskey decanter set on this list, not to mention coming in with 4 double old-fashioned glasses and mirrored serving tray, this decanter is truly a steal. 

Most User-friendly Whiskey Decanter

Our pick for the most user-friendly is the Iceberg Scotch Decanter Set by Ashcroft. Less than $50 dollars, safe in dishwasher, freezer, and microwave, and 100% lead-free, this is the best whiskey decanter set you can get without emptying your pocket. 

Most Environment-friendly Whiskey Decanter

It won’t hurt anyone to support companies that provide mechanisms to the environment to survive. After all, a livable world is the best gift we can offer to our children. When you buy a whiskey decanter from Prestige as the Diamond Whiskey Decanter set, you don’t only share a history that inspired their decanter designs but also plant a tree without getting your suit dirty. The company promised a tree for every whiskey decanter set they sold, so we think it was worth it.

14 Best Whiskey Decanters Reviewed

Best Luxury Whiskey Decanters

The opulence of these decanters will get you extra points in class and sophistication. Lead-free crystal whiskey decanters that were handcrafted for your exacting taste.

1. Waterford Crystal Lismore Scotch Decanter 

Dazzle your business associates with this stunning Waterford crystal decanter that holds 18 oz of your whiskey, just enough for a few shots for each of you. The contemporary design of Waterford crystal whiskey decanter is just what you need to exude the right amount of power and sophistication. Waterford decanter comes with an airtight stopper so your whiskey stays good as from the bottle the next time you pour it for a drink. Recommended for serving only, not storing the spirits.

2. Zwiesel 1872 Charles Schumann Hommage Collection Comete Handmade Crystal Whisky Carafe

The time-tested craftsmanship of German’s finest glassmakers, Schott Zwiesel, is behind this beautiful whiskey decanter built to withstand the most demanding bar environment. Made with a technology that considers the environment, this crystal decanter is the world’s leading choice among wine connoisseurs. Titanium and zirconium were added to the Schott Zwiesel crystal glassware for strength and crystal clarity, making it dishwasher safe and resistant to breakage, chipping, scratching, and thermal shock. It will also maintain its clarity even after years of use.

This tiny carafe, just 9.8-inch tall and 4.4-inch wide with a capacity of 16 ounces, is good enough for all whiskeys. 

 

Best Premium Decanters and Sets

These decanters are beautiful without putting a hole in your pockets. Lead-free and strong enough for long-term use, these elegant decanters are made by world-renown glassmakers, made with your health and the environment in mind.

1. Ravenscroft Crystal Beveled Blade Container

Ravenscroft is known to make hand-cut, affordable yet elegant lead-free crystal decanters. This crystal decanters are made with high-grade mineral deposits such as zirconium to improve the clarity of the crystal without the addition of lead. It also contains zinc and barium which are safe for human consumption, instead of lead, for improved clarity and strength. Not many glassmakers still use zinc and barium in their crystal glasses because it is expensive.

This crystal whiskey decanter, standing 13.5 inches and 5 inches wide, is large and strong enough to accommodate 34 ounces of your favorite liquor. It will surely impress even the most exacting wine lover.

2. Ravenscroft Crystal Kensington Decanter Set

Europe’s known glassblowers of Poland create the Ravenscroft decanters including this commemorative crystal whiskey decanter set to celebrate 125 years of quality craftsmanship in making wine glasses and decanters. 100% lead-free, this decanter set comes with a large capacity decanter (26 oz) and four double old-fashioned whiskey glasses. This elegant crystal decanter set is limited edition and is a treasure on its own.

Free from impurities that may cloud glass over time and lead as clarifying agents, this whiskey decanter set uses only high-quality materials and ancient mineral deposits. All of these result in a crystal decanter set that will always be a pride of the makers and the owners of the homes that they have the delight to grace.

Best Affordable Decanters and Set

1. Iceberg Scotch Decanter by Ashcroft Fine Glassware

Sophistication doesn’t have to come with a price. This line is certainly embodied by the Ashcroft whiskey decanter set, with its beveled design invoking the beauty of ice cubes on the glasses and the decanter itself. 100% lead-free crystal, this stunning decanter also has a stopper that seals it beautifully so as not to compromise your drinks.

Slim enough for a woman’s dainty hand yet heavy enough for that masculine feel, the glasses that come with the set are a beauty on its own. Crafted with just enough width to allow you to take in the aroma of the spirits in the glass, it is also wide enough to accommodate ice cubes and whiskey balls for a wonderful drinking experience. Designed to look like ice blocks surround your whiskey glass and decanter, these sturdy glasses also keep your liquor at the correct temperature longer than the other glasses in the market. These glasses are meant to be enjoyed, not displayed.

