The Lucaris The Gràn Collection is a set of four distinctly different whisky glasses designed in collaboration with whisky personality Matthew Fergusson-Stewart.
In mid 2020 whisky personality Matthew Fergusson-Stewart came to me regarding a new project of his.
Those in local whisky circles will be very familiar with Fergusson-Stewart. For those who aren’t, Matthew is co-founder of Singapore-based spirits distribution company SPUN Spirits, and was previously an award-winning regional brand ambassador for best-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand Glenfiddich. He’s also a founder of Dram Full, a Facebook community of whisky lovers that numbers in the tens of thousands across nine markets including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Australia.
It is safe to say Matthew knows whisky very well. He also knows how to get others to enjoy the water of life.
Full disclosure – he’s a personal friend, as well.
Thailand-based crystal brand Lucaris Crystal – Asia’s first and only luxury crystal glass makers, to be exact – had approached him to co-design a crystal glass for drinking whisky, and he was keen for feedback.
So Matthew gathered a few of us from the Singapore whisky community to show us what he had been working on. Instead of unveiling one glass, he presented us a prototype set of four dissimilar whisky glasses. “If there are different glasses for drinking wine, why shouldn’t there be different glasses for drinking whisky considering the variety of styles as well?”, he asked. Good point.
Enter Lucaris The Gràn Collection.
There was the Classic, a familiar and more universal tulip shaped glass designed for blended Scotch whiskies, balanced single malts, and the occasional bourbon.
The Delicate, on the other hand, was unique with its angled rim, made that way “to emphasise the light fruity and floral notes in more delicate whiskies”. It’s meant for the likes of classic Irish whiskies, lowland Scotch whiskies, as well as their lighter Highland and Speyside brethren.
Then there’s Sherried. This was a glass with a wider bowl, built that way to encourage oxidation so as to bring out more rounded notes that sherried whiskies are known for. Whiskies such as Glendronach, Glenfarclas, and Aberlour would benefit from it.
Lastly there was the Peated, which came with a narrow rim. The idea here, Matthew explained, was that it would funnel and concentrate the earthy notes of peated whisky.
We tasted a range of whiskies using those four distinctly different glasswares – with a Glencairn as control – just to see how each worked. Matthew then took our comments back to Lucaris.
Lucaris The Gràn Collection was officially launched in the middle of last year. Matthew kindly handed me a set at the end of last year to try the final product.
The glasses had been slightly tweaked after our feedback. The stems were shortened slightly for more stability, for example. The rim for Peated was opened up slightly for practical reasons; its narrowness resulted in a great nosing experience, but made cleaning the glass near impossible.
Oh, the collection has already picked up an iF accolade for its design.
Over a period of a month I sampled many whiskies using these crystal glasses (they came in very useful for some of our recent whisky reviews).
As a fan of sherried whiskies the Sherried was my go-to. I had thought the Classic would work best on the Glenmorangie A Taste of Winter – a seasonal drop from the Highland distillery – but the Sherried brought out more of the complex vinous notes offered by the Marsala cask-aged whisky.
I tried them on other spirits too. I particularly enjoyed using them for rum. The Sherried works amazingly for rich English style rums – Mount Gay and El Dorado, for example – while Spanish-style rums like Havana Club and Flor de Cana fared well in the Classic. And if you’re a huge fan of the fusel, almost smoky notes of the likes of Caroni, that narrow rim on the Peated brings all those to the fore.
But is Lucaris The Gràn Collection set of whisky glasses a worthwhile buy? It depends.
There are generally two categories of whisky drinkers. Those for whom glassware matters, and then there are those who don’t quite bother about what kind of receptacle their whisky comes in. Chances are too that the former are whisky lovers who care about the provenance of their whiskies. The latter? They’re probably not too bothered about what they’re drinking anyway.
These crystal glasses are not for the latter. Even for most of those in the first category, a Glencairn or Copita would suffice. But for the whisky connoisseur or geek who lives and breathes whisky, this set is worth investing in. I’m speaking of those who primarily collect and imbibe whiskies of the limited-edition, single cask, or cask strength variety. You’ll be amazed how much these glasses can enhance your enjoyment.
And if you happen to be a supertaster – one of the around 25% of the population with more acute tastebuds than the rest – these glasses can change your whisky drinking life.
Cleaning them, though, is still a chore.
Lucaris The Gràn Collection is available for purchase from the Luzerne showroom in Bendemeer at the recommended retail price of S$397. You can also purchase them online from Kevinseah.com. Or you can get them direct from Matthew at email@example.com (mention Spirited Singapore for a special friendship price).
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