This one was pretty much the last post, because of the "death" of my previous website.
So it is not an old post - but a very new one.
It was all about the new NEAT nosing glass.
this will is very likely the last post for quite some time. Not entirely my fault: Apple is shutting down the mobileme.com servers end of this month - that means that iWeb websites are going... down.
I will need to migrate to another blog-builder; thought [and made some experiments] about wordpress, Zoho, blogger and some other providers; happy as with iWeb, I was unfortunately nowhere.
For suggestions please comment [better comment on my facebook [opinionated-alchemist].
Back to business: quite a while ago, I have seen on linkedin a discussion about a new glass. Clicking through to their website, the glass company made quite “outrageous” comments about their glass development. They simply said, that their nosing glass is the best in all instances.
Well - opinionated I usually am, I wrote back and said, that this goes a little too far [I might have had a bit sharper tone in my writings]. The concerned lady, forwarded my email, to George Manska, who was the leading heads in the development. Both of us had some repartees, until we found out, that we were both very passionate about what we are doing and settled into a more constructive way of communicating.
Yesterday, I have received two of the NEAT glasses as samples.
I directly opened the packages and the most annoying, confusing and hazardous inner packaging [a plastic cylinder, made out of two screwed halves, but covered with a label] waited for me.
I tried to go with the description, [I was always killing myself with several sharp objects]- finally a screwdriver and some “controlled violence” let me pass the plastic. While very stylish, it would have been much more pleasant, to go for a simpler and more environmental friendly packing.
I was surprised about the size of the glass - pictures suggest, that the glass would be smaller - but the size is similar to a small Cognac snifter [this is neither a plus or minus point - it is just surprising].
Coming this morning home, I directly had to try one [after I made a hearty breakfast - sauteed rocket and microwave potatoes].
For the sample spirit I chose a single cask edition of The Glenlivet [Carn Daimh, 20 years old, cask no. 2860, 59.4% abv] - please click the link.
This malt is glorious, as it shows a completely different style, as you would expect.
And I chose it especially, as NEAT is claiming, that especially cask strength spirits are showing their potential better, and that alcohol notes are muted and other nuances are highlighted.
I chose my favorite [and for the moment only] nosing glass made by RCR, which is like the NEAT glass, crystal glass.
I poured around 1.5 cl into the glasses. Due to the bigger footprint of the neat glass, you see much less as in the more slender nosing glass. Take the glasses up, you take the conventional nosing glass at the stem - and can analyze the color quite easily. The NEAT glass can only be taken like a tumbler, and due to the specific shape and your own fingers [yes my fingers are especially big - hence in the way], it is more difficult to inspect the color.
0:1 for the classic nosing glass.
You swirl the liquid in a nosing glass to see the viscosity of the distillate and to release the aroma.
The swirl movement in the classic nosing glass is effortless, you take it at the stem and make a minimal circular movement. Due to the tulip form, there is no danger, to lose some precious liquid.
The NEAT glass is not so easy to swirl [like a small rocks glass]. It is simply much more elegant to trigger off the swirl with minimum movement at the stem, than to make a rather blunt circular motion with your whole hand. However due to the shape, also no liquid can escape.
Still: 0:2 for the classic nosing glass.
Putting the tulip shaped stemmed glass under your nose, brings a lot of alcohol sting into your nostrils. There is also the noble perfume of the malt, but it has to be discovered through the sting of the almost 60% alcohol.
Now this is a real surprise: the NEAT glass is showing the golden hay aromas directly - with very little alcoholic distraction. The nuances are a bit weaker than the nosing glass - however it is much more fun, to discover the malt through your nose. Though don’t get too deep with your nose into the glass, because then the alcohol is stinging back.
NEAT is making the point: 1:2 [still the stem nosing glass keeps the lead]
The nosing glass at the lips reveals sweet but austere alcohol, which dominates the character of the cask strength. Off course the other aromas are discovered through the alcohol, but cannot be perfectly tasted.
The NEAT glass counters also in this point. The shape of the glass spreads the malt all over the tongue and strangely the alcohol taste is not in the foreground. It is only the heat, which is remaining.
NEAT equalizes to: 2:2
When the glass is almost empty, it is though very difficult to drink the last drop out of the NEAT glass - the shape prevents this and if you try too hard, it is flowing just too fast into your throat, which would be not pleasant at all. Hence NEAT receives an yellow card...
OVERALL LOOK & FEEL:
My favorite nosing glass is elegant, feels heavy in the hand. For uninitiated of sipping and savor spirits, it can be an awkward moment - for some it might be too girly - however for real spirit nuts, it looks and feels alright.
The NEAT looks even more unusual - guess, that I would need to keep my eyes on them, if I would use them in the bar - otherwise the florist might steal them as small flower vase.
But there is more: due to the fact, that you are touching the NEAT glass on its body, there are lots of finger prints, which clouds the glass and just look wrong. Maybe the heat of the fingers are negligible - but the aesthetics aren’t.
The stemmed glass, looks nice and neat as it is grabbed by its stem.
2:3 for the classic glass.
A test with Dos Maderas 5+5 [40% alcohol] is cementing the impressions of both glasses - no new insights...
The winner of this confrontation is the classic nosing glass with a flimsy advantage of one point.
However my favorite is now the NEAT glass - and this has obvious reasons: it just made points in the areas which are most important for me - this is the smell and the taste. Eye, look and feel [for me] are secondary. So while I am not so sure, about their bold claims on their website about the overall performance of the glass, I still would recommend it for any vivid spirit connoisseur.
Hence I will assess in future most spirits in a NEAT glass.
Very interesting for some nuts [like me] is, that George told me, that they are thinking about a stemmed version, which might would have won hands down in this test?!