Entertaining is never boring with a whiskey decanter set such as this. Elegantly packaged in a black box, this set is also a great all-occasion gift for liquor lovers. The contemporary design also allows it to blend well in any home or office bar. Keeping it in top shape is also not worry, as it is dishwasher safe and crafted tough enough for the freezer and microwave.

It also comes with the Ashcroft 100% Perfect Delivery Guarantee that a free replacement will be delivered free of charge in any event that the item has been damaged during handling or transit before it arrived at your home.

       

2. Ashcroft 5-piece Twist Bourbon Decanter Set

Another Ashcroft masterpiece to grace your home, this elaborately designed decanter set is a welcome addition to your office or home bar. Boasting of the world’s most transparent and bedazzling glasses, the Twist Decanter Set will gain you extra points of wowing your clients and friends, all without leaving a huge hole in your pocket. At less than $50, this is a real steal. 

Enjoy your drinks in this shatter-resistant and insulated whiskey crystal decanter and glassware set after a long day at work or just having fun on a quiet weekend. Suitably weighted and thick, you don’t have to worry much about as this set arrives with the Ashcroft guarantee of perfection.

It’s also 100% lead-free so you can park your nerves while enjoying your drinks. This home bar must-have is truly a gem with the 100% Perfect Delivery Guarantee so you can expect that you have your money’s worth for this item.

       

3. Dorchester Scotch Decanter

Created to provide class and convenience, the Dorchester Scotch Decanter comes with a sturdy stopper that seals in the flavor and aroma of your whiskeys.

This decanter is designed to be on par with other decanters at a price that will steal your breath away. No way a whiskey decanter this gorgeous would cost less than $50! This solid and high-quality product is weighted just right to assure you that the manufacturer delivers what has been promised. Also, Dorchester gives you 100% Perfect Delivery Guarantee that whatever happens to your purchase while in transit, you will be given a free replacement without incurring additional shipping charges.

       

4. James Scott 6-piece Crystal Bar Set

The mirrored tray that comes with this awesome crystal decanter set saves your hardwood desk from water stains and eases serving your friends. The set also has 4 double old-fashioned glasses in it so that there is no need to purchase separate glasses unless you plan to entertain a larger party with your friends.

Care should be given to this delicate whiskey decanter for you to enjoy it longer. Hand washed only and dried with a soft cloth to preserve its beauty and quality.

       

5. Whiskey Decanter Diamond-shaped With 2 Diamond Glasses & Mahogany Wooden Holder

This uniquely designed decanter and glass set comes with a mahogany stand to support the decanter and at the same time add class to your home or office bar. Its design captures the sophistication and class that you want to exude. A show-stopper and great conversation piece, this whiskey decanter set is 100% lead-free crystal and is made with borosilicate glass, handcrafted by the most talented artisans. The stopper also fits well to preserve your drinks well. It may look dainty but it holds a whole standard bottle of your favorite liquor. 

The diamond-shaped glasses that come with this set reminds us why diamonds are beautiful but can withstand the hardest of times. True to its design, these sturdy but thin and light-weight glasses can perfectly stand on its base if you do not want to tilt it to the side. 

Using only the finest quality materials, the glassmakers offer you a 100% risk-free guarantee so you can return the product in any event that you are not satisfied by it. Call it confidence but we have that much in this product.  

       

6. Bormioli Rocco Dedalo 8-piece Set 

This beautiful whiskey decanter set has an ice bucket and tongs and six glasses, perfect for the size of intimate friends you plan to wow.  The intricate weblike design on this whiskey decanter, glasses, and ice bucket is good enough to any classy bar setup. Lead-free and sturdy, you can use it enjoyably without worrying to break it while toasting your friends. Not tough enough for the dishwasher, though, so hand washing and drying with a soft cloth does the trick.

       

Best Unique Decanters

1. Bourbon Barrel Liquor Decanter

Looking for some unique decanter that you can proudly put on display, even without the liquor content? Have a wayfaring spirit? This glassware decanter will satisfy that desire. Rustic plus sophistication is how this hand-blown decanter with a hand-hewn oak base by master craftsmen of Kentucky, USA.  A hand-blown replica of The Tokoma, one of the famous rum-running ships during the Prohibition, in the center of the barrel decanter ties the theme together. Guess there’s more history told in this decanter that’s worth sharing with your guests, rather than admiring something intricate but meaningless.

Certainly not your usual decanter, this 1-liter capacity barrel has a stainless steel spigot that is guaranteed to be leak-proof. The glass stopper is ground to provide an airtight lock to preserve the essence of the liquor.

