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An Inside Scoop On The Revolutionary Norlan Whisky Glass


An ardent whiskey lover will be able to tell between good malt and a bad one. But it takes more than a connoisseur’s expertise to come up with the perfect whisky glass.

What would be a perfect whisky glass? Ideally it’d be one that never runs out of ice and refills itself. But since we aren’t a part of the Wizardly World, let’s be realistic. A perfect glass is one that not only allows you to take in the entire essence of the drink but also doesn’t make you look socially awkward (read, give an unwanted insight into your nose hair. Ew.).


The Idea

Whisky guzzlers usually prefer the classic crystal tumbler or a container with a narrower brim for their drink. But here’s what those glasses are getting wrong. The classic tumbler makes it nearly impossible to maintain eye contact while downing a drink and in addition, diffuses the aroma and spirit of the drink rather too quickly. On the other hand, the narrow brimmed glasses concentrate the vapor in a way that the ethanol pokes you right in the eye and nose.

Enter the Norlan Whiskey Glass, the glass that will change the way you have whisky. The product has been expertly designed by bringing together aesthetics and bio-mimicry.

What makes it perfect is the fact that not only does the glass allow all your senses to take in the magnificence that is whiskey but is also aesthetically and practically sound.

“In any whisky advertisement, tasting, or online, you can see there are dozens of whisky in existence, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We set out to be the glass that both professionals and casual drinkers alike would find an inclusive, compelling and modern alternative to what has come before”, the team explains.


The Masterminds

Sruli Recht, Brian Fichtner and Shane Bahng instituted the idea for ‘The’ whisky glass.Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 7.15.02 PM

Recht is an internationally recognized Icelandic designer known for his innovative work in fashion, industrial design, film costumes and fine art.

Fichtner is an expert in design retail and has worked with iconic NYC design emporium Moss, the Smithsonian National Design Museum, and independent arts label Ghostly International.

Bahng specializes in design retail and development and has worked with enterprises like Swedish luxury brand Hastens, Italian furniture company Giorgetti, and Moss among others.


The Design

Sruli Recht designed Norlan with further inputs from expert distillers from Scotland. Recht who happens to be a whisky lover himself felt the need of a better way of enjoying the spirit.Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 7.17.25 PM

The existing glasses were rather cumbersome, smothered with adornments and simply not doing it for the designer.

When posed with a problem, every designer’s instinct is to come up with a solution as that is exactly how a void of well thought of whisky-having solutions throughout history led Recht to create one on his own.

Recht’s eureka moment happened when his whisky magically seemed so much better when he had it in a snifter – cognac or brandy glass. He figured that the narrow opening of the container made all the difference. And the rest is on it way to making history!ESM_guide_glassware_snifter


The Science

During the course of developing the revolutionary goblet, Recht observed the waves in Reykjavik, and began to apply bio-mimicry techniques to copy the natural way the waves moved over the sand. His idea was to create a ‘standing wave effect’ so that when you’re swirling around your poison, the movement adds air into it causing heavy oxidation.

Norlan owes it’s scientifically sound inside to a conversation with Martin Hanczyc, a synthetic biologist and TED talk alumnus, resulted in a discussion about the Marangoni effect, and the rate of ethanol oxidation to surface volume which led to the incorporation of fluid dynamics modeling into the design.848cf08a83fce100435d99e39c9ff15e_original


The Looks

The idea of developing a snifter inspired whiskey glass had to facets in Sruli’s head – looks and performance.

With the snifter and Marangoni taking care of top notch performance, an aesthetically appealing design was the next step.601124970d5d492189f0ea79b4530d50_original

“We aimed to make a whisky glass that not only improved upon the scent delivery of existing nosing glasses but was beautiful and a pleasure to hold and drink from. A double-walled structure combining two distinct forms was the solution to combining these unique forms”, Team Norlan told Hungry Forever.


The Whisky Shift

As is evident, the Norlan glass is a class apart. The team describes further why and how the product will cause a shift in the way people have whisky. “Our goal is to offer an alternative to the blanket heritage approach to whisky marketing. There is more to whisky than age statements and the endless review of new bottles. We love whisky and like so many people, find drinking it to be an incredible, full sensory experience”, they explain.

“Our aim is to share the emotion of drinking whisky with our audience. Our customer is anyone who enjoys whisky, whether they are just beginning a whisky journey or is an experienced collector”, said Brian and Shane, both who happen to be whisky aficionados.Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 7.17.47 PM


The Perfect Glass

Coming up with the perfect anything is a rocky road. The Norlan developers too faced certain challenges of their own like making a glass that a master distiller would approve of and presenting the idea of change to people who really don’t like new things. “During the development process we took ours to Jim McEwan, the legendary distiller at Bruichladdich, and he fell in love with it – That was when we knew the glass could not be improved upon”, recall the founders.ddf0f7faa5962ee4c7fab5328e9ea716_original

Currently just a project on Kicksarter, the Norlan whiskey glass already has over three thousand backers who have generated a 300% funding. With 31 days remaining on the calendar, the glass is no doubt on way to being the next big thing at the bar.

“Norlan is a brand dedicated to modernizing and evolving the whisky drinking experience. We have dozens of products in development that will delight the whisky drinker”, concludes the team.

Image & Video Source: Kickstarter

Binge eater by day and binge watcher by night, Ankita is fluent in food, film, and Internet. When she’s not obsessing over the hottest trends, tacos, and the perfect author’s bio, you can find her under a pile of Jeffery Archer’s novels or looking for the nearest wine shop.