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Mixers, Water, Ice and Glasses

All of the ingredients in a cocktail contribute to the experience.

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Old 08-13-2008, 01:32 PM   #11
The Scribe
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I'm just posting a few brief notes since I want to live with this for a while and compare it to my current glasses before I pass final verdict (which will be posted on my blog, link below, in a few weeks), however:

- I started with a side by side comparison of El Dorado 15 in the Flare and a London dock glass (a Ministry of Rum tasting glass). The aroma was noticeably harsher in the dock glass. Moreover, I got the different aromas much more distinctly and clearly. What had come through as a burnt aroma in the dock glass was very distinctly oaky in the flare. What smelled almost like banana in the dock glass was distinctly citrusy in the flare, while a simple sweet aroma in the dock glass was much more distinctly honeyed in the flare.

- My complaints are the same as everyone else. I really would like a bit more of a stem. I can understand this as a place where aesthetics and ergonomics are in competition, but even a centimetre or two more would be wonderful.

Cheers. - S
The Scribe
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I'd rather be in a boat with a drink on the rocks, and in the drink with a boat on the rocks.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:23 AM   #12
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Thanks for posting your reviews. It is great to hear first hand accounts from those experienced with, and passionate about, rum.

We got an overwhelming response to our first post and had contacted a few frequent posters to conduct a product review. Please continue to check this thread for more reviews of the Flare that have yet to be posted. You can visit our website to view our line of sipping glasses and for ordering information.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:51 PM   #13
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Very interesting reading, the flare seems to be real good.
A Mai Tai a day.....Mai Tai roa ae!

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:48 PM   #14
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I received The Flare today, thank you! Hank is spot on about filling the bowl about half way. After doing so, I could move my snout easily between the lower lip and upper lip to nose between the body and the alchohol. I am the minority vote in that I like the length of the stem just fine. First, I have slender West Coast fingers, not those thick unrefined cucumbers traditionally found on pirates in various parts of Florida. Anyway, the stem area serves as a rest for my ring-finger and my little finger goes just fine under the base. Another thing that makes this my "official rum glass" is that it does not look like a wine glass. The size of the bowl/body is great, too. My hand nestles the bowl just enough to warm the rum as I tend to like it. The base is sized correctly for those of you who, like me, over indulge and need a broad landing zone! Overall, this is a great product and I will buy a set to impress my friends.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:23 AM   #15
Count Silvio
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It took a while but here is the review which you can also read on Refined Vices (pics included in the article). I hope this is a satisfactory review AdmiralJ.

Originally Posted by Count Silvio
When I was presented with an opportunity to review a new kind of rum tasting glass from Spirit Sippers, I decided to not only review their Flare rum tasting glass but also compare it against other glasses I’ve previously used to taste rum from.

This was an interesting opportunity to me as I’ve never before had a glass designed specifically for rum and I was excited to see if the shape of the glass really affects the entire tasting experience.

The experiment would have been even more interesting had I had some Riedel tasting glasses but since I didn’t, I had to work with what I had.

In the end I was quite pleased with the results of the test which you can read below.

Introduction to the tasting glasses

Rémy Martin Cognac Glass

Material: Lead free crystal
Holds: Exactly 1.5 decilitres

The Rémy Martin Cognac Glass is the tallest of the three glasses due to the medium long stem that also allows you to nest the glass in your palm for warming of the liquid. The body of this glass is round at the belly curving slightly inward at the top creating a narrow mouth where it concentrates the aromas which in my opinion makes this glass better for spirits with weaker nose.

Because of the narrow mouth it requires you to tilt your head backwards a bit when drinking. This shape guides the drink from the glass to flow on to the tip and to the sides of the tongue. The shape of the glass also nicely enhances the colour of the spirit.

Iittala Gaissa Glass

Material: Lead free crystal
Holds: 2 decilitres

Finnish by design, this glass is a standard straight sided glass with a solid rocky bottom which gives it a very sturdy feel. As a small bonus the rocky bottom makes this glass a little bit more unique than your standard old fashioned glass.