For your security and satisfaction, this whiskey decanter arrives with a 60-day warranty. You get a full refund if at any point within the 60-day period you decide that you are not satisfied with the purchase. The company is also very committed to upholding the environment that they are keeping the tradition of planting one tree for every decanter sold.

       

2. Etched Globe Whisky Container

For a globetrotter like you, here’s a fresh take to your geography. This globe-shaped whiskey decanter is truly a work of art, making your drinks an exciting experience on its own. Large enough to hold 850 ml of liquors, it also has an airtight seal to keep your whiskey or any other liquor in tiptop taste. 

Hand-blown and carefully etched by master artisans, this high-quality decanter balanced on a wooden stand, needs extra care during the cleaning. It also comes with a bar funnel so you don’t make a mess when pouring. 

A great gift for your globe-trotting friends or those inclined in geography or simply as a nice addition to their home, you will never go wrong with this whiskey decanter.

       

3. Diamond Whiskey Container

This decanter was inspired by the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality diamond ever found. The diamond, discovered in 1905 in a South African mine was named after the mine's chairman Thomas Cullinan, was so large that it was able to produce 9 major stones. This whiskey decanter was named Cullinan M to designate the 1-liter capacity of this decanter. 

Crafted in Kentucky by the master craftsmen, every purchase of this hand-blown decanter means another tree is planted. The wooden base is harvested in the tree farm of the company, each year adding more trees as part of their commitment to the environment. 

100% lead-free crystal, this decanter comes with an airtight seal to keep your whiskey and other liquors so the alcohol does not evaporate and the essence of the liquor is preserved.

For your security and satisfaction, this whiskey decanter comes with a 60-day warranty. You get a full refund if at any point within the 60-day period you decide that you are not satisfied with the purchase. The company is also very committed to upholding the environment that they are keeping the tradition of planting one tree for every decanter sold.

       

Best Personalized Whiskey Decanter

1. Personalized 5-piece Whisky Decanter Set

Make your home and office bar more personal with these personalized decanters. Great as a gift option for all occasions, this decanter also comes with 4 old-fashioned glasses. Its no-nonsense design can fit in any bar setup.  Just the right size at less than 11” tall, it holds almost 24 oz of your favorite liquor, just enough for you and friends having some guy bonding or business meeting.

Just email your information after the purchase has been made to make sure your order is just right. Engraving is free so no need to worry about it. No need to wait for it either, it can be shipped in 1-3 days from date of purchase.

        

How long can whiskey or other liquors keep in a decanter?

If you want to keep your liquors in whiskey decanters, be sure to find one that is tightly sealed so the alcohol does not evaporate. The length of a liquor’s shelf-life in the decanter is also dependent on the type of liquor. Wines can only go for days but other spirits can last for years as long as the lock is airtight.

Which decanter shapes for which liquor?

There is no one design or shape for decanters for a particular liquor. In fact, except for the wine that can use a no-seal decanter, the decanters can be used with any liquor, as long as the seal is airtight. It could also take on other materials such as wooden or steel but the purpose of displaying the liquor if using opaque materials is defeated. As such, it should not prevent you from choosing the material you are comfortable with. Just be sure it does not leach chemicals or toxins as the alcohol may react with some materials. Also, do not forget to provide an airtight lock to keep your liquors in tiptop condition the next time you drink it. Nothing more kills the mood than a stale drink. 

What to Look for in a Whiskey Decanter

For a whiskey decanter, there is no definitive requirement since the purpose of decanting is usually purely aesthetics. So, go ahead and choose one that represents your personality, whether as classy or as adventurous. But of course, you want one that will not only serve the purpose, it should also have the following features:

A good size

If you are planning to decant a whole bottle of whiskey, you need a decanter that can hold at least 750 ml. Decanters usually range from 500 ml to 1 liter. Choose one that is thick enough so your liquor is not wasted from a broken decanter.

Pleasing design

Always consider your personality when buying a whiskey decanter. Since its purpose is mainly aesthetic you might as well find something that represents your quirks or desire. A globe-trotting person may want some globe-shaped decanter with an airplane sculpture inside. Someone who is into Johnny Depp of the Pirate of the Caribbeans can have a pirate-themed decanter. For something classy and elegant, go for the classic gem designs that are never outdated.

Airtight seal

You want your whiskey decanter to have an airtight seal so it slows down the oxidation process. If your decanter does not have an airtight seal, you can always use a cork to lock your decanter while not in use. You can always switch the original seal when serving. It may be bothersome but there’s no need to throw away a beautiful decanter just because it does not have an airtight seal. It’s better to use cork on rather than drink a stale liquor. However, newer versions of whiskey decanters have a rubber component in the stopper to provide additional protection so you won’t have to compromise the beauty of your decanter. 

