While there’s nothing wrong with serving whiskey, scotch, or bourbon from the bottle—especially if you’re showing off an expensive label—a decanter offers a more sophisticated means of sharing spirits. Whiskey decanters feature attractive shapes—some even come in the form of a tall ship or globe—and distinctive designs, with many coming as a set with matching glasses. These decanters are made from brilliant crystal or glass. Some are large enough for decanting an entire 750-milliliter bottle of spirits.
If you’re looking to add sophistication to a home bar, dining room, or den, then read on to learn about what features are important to consider when shopping for the best whiskey decanter, and find out why the products below are some of the best decanters on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Godinger Whiskey Decanter and Glasses Barware Set
- BEST BUDGET: Paksh Capitol Glass Decanter
- UPGRADE PICK: Regal Trunk Whiskey Decanter Set
- BEST ELEGANT: OliBoPo Glass Decanter with Airtight Stopper
- BEST PERSONALIZED: Froolu Personalized Whiskey Decanter Set
- BEST MODERN: Joyjolt Atlas 5-Piece Crystal Whiskey Decanter Set
- BEST SHAPED: Moho Premium Whiskey Decanter Gift Set
- ALSO CONSIDER: Bormioli Rocco Selecta Collection Whiskey Gift Set
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Whiskey Decanter
While aesthetics are often the priority when shopping for a whiskey decanter, the material it’s made from as well as the size and the quality of the topper are also important features to consider. Ahead, learn more about these and other attributes of whiskey decanters.
Whiskey decanters, similar to wine decanters, come in glass and crystal. Crystal decanters differ from standard glass in that they have a greater percentage of minerals in them. This makes the crystal stronger than glass, allowing them to be blown thinner and with more intricate designs.
Crystal also has greater clarity and more brilliance than glass. Fortunately, modern manufacturing processes have minimized this difference, making lead-free crystal glass just as visually appealing as its leaded counterpart. Crystal comes in lead and lead-free, although lead-free crystal is a misnomer. Authentic crystal is about 24 percent lead, while lead-free crystal is merely a higher grade of glass.
Leaded crystal, though prized for its beauty and brilliance, also has health hazards. Lead from the glass can leach into the liquid, making it unsafe to drink. While using a leaded crystal decanter purely for serving whiskey may have minimal risk, storing whiskey in a leaded crystal decanter is unsafe.
Whiskey decanters range in capacity from 500 milliliters to 1,000 milliliters. Choosing the size of a whiskey decanter depends on how one plans to store their whiskey. Decanting an entire fifth of whiskey requires a decanter that can hold 750 milliliters of liquor (without filling it to the brim).
Whiskey decanters also make an aesthetic impact on a room, so they are often tall with large toppers. Full-size whiskey decanters measure about 10 inches tall and 4 inches wide at the base, including a topper that adds 3 or 4 inches to the height.
A whiskey decanter should have an airtight seal to slow the oxidation process of the whiskey. Some whiskey decanters use a glass top, but while this is attractive, it is not airtight. One alternative is to use a cork for storing the whiskey and switching out the tops with the decorative glass one when serving the whiskey. Some whiskey decanters feature a plastic topper that maintains this seal, allowing the decanter to add to a home bar or dining room’s aesthetics without spoiling the whiskey.
Aesthetic and Usability
Whiskey decanters come in a variety of designs ranging from a simple bottle shape to globe-shaped decanters that spin on an axis. Whiskey decanters often have etchings and designs sculpted into the glass, such as ships.
Many crystal decanters feature intricate weblike designs. Most decanters feature clear glass, allowing the rich brown of the whiskey to add color. Some decanters feature smooth sides for monogramming. These designs affect the aesthetic impact the decanter has on a room and how easy (or challenging) it is to use.
While a ship-shaped decanter may add flair to a home’s club room or bar, it may be awkward to pour from, resulting in spills or overpours. A good whiskey decanter will have both form and function in mind in its design to ensure that it’s beautiful to look at and easy to decant from.
Our Top Picks
The list below takes into account the above considerations to narrow the field of whiskey decanters to some of the best by style. They feature quality glass or crystal construction, with many including matching glassware.
An intricate pattern on this decanter and glass set adds to the aesthetics of a home bar. It features a classic diamond pattern that evokes an older era, making it ideal for entertaining and serving spirits in sophisticated style. With its non-leaded crystal construction, this decanter is an excellent option for storing one’s whiskey or bourbon.
It’s suitable for decanting an entire fifth of whiskey with a capacity of 750 milliliters. This set comes with two matching glasses, making it well suited for serving after-dinner cocktails with a friend or partner. A large glass square topper is easy to grasp while providing enough weight to fit snugly in place. A plastic sealing ring creates an airtight fit, making this decanter not only good for serving but also ideal for storing whiskey.
Sometimes a simple look makes the best addition to one’s home bar set. This glass decanter from Paksh exudes simple elegance with the curving lines of its profile and sloped sides that make gripping and pouring from the decanter easy.