Because the mouth is as wide as the rest of the glass it doesn't capture the aromas as well as the Cognac glass but instead it allows you to move your nose around freely for inspecting the different aromas at different parts of the glass and when drinking from it, the spirit flows in covering most of the tongue.

It is also big enough for a couple of ice cubes if you like. I like to use this glass for either strong or rich spirits like El Dorado 15.

Spirit Sippers - The Flare (

Material: Lead free crystal
Holds: 1.5 decilitres

Spirit Sippers were looking for some reviewers for their new Flare rum tasting glass and I was one of the lucky volunteers who received this free rum tasting glass, which is why I have written this tasting glass review and comparison.

This glass actually reminds me a little of the thistle shaped Riedel Single Malt Whisky glass but the Flare is rounder at the belly, curving inwards in the middle and then bending outward at the top creating a flared mouth. The short stem doesn't really allow you to nest the glass with one hand if you wish to warm your spirit, though no-one is stopping you from cupping it with two hands.

I like the shape and feel of this glass - it is weighed properly and doesn't feel delicate despite the medium thin glass and it holds a respectable amount of liquid. The wide base adds to stability and when I pick up the glass all my fingers are automatically directed at different parts of the glass - My little finger goes under the base, ring finger by the stem, middle finger on the bulge, my thumb and index finger at the middle where the shape curves inwards. I find this is the best way to hold this particular glass.

The liquid from this glass flows to the sides and tip of the tongue but also a little bit further to the middle. It is like a cross combination of the Rémy Martin Cognac and the Gaissa glass when viewed in this perspective.

How does The Flare compare against these two glasses in rum tasting though? Let’s find out.

The Comparison

For the comparison I decided to use the rums Barbancourt 5 star, Appleton Extra and Screech all of which are reviewed on Refined Vices.

Rhum Barbancourt

I begin the test with the Cognac glass which brings out the aromas of Barbancourt pretty well with a slightly alcoholic sting. Moving on to the Gaissa glass I am surprised that the alcohol sting is stronger despite the wider mouth. With the Flare the alcohol fumes are virtually nonexistent but at the same time the other aromas seem to have mellowed down a bit.

Appleton Extra

Moving my nose around the mouth of the Flare glass I detect no disturbing alcohol fumes, the already smooth aromas of this rum are now completely smooth compared to the Cognac glass where the alcohol is substantially more powerful.

In the Gaissa glass the aromas are less concentrated comparing to both the Cognac and the Flare glass but the alcohol fumes are also less powerful than they are in the Cognac glass. Overall I find the Flare best for this rum out of these three glasses.


The Flare again completely smoothes out the alcohol fumes in the aroma and further intensifies the strong banana aromas of Screech. In the Cognac glass the aromas are also intensified but the alcohol is once again stronger disturbing the detection of other aromas. The Gaissa is the next best option for Screech, sitting somewhere between the Cognac glass and the Flare.

Final thoughts

When I review rum I often find myself switching between various glasses because I think the aroma is either too concentrated or too weak for me to detect. The Flare efficiently removes the disturbing alcohol fumes while simultaneously making the delicate nuances of rum a little bit more pronounced and clear.

For rums with weaker aromas the Flare glass may not be the best option as noticed with Barbancourt where I found the aromas to mellow down too much. Good tip though is to put something on the glass, like a card, to allow the aromas to gather for a while before nosing.

The differences when comparing to other glasses are not that significant but regardless, I think I’ve found my first real rum tasting glass and I am happy to have had this opportunity.

See the Spirit Sippers website for more tasting glasses and drop by the forums and give a comment or two about this article.

Last edited by Count Silvio; 08-17-2008 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:43 AM   #16
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Default Better Late Than Never

The Flare arrived today well protected in its shipping wrap. Its handmade claim corroborated by a very slight asymmetrical curve typical of hand blown glassware.

Holding the glass just below eye level while looking through the bowl reveals a periscopic effect that enables one to hold the glass upright and see through the bottom window. Will this feature allow better visual inspection of the beverage?

Pouring 45ml (1 jigger) of liquid into the glass fills the bowl just past the apsis, leaving ample headroom below the narrowest point, which according to the accompanying card allows “the aroma of a good rum to drift up gently.”

After a careful cleaning I test this effect with tap water. As a control I use my trusty boat glass (see thumbnail - and see RobertB's post above for a lovely shot of the Flare). Indeed the Flare allows a much clearer perception of the chlorine and mineral aromas inherent in the unfiltered tap water of this area.

Moving to a spirit test and selecting Beleza Pura SP Cachaзa as a known entity, I pour one jigger into the Flare and one into the boat glass. The addition of liquid to the Flare nullifies the periscope effect I had noted in the empty vessel.

I intuitively grasp the Flare at its “waist” and I find that to be my preferred holding position for the remainder of the test – as others have noted the stem area is too short to grasp, but I find that I do not want to lift this glass by its base. Holding the center seems natural and would seem to avoid inadvertently warming the beverage.

Tucked deeply into the control boat glass my nose fills with evaporating alcohol vapors, but not enough to hide the characteristic floral perfume of the Pura. With the Flare, the alcohol fumes are a non-issue, but I find that the floral esters are also more difficult to detect. What my nose does notice are scents of raw cane and citrus peal that are entirely absent from the nose with the boat glass. Given that, I do believe that the Flare’s shape seems to concentrate the more subtle aromas while allowing the headier essences to vent away.

The feel of the Flare on the lip works for me. I always found the inward curve of the boat glass a bit constricting whereas the Flare nestles the natural shape of the mouth. It just works better for me. It is nearly impossible to sip from the boat glass without having your nose in the glass, and because of the snifter-like shape you end up inhaling the concentrated fumes – this supported the Cachaзa’s sometimes reputation as a medicinal drink. On the other hand, with the Flare one can sip easily with the head up and the nose well away (or down if one chooses to) this gives the opportunity for the tongue and pallet to judge the beverage independent of the nose. For the first time I appreciated what other reviewers have noted, the tequila-esque flavor elements, as well as a hint of green olive I had not previously noticed.

Adding an ice chip to each glass seemed to even the score. In both cases the Beleza stiffened and mellowed losing some of its depth and becoming more common. The Flare kept the drink cooler for a few minutes longer than did the boat glass after the chip had melted.

Bottom Line: the boat glass goes in the cupboard, and the Flare sits on my desk next to the bottle.
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~When this old world seems insane, whet your lips with sugar cane

Last edited by VicZinc; 08-19-2008 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:43 PM   #17
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Wow, can't top VicZinc's detailed review. However, I will add that this will be my rum glass. I definitely detect more of the rum's natural aroma (in this case coming from my Pyrat Reserve XO) and less alcohol burn – it even seems to have a smoother finish. Had I not read the reviews and experienced it for myself, I never would've guessed that a glass could make such a difference. It fits nicely in my hand; I grab around the center and let my ring finger rest on the short stem and my pinkie tucks underneath the base. I kept two glasses and forwarded the other two to a good buddy of mine.

Yet again the Ministry of Rum and it's legion of exemplary people have provided enlightenment!

Last edited by Chief_Wiggum; 08-22-2008 at 10:44 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #18
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Spirit Sippers is very pleased that the Flare rum tasting and sipping glass has been well-received by discerning tasters on the Ministry of Rum forum. Nearly all of the reviewers agree that the shape allows them to enjoy aromas without taking in the alcohol burn. Continue to check this thread for more reviews from MOR members and visit our website ( for updates, news, and promotions. Thanks again to all who have posted their detailed reviews.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:16 PM   #19
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Well I procrastinated quite a bit, but I finally managed to thoroughly review The Flare, comparing it to a few other glasses.

In a nutshell, I found this to be an outstanding glass. This is the way rum was meant to be sipped.

Full review:

Although Spirit Sippers did send me a glass to review, I liked this glass so much I just ordered a full set.

Last edited by Scottes; 09-02-2008 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:39 AM   #20
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I haven't had an opportunity to write up my formal review yet, but I have to say I do like the flare a great deal and have started using it in all of my reviews. It's a terrific glass, and - like Scott - I'm ordering an entire set.
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