Lead-free crystal

While antique crystal decanters are beautiful, you are not sure if it is a lead-free crystal. It is better to invest in some new decanters as they are most likely to have passed the lead level inspection. Lead is dangerous enough and if it leaches and reacts with the alcohol in the whiskey decanter, the damage is beyond repairable. However, according to experts, 50 mg per liter of lead should be safe enough for daily ingestion. Take into consideration that the water we are drinking may also contain lead as well as the other utensils we are using. Therefore, it is better to stay clear from any known lead sources to minimize your daily intake.

Just the right price

Don’t be fooled by expensive whiskey decanter as the price does not necessarily equate quality.  Decanters also come in sets so your whiskey glasses can keep up with the theme you have picked. Crystal decanter is usually pricier than a glass decanter because of its beauty. The clearness of crystal decanter adds allure to the beauty of these. 

Are crystal decanters safe?

Usually, antique crystal decanters have lead in its composition. While occasional consumption of lead is not lethal, lead is accumulative so a daily consumption can result in more lead in the body than can be tolerated. 

Don’t store acidic food and beverages in crystal containers for longer than one week. Thus, unless you plan to consume your liquor in one sitting, it is best to put it back into its original bottle. Better to stay safe than beautiful but dead. Grim? It could be.

Is there any way to check if my decanter has lead in it?

You don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for your decanters. To check if your decanter has lead in it, hold it against the light. A rainbow on the glassware when the light is refracted through it means there is lead in the material. Also, look for a whiskey decanter labeled as “plain pressed glass”.

Not all glass is crystal but all glass is crystal. Depending on the guidelines, glassware can be labeled crystal if it contains more than 1% lead (US standards). European standards, however, are more lenient. It maintains that a lead content of more than 24% makes the glassware a crystal, along with a specific density of 2.9 and a reflective index of 1.549. Crystal also rings when tapped very lightly, heavier than ordinary glassware, and is more fragile. Glasswares are also less sparkly than crystal glasses because it does not reflect as much light.

Is there a Difference Between a Whiskey Decanter, a Bourbon Decanter, and a Scotch Decanter?

If we talk about the difference between whiskey, bourbon, and scotch, we conclude that bourbon and scotch are both whiskeys, albeit their main ingredient is different.

Whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage from fermented grain mash. Various grains can be used for different varieties of barley, corn, rye, and wheat, generally aged in charred white oak. Scotch, on one hand, is a whiskey made from malted barley, wheat, and rye. There are 5 categories for whiskey, depending on the number of malted grains used in the distillation process and aged for at least 3 years. 

Bourbon, on the other hand, is made mostly from corn (at least 51% of the total cereal ingredients) and any other grains, including wheat and pseudocereals like amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. Pseudocereals are seeds that are ground or milled to use as a replacement for cereals. Bourbon is essentially an American whiskey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to look for when buying whiskey decanter?

These five features are key when it comes to choosing the right decanter for you or someone you care about: capacity, design, airtight seal, price, and if the decanter is lead-free.

How long should you keep whiskey in a decanter?

If you're using a whiskey decanter with an airtight seal, the spirits inside will last just as long as they would in the original glass alcohol container. For wine, that means only a few days, but whiskey, scotch, and other spirits could last for years. However, if the decanter is not lead-free, your liquor should not be kept in it overnight. Use the decanter only for serving, not for storing the liquors.

What’s the point of a whiskey decanter?

The sole purpose of whiskey decanters is aesthetics as there are no sediments that needed to be settled, such as in wine. If your whiskey decanter does not have an airtight stopper, your whiskey may end up worse than if it stayed in the original bottle.

Does whiskey go bad in a decanter?

Air exposure can lead to the evaporation of the spirit, which will have a negative effect on the quality of your whiskey. If you plan to store whiskey in a decanter, be sure to use a glass decanter, not crystal.

How long is whiskey good for?

Even if the whiskey stays in its original bottle, the shelf-life of an opened bottle decreases as the volume of the content of the bottle decreases. This is because there is more space that can be occupied by the air, speeding up oxidation. So, if your bottle is halfway consumed, it is best to consume it in the shortest possible time.

Conclusion

Do you really need a whiskey decanter for your whiskey? For aesthetic purposes, yes. For practicality, no. If you are an occasional drinker and do not store more than one bottle in your bar but want to be in style while serving yourself an occasional drink, you can buy a small whiskey decanter and decant just enough for you to consume. For those who have an extensive bar and love to have a drink or two to cap their busy day, buy decanters that can serve the purpose and use label tags, especially if you choose to keep your bottles out of sight. Choose one from this list of best whiskey decanters that is right for your personality, style, and price range. Remember also to choose one that is not high maintenance, even if it is pricier, so you can enjoy it for years.

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