A sizable geometric stopper that mimics the look of the bottle accentuates this sophisticated look. Smooth sides create a simple look and provide a suitable place for a monogram. A weighted bottom provides a sturdy base to prevent tip-overs.
With its 23.75-ounce capacity, this whiskey bottle is capable of holding a full 750-milliliter bottle of whiskey. The topper has a plastic tip that creates an airtight seal with the decanter to prevent spoilage.
This distinctive whiskey decanter set features attractive square shapes that create a sophisticated aesthetic when refracting the light. The design also allows for easy pouring, so you get both form and function. Four matching glasses make this a lovely set for entertaining.
A large topper is easy to remove with enough weight to rest firmly in place on the decanter’s opening, although it does not create an airtight seal. The decanter and glasses consist of lead-free ultra-clear glass that is brilliant while also being safe for storing whiskey.
This set includes an attractive storage case that contains a special cloth for polishing the set. The decanter can hold 860 milliliters, an ideal size for decanting an entire fifth of whiskey.
With its intricate design and beautiful stopper, this decanter adds elegance to any home bar, den, or dining room. It features a classic diamond-cut Irish design for beauty and ergonomic enhancement with the indentations making this decanter easier to hold. A weighted base keeps this decanter firmly in place on a table. The large stopper maintains an airtight seal between the topper and the opening.
The decanter is made from Italian lead-free crystal glass, making it safe to use for storing whiskey while providing plenty of brilliance for light refraction. It can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher.
With its personalized engravings, this whiskey decanter set makes an excellent gift option for groomsmen at a wedding, for Father’s Day, or for a birthday. This decanter has a simple, sleek design, leaving a broad canvas on the front for a variety of engraving options. This set’s nine design options range from fun to modern to sophisticated.
In addition to the initials, designs include a place for a date and full name on both the decanter and each of the four glasses. The decanter holds 750 milliliters, allowing it to hold an entire bottle of whiskey or bourbon. There’s an option to upgrade the set to include an engraved box and whiskey accessories.
This whiskey decanter offers a more modern take on the whiskey decanter set with its interesting shape. This set features a square-shaped decanter with an eye-catching dramatic twist that’s sure to spark conversation at the next social gathering. The four matching glasses have a similar twist, accentuating the modern design.
In addition to having an eye-catching form, this set is also functional. A thick base provides support for the decanter’s off-kilter shape. A large square top is weighty enough to keep the stopper firmly in place.
The whiskey glasses have heavy bases and a large capacity to support drinks with room for whiskey stones or ice. Both the decanter and glasses are made of lead-free glass and are dishwasher safe. This decanter is smaller and will not hold a full 750-milliliter bottle.
This whiskey decanter adds the wonder of 18th-century travel with a globe that features a glass ship inside of it, adding interest to any home bar or den. The globe is etched to include a full map of the world with a beautiful blown-glass ship inside of it. The globe attaches to a mahogany wood frame and includes two rounded glasses that are also etched with a world map.
A glass topper makes a secure connection for an airtight seal that prevents the whiskey from evaporating. A wood base that’s 12.8 inches long holds the globe as well as the two glasses. Double-thick glass provides a sturdy feel to the decanter, which has a capacity of 850 milliliters, allowing it to hold an entire bottle of whiskey, bourbon, or scotch, whether it’s from Kentucky, Ireland, Scotland, or Japan.
A good whiskey decanter for entertaining isn’t complete without matching glasses for all guests at a cocktail party. This set includes an attractive decanter plus six glasses at an affordable price. The decanter and glasses both feature a classic etched diamond design that refracts the light beautifully.
The decanter holds about 34 ounces, making it large enough to decant a 750-milliliter bottle of whiskey to provide enough spirits for all six glasses. Each whiskey glass features a heavy base and holds 9.5 ounces.
The decanter has a large glass top with a plastic topper that helps preserve the whiskey by keeping the decanter airtight. The decanter and glasses are dishwasher safe.
FAQs About the Best Whiskey Decanters
If you’re wondering about crystal decanters or how well a decanter preserves whiskey, read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about whiskey decanters.
Q. Does whiskey go bad in a decanter?
A decanter with an airtight seal will allow the alcohol to last just as long as it would in its original bottle. A decanter with a glass topper that does not have an airtight seal will slowly evaporate but can still be stored for several months without issue.
Q. Can I keep my whiskey in a crystal decanter?
It may be safe to use a crystal decanter for serving beverages, but do not use a crystal decanter to store whiskey because lead will eventually leach from the glass into the alcohol, making it unsafe for ingestion.
Q. Can I use the same decanter for whiskey, bourbon, and scotch?
You can store whiskey, bourbon, or scotch in a decanter without affecting the flavor of the spirits. The type of glass you use to serve the alcohol is much more important than the decanter used to store it.
Q. What are whiskey stones?
Whiskey stones are small rocks or cubes of stainless steel that you can cool in the freezer and use instead of ice. While ice will melt and water down the drink, whiskey stones will not dissolve, simply cooling the beverage instead.