Decanters are one of those things that seem intimidating at first. They look like they are straight out of an old movie or the private study of someone who attends galas. That is why we put together a complete buying guide for decanters. Don’t let decanters intimidate you, decanters may look classy – because they are – but this guide will help you find the best decanter for your needs.
We put this guide together for anyone shopping for a decanter. Whether you're looking for one for your home or you're looking for a unique gift for that someone special. This guide was created to answer some common questions about decanters and ensure you have all the information needed to complete your purchase.
Before we get into the purpose of a decanter, let’s demystify the pronunciation. If you break the word “decanter” into its component parts, you will easily pick up the pronunciation. Say it with me, “de-can-ter.” Now, one more time, a little faster, “de-can-ter.” Put it together into one word, “decanter.” Perfect, now that you have the pronunciation, let’s get into the details.
Decanters are vessels, typically made from glass, used to store and serve alcohol. It is that simple. Any container that alcohol is poured into from its original bottle can be a decanter, because it is more about the process than the actual container itself.
Decanters decant wine and spirits. “Decantation” is another one of those intimidating words but, again, it is not intimidating once you understand it.
Decantation refers to the process of separating the liquid on top of a container from the liquid on the bottom. In the process of making alcohol, specifically in making wine, sediment can be introduced into the finished product. If you have ever poured wine into a glass and seen particles sticking to the sides or falling to the bottom, you know what we mean. It’s not pleasant.
Decanting alcohol removes that sediment by giving you a container to pour the best parts of the wine or spirit into, thus abandoning the sediment to the original bottle and leaving your glass particle free. That is one of the reasons why decanters are associated with prestige: Decanters hold the best an alcohol has to offer.
Decanters also help with aeration but understand this: There is a difference between decanting and aerating alcohol. Decantation is all about transferring liquid from one container to another to conserve the best parts. Aerating, though, serves a much different purpose, and is used primarily beneficial for dark red wines.
Aeration is the process of exposing an alcohol to oxygen in the air, which enhances the flavor of the drink. If you have ever heard someone say that they are letting a wine “breathe,” then you understand the basic process of aeration. The oxygen from the air opens up the alcohol and releases its aromatics, allowing more complex flavors to be detected. Aeration isn't beneficial for spirits, it is only something that should be considered important for serving wine.
You can aerate alcohol with a decanter, not only in the act of pouring the alcohol from the original vessel into the decanter. All you have to do is take the stopper out, which brings us to our next distinction.
Okay, you know what a decanter is, but you do not want to get it confused with a carafe.
Both vessels to serve alcohol, decanters and carafes are similar but have a specific difference: the stopper. Carafes are primarily used for serving alcohol, with either a wine or spirit poured into the vessel just before it is being served. While both decanters and carafes can be pleasing to look at, a carafe’s purpose is primarily aesthetic. Because it has no stopper on the top, it also exposes more of the alcohol to air, but it is meant to be used to serve alcohol over a short period of time. Since there is no stopper, it should not be used for storing alcohol, as the increased air exposure causes alcohol to evaporate from the vessel.
But decanters give you so much more. Having all the aesthetic pleasure that comes from looking at a carafe, a decanter also has a stopper that reduces the air exposure to the contents of the vessel. This means that decanters can store wine and spirits much more effectively than a carafe. If you want a container that both serves and stores alcohol, you want a decanter.
First let's get a bit more specific with the question as this could really have two distinct answers.
The first would be "How long can you store alcohol in your decanter." This answer, of course, depends on the quality of your decanter, specifically on the quality of your stopper.
Exposure to the air is what decreases the shelf life of alcohol, so you want to make sure that your decanter eliminates air exposure as much as possible. How do you do that? Make sure you have an airtight stopper.
An airtight stopper will seal off any excess air from seeping into your decanter, thereby decreasing the amount of air exposed to the alcohol inside. With the airtight seal, the alcohol will last just as long as it would inside the bottle.
In a decanter like this, liquor can last for years, whereas wine can last for a few days. Whereas, if you have a decanter with a loose-fitting glass stopper, liquor will slowly evaporate and last only a few months. Likewise, wine will not last as long, and should be drunk the same day it is opened.
The second important question that should be answered is "How long should you put wine in a decanter to let it breathe/aerate?"
First the aeration process is just the process of pouring the wine into the vessel (gently down the side of the vessel) and letting it sit in the new vessel. The answer to the question mostly depends on the age of the wine. For a young wine you may want to aerate it for an hour or more to get the best experience possible from the wine. For an older wine you will want to limit the aeration to 15-30 minutes. It's important to taste the wine along the way to see how it is progressing.
You want to keep your decanter clean but you also want to make sure you are treating it with care. That is why you want to make sure you are handwashing this glassware instead of throwing it into the dishwasher.
The easiest way to clean your decanter is to buy a decanter cleaning kit.
Our decanter cleaning kit comes with a stainless steel funnel and 30g of cleaning powder, which will give you 20-30 cleanings of your decanter.
With your cleaning kit, rinse your decanter with lukewarm water to get rid of the excess wine or spirits left after use. You want to use lukewarm water through this process to ensure that you do not test the strength of the glass.
Then, fill it with lukewarm water and add a high quality cleaner (like our powdered cleaner) and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before you begin cleaning. This will help dislodge any excess particles that did not get caught in the initial rinse.
After you soak the decanter, wash it thoroughly.
Let the decanter dry upside down after you wash it, just so any excess water finds its way out.
If you find that you have stains on your decanter that this process cannot get out, try mixing white wine vinegar into your water. This will help with deeper stains.
There you have it! A clean decanter to be used for your next selection.
You know how decanters work and you know how to use one. Now comes the question: Why should you use it?
That one is easy. You know the benefits of decanting your alcohol and how a decanter can enhance your wine-tasting experience by helping you aerate those dark reds and remove the bitter sediment. But besides the added benefits to your alcohol’s taste, decanters just look good.
It’s difficult to deny that decanters add something to the presentation of wine and spirits. Not only do decanters look upscale, they impart an intentionality to the drinking experience that makes you and guests feel like more sophisticated.
Decanters also allow you the opportunity to appreciate your alcohol. They are designed to allow you to see inside and admire the clarity of a well-made gin or the amber tones of that perfect scotch.
Decanters look good, they bring out the subtleties in flavor, and they give you the opportunity to appreciate the aesthetics of your wine and spirits – all great reasons why you should use a decanter.
Know how to pronounce “decanter”? Check. Know what decanters do? Check. Ready to buy one? Well, not quite yet. There are many features to consider when trying to find the best decanter to meet your needs.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The first thing you need to consider is what you want to use the decanter for.
Decanters can be used for a variety of alcohol, from spirits including vodka, gin, rum, port, whiskey, or tequila, to wines, specifically those dark reds high in tannins.
Take a moment and think. What do you mostly drink? Are you looking for a decanter for regular use or do you want one for those special occasion alcohols? Maybe you want a decanter to start your own Infinity Bottle.
Whatever your use, choosing a decanter says something about you and how you want to use it. You want to think about the shape, the size, what kind of material it will be made from, and how easy it is to pour and clean.
Don’t know where to start? Read on.
One important aspect that you will certainly want to consider is what you will keep in the decanter.
As a general rule, for clear spirits like gin, vodka, and tequila, use a clear glass decanter with smooth surfaces and thick glass. The smooth edges magnify the delicate variations of the spirit to enhance the look of clear alcohol. For amber spirits, like whiskey, the best decanter will be one with a smaller surface area to limit exposure to the air inside the vessel. For additional thoughts and information for each spirit read the short guides below:
Two reasons: aesthetic and preservation.
Unlike wine, there isn’t a clear need to put vodka in a decanter. Vodka is a stable spirit that doesn’t necessarily need to “open up” or breathe to taste some of the more subtle flavors of the spirit – though there is some debate here. Some claim that decanting vodka does tend to deepen its flavor, bringing to the front any unique qualities a particular spirit may have to offer. But, again, this is debated, so we won’t oversell its benefits.
Even so, you should still put your vodka in a decanter. Why?
The first reason is the aesthetic. Crystal clear liquor like vodka deserve to be served in crystal clear decanters. The elegance that comes from displaying your vodka in a high-quality decanter cannot be denied. Not only is a decanter more appealing than your average vodka bottle, but it is also a statement of your appreciation for the spirit itself. We eat – and drink – with our eyes first. Make sure you are providing yourself and others with the elegant experience deserving of your vodka.
The second reason to consider a decanter for your vodka? Preservation. You want to make sure that you are storing your spirits in a way that guarantees preservation of their taste, especially if the stored spirit is one that you rarely drink. One of the best ways to ensure you preserve your vodka is to store it in a decanter with an airtight seal. This method will make sure that your vodka does not evaporate, securing its flavor between uses.
Considering that you want a decanter for aesthetic and preservation, there are a couple things to look for when choosing the perfect decanter for vodka.
First, choose a decanter that ensure an elegant aesthetic for your vodka. Decanters with smooth, flat edges are the best to show off clear spirits. The clear, smooth edges increase the magnification of the spirit, allowing everyone to see its purity, thus enhancing the overall visual experience.
Something else you should remember when choosing a decanter for vodka: you want to make sure that it will preserve your spirits properly. An airtight stopper with your decanter is a must. If you buy a decanter without an airtight stopper, the alcohol will evaporate and ruin the vodka’s taste over a long period of time. Buy a decanter with an airtight stopper, we can’t stress this enough.
Flavor? Maybe. Aesthetic? Definitely.
Gin is another one of those spirits that has a well-defined flavor, which doesn’t necessarily benefit from the aeration provided when decanted. However, exposing gin to oxygen through the decanting process will calm its flavor, eliminating a lot of the ethanol bite that is prominent at the front of this well-known spirit. Other than that benefit, aeration won’t provide the same flavor benefits to gin as it does to wine.
Does that mean you shouldn’t put gin in a decanter? Not at all.
Decanters are used for storing and serving gin. Providing your gin with a proper storage container is a must when looking to store it for a long period of time. For many, especially whiskey drinkers, gin is a special occasion spirit, meaning that it will go a long time between uses. Because of this, some find that their gin tastes differently, sometimes worse, as time goes on. Why? Poor preservation methods. To take care of this, buy a decanter with an airtight seal. This will prevent your gin losing its taste while stored.
The second reason to put your gin in a decanter is its aesthetic when serving. Nothing looks quite like that colorless spirit pouring from a crystal-clear serving vessel. Pulling out a decanter when serving your guests gin-based cocktail will make them feel sophisticated and impress on them how seriously you take your spirits.
Beyond the drinking experience for you and your guests, a clear decanter will magnify the color variations that may normally be missed from gin. Some gins contain slight golden and blue hues, which a crystal-clear decanter will highlight those subtle colors and made the visual experience even more appealing.
To magnify those subtle variations in color and ensure your gin is stored properly, there are a few things you should consider when choosing a decanter for gin.
First, you want to choose a decanter that will showcase your gin. Stay away from the textured glass when looking for a gin decanter, as textured glass will not magnify the spirit enough to highlight its subtle variations in color. A decanter with smooth edges, like a decanter with beveled edges, will give you the elegant and sophisticated aesthetic you want when choosing a vessel for your gin.
The second aspect you should consider when buying a decanter for your gin is its storage capacity. A decanter with an airtight stopper will ensure that the time between drinks will not rob your spirit of its flavor. Make sure your gin decanter has an airtight seal.
If you like tequila, you know that it can have an intense bite. Exposing it to oxygen by putting it in a decanter can eliminate that bitterness and smooth out its flavor. But that is not the only benefit of putting your tequila in a decanter: it will also provide you with an elegant look and a dedicated vessel to store your spirit.
Sometimes even mid-priced tequila is packaged in bottles that aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. You don’t want your guests to take one look at those bottles and rush to any judgements. That’s one of the reasons why having a dedicated tequila decanter is a good idea. A decanter will make your tequila look more appealing and makes the drinking experience for you and your guests feel more high-end – even if the tequila you have on hand isn’t.
Another important reason to consider using a decanter for tequila is to provide your spirit with a dedicated vessel for storage. Like gin or vodka, tequila might not be something you drink regularly. For that reason, you want to make sure that it is stored properly. For that, you want to make sure that you are buying a decanter with an airtight stopper. An airtight stopper will prevent the alcohol from evaporating and ensure that the flavor of the spirit remains consistent every time you want to mix a cocktail.
Now that we have covered the reasons to use a decanter for tequila, let’s talk about what you should consider when purchasing one.
First, consider the color of your tequila. If it is a colorless spirit, you will want to stay away from textured glass and choose a decanter that is smooth. The smooth glass will increase the magnification of the spirit and allow you to see any variations in color. However, if it is amber, you may want to consider a decanter with more texture. The texture of a decanter will showcase the color variations of your deeper tequila and help it glisten on the shelf while being stored.
The second important thing to ensure is that the decanter you purchase has an airtight stopper. A decanter without an airtight stopper will allow the alcohol in the spirit to evaporate. If this happens and you allow it to sit a few days or weeks you can certainly expect a poor drinking experience when you return. Choosing a high-quality decanter with an air-tight stopper is vital, especially for lower use spirits like tequila.
When putting whiskey in a decanter, unlike wine, there aren't clear-cut benefits such as improved flavor. Whiskey doesn't need oxygen to breathe or "open up" the flavors as wines do. That being said, some people do say that putting whiskey in a decanter helps improve the flavor. That can certainly be debated and for the sake of this guide, we will lean towards not overselling the benefits of putting whiskey in a decanter.
There are two good reasons to put whiskey in a decanter: aesthetic and storage.
For most, the look of a decanter is more appealing than the look of your typical liquor bottle. If you're serving whiskey or whiskey-based cocktails, you would typically be better off serving it from a decanter, as it makes the experience feel more high-end. In addition to that, serving whiskey from a decanter is especially a good idea when you're looking to "hide" the bottle you're serving, as a decanter will outclass a conventional bottle of whiskey any day.
A decanter with smooth clear glass allows you to see your whiskey more clearly, showcasing your spirit instead of hiding it in a store-bought bottle. A smooth decanter will magnify the whiskey and allow you to better view the contents within. The look of whiskey can vary greatly across different products, being able to view them in a controlled medium as a decanter can add to the overall drinking experience.
Another reason to consider a decanter for whiskey is it to ensure that your spirit is stored properly. Too much exposure to oxygen will ruin your whiskey, so making sure that you store it in a decanter with an airtight stopper is a must. Also, make sure that you are limiting the exposure to oxygen inside the decanter as well and opt for a decanter with a smaller surface area. This will keep the alcohol from evaporating, thus ruining the taste of your whiskey.
The best decanter for whiskey will need to check off three important requirements. First, you will want to stay away from crystal or leaded glass and choose a decanter without lead. This is especially true if you are looking to store the whiskey for any kind of extended period of time. Lead from the crystal or leaded glass can leach into the whiskey, in general it is best to stay away from these options to prevent any complications.
The second important thing to ensure is that the decanter you purchase has an airtight stopper. A decanter without an airtight stopper will allow the alcohol in the spirit to evaporate. If this happens and you allow it to sit a few days or weeks you can certainly expect a poor drinking experience when you return. Choosing a high-quality decanter with an airtight stopper is vital when storing spirits especially if they will be in the decanter longer than an hour.
Third and finally you want to make sure and choose a decanter that doesn't have a ton of surface area. Decanters with a ton of surface area will have too much area within the decanter and over extended periods of time this wouldn't be good for your whiskey. So, choose a decanter with a limited surface area.
Decanting rum has many of the same benefits as decanting other spirits, like vodka, gin, or tequila. Not only does it provide aesthetic and storing benefits, it also may improve the flavor through the aeration that decanting provides.
Though aeration does not provide the same flavor benefits as it does to wine, it can help improve rum’s flavor. Rum is a spirit that runs “hot,” meaning that the alcohol flavor can be intense when drinking it. By letting the spirit breathe – exposing it to oxygen through aeration – the spirit will mellow into a more neutral flavor. However, you want to make sure that you are not exposing it to too much oxygen, as this can ruin the flavor entirely, leaving you with a spoiled batch of rum.
Another reason to pour your rum into a decanter? Style. The class and elegance of a decanter enhance the visual drinking experience, giving your rum style points every time – especially when it’s from a bottle you might not want others to know you purchased.
The last reason to consider buying a decanter for your rum is – you guessed it – for its storage capacities. Rum needs to be stored properly in order to hold its taste and color. A decanter with an airtight seal provides that proper storage vessel, preventing the alcohol from evaporating and ruining your best rum.
You’ve decided to purchase a decanter for your rum, but which should you choose?
We’ve got you covered: look for these three things when purchasing a decanter for rum.
First, like all decanters, you will want to stay away from crystal or leaded glass and choose a decanter without lead. Lead from crystal or leaded glass can leach into the spirit, meaning that if you leave your rum in a leaded decanter, it will become toxic over a certain period of time. In general, it’s best to stay away from things that can poison both you and your guests, so make sure to purchase a decanter made of lead-free glass.
You also want to make sure to buy a decanter that is ideal for your spirit’s storage. How do you know? It will have an airtight stopper. A decanter without an airtight stopper will allow the alcohol in the spirit to evaporate. If this happens and you allow it to sit a few days or weeks you can certainly expect a poor drinking experience when you return, as the flavor will be ruined by excess evaporation. Choosing a high-quality decanter with an airtight stopper is vital when storing spirits especially if they will be in the decanter longer than an hour.
To prevent any unnecessary evaporation inside the decanter, you want to consider a third and final thing: Make sure to choose a decanter that doesn't have a ton of surface area inside. Decanters with a ton of surface area will have too much area within the decanter for the rum to be exposed to oxygen. Because of this exposure, over extended periods of time, your rum will lose flavor. So, choose a decanter with limited surface area.
You may be thinking to yourself, why do I need to put cognac or brandy into a decanter? You know that unlike wine, brandy does not have sediment that requires filtration and does not have the same flavor benefits when exposed to oxygen. So, why do it?
While it's certainly not necessary to put cognac/brandy in a decanter, you should still do it. Why? For an epic and luxurious aesthetic.
Decanters don't help elevate the spirit like they do for wine, but they do elevate your cognac/brandy’s drinking experience. The beauty of showcasing your spirit in a smooth or textured decanter is beyond compare, making each time you pour out a glass special. Cognac/brandy is already one of those spirits associated with class and sophistication – but imagine you pour it out of your elegant decanter.
The second reason to consider a decanter for brandy is it can enhance the visual experience. A decanter with smooth clear glass can allow you to inspect the contents of a bottle more easily. A smooth decanter will magnify the liquor and allow you to better view the contents within. The look of brandy can vary greatly across different products, being able to view them in a controlled medium like a decanter can add to the overall drinking experience.
When choosing a decanter for cognac/brandy, you want to ensure that you look for a few specific things.
First, you want a decanter that will showcase your cognac/brandy’s color. The right decanter will magnify subtle color variations of your spirit, so choose the right one for you. For cognac/brandy, textured glass will make your spirit sparkle, but if nuance and subtly is what you want, then stay away from textured glass, as it will not magnify the spirit enough to highlight its subtle variations in color.
Another aspect you should consider when buying a decanter for your cognac/brandy is its ability to keep preserve and store your spirit. A decanter with an airtight stopper will keep your spirit safe in the time between drinks. Whatever your decanter may look like, get one with an airtight seal.
The last thing you should consider when purchasing a decanter for cognac/brandy is the surface area inside the decanter. Too much surface area and the spirit will evaporate because it is exposed to the oxygen in the air. Choose a decanter with a limited surface area inside, so that your cognac/brandy will be safe from that pesky oxygen.
Port is one of those intimidating drinks, conjuring up images of old men in dank basements with odd tools that look like chemistry sets. But don’t be intimidated – you too can decant port, because it is one of those alcohols that need it.
There are two reasons to decanter port. First, port has a lot of sediment in it, which can ruin the drinking experience if served and make the alcohol taste gritty. This is mainly true of a type of port called bottle-aged port, which has sediment like dead yeast cells, and particulates from grape skins, seeds, and stems. Some port, called wood-aged port, is aged in casks and this port would typically be bottled and filtered, meaning there likely wouldn't be a need to filter it.
However, there is a reason to decant port other than its filtration benefits: Taste. Some ports, particularly bottle-aged ports, benefit from aeration that decanting provides. Unlike spirits, port wine’s flavors open when exposed to oxygen and deepen their taste in environments that allow more air in. Decanters are perfect for this, as the act of pouring your port into a decanter will expose the wine to oxygen and unlock some of its flavor potentials.
The most important thing to consider when shopping for a port decanter is to get a decanter that will spread the contents over a larger surface area. Getting a decanter with a larger surface area will help with the process of removing the sediment. Typically, the best decanter for port would have a large wide base that tapers up to the top of the decanter.
However, you also want to consider the aesthetic of the decanter, and this is largely down to personal preference when it comes to a decanter for port wine. Like we said before, a traditional decanter for port wine has a large base and tapers up, which provides more surface area for the wine to gain exposure to oxygen. But you also want to consider whether you want smooth or textured edges, which both add certain aesthetic benefits to the visual experience of serving your port wine.
Also, consider how long you will keep your wine in the decanter. If you plan to use it as a serving vessel, then making sure you have an airtight stopper is not the most important thing, as your wine will likely not be in the vessel for long period of time. However, if you want the decanter to double as a long-term storage vessel, get one with an airtight stopper to prevent over-exposing the wine to oxygen, which will ruin the alcohol inside.
Best Decanter for Port
You need a decanter for wine. Wine truly benefits from the aeration and filtration that come with using a decanter. If you are not using a decanter for wine, you don’t know what you are missing.
Wine has a lot of sediment in it, especially if it is a wine with a lower price point or a wine that throws off a lot of sediment as it ages. A decanter allows you to filter out that sediment by pouring out the best portions of the wine – free from sediment – into another vessel.
The second, and equally important, reason to decant wine is to aerate it. Aeration is the process of exposing your wine to oxygen, which will in turn open up the flavors and aromas of the wine. This process will occur when you pour the wine into a decanter and let it sit in the new vessel. For a young wine, you may want to aerate it for an hour or more to get the best experience possible from the wine. For an older wine, you will want to limit the aeration to 15-30 minutes. However, may sure you are tasting the wine along the way to see how it is progressing.
Since you want a decanter that exposes the wine to oxygen and provides a vessel to pour the sediment-free portion of the wine, you want to make sure that you consider one with a couple specific aspects.
You want the contents of your decanter to spread the contents over a larger surface area. For this reason, get a decanter with a larger surface area and a flat bottom, as it will help unlock the flavors of the wine through aeration and also help remove the sediment.
While some wines can be stored in decanters, it is best to pour out only what you expect to drink in that sitting, as too much exposure to the air can turn the wine and ruin the taste. However, if you really want to store your wine in a decanter, then make sure you purchase one with an airtight stopper. This will allow you to store your wine for up to 3 days, though any longer is not recommended.
Best Decanter for Wine
Choosing a decanter shape is based in a combination of aesthetic design and purpose. There are so many different shapes to choose from: the classic wine decanter that flattens at the bottom in a pyramid, the globe-shaped or diamond-style decanters, or even decanters that come in cylinders and barrels. When it comes to shape, the most important thing to consider (outside of the overall look) is how it will fit into the space you have.
For example, our Tomoka Gold Decanter is a barrel shaped decanter and called a ledge decanter. It holds 1000ml but looks slimmer and more compact than the standard 1000ml decanter primarily due to its overall shape. But its shape means it will fit better if space is an issue on your bar or you are looking to add it to a shelf, as it is shorter than most decanters. The same decanter also is too low profile to fit a glass under the spigot so you want to have it on the ledge of a bar or shelf – hence the name “ledge decanter." This kind of detail is what you should think about when you are looking for that ideal decanter for you.
Shape is not everything. You also want to consider what kind of pouring mechanism you will want on your decanter.
Being able to pour easily from your decanter is crucial. Most decanters do not have a pouring mechanism, like a spigot, but some decanters do.
A spigot is a pouring mechanism that allows you to control the flow of wine or spirits being dispensed from your decanter. By buying a decanter equipped with a spigot, you can ensure that there will not be liquor running all over your bar. All you do is turn the spigot on, and the alcohol will flow with ease.
One downside of a spigot on a decanter is that there is a greater chance the decanter will leak. However, this is only if you buy a decanter with a lower quality spigot. Decanters with high quality spigots – like ours – come with an adjustable spigot that ensures your alcohol won’t leak everywhere. These adjustable spigots also make sure that the plastic on the spigot will not leech into your wine or spirits.
If you get a high-quality decanter with an adjustable spigot, all you need to worry about is the initial set up and adjusting the spigot to prevent leaks. Once you have the initial setup taken care of, you no longer need to worry and you can enjoy an easy pour any time.
The classic decanter variation is a grab and pour decanter. Much like a bottle, with this decanter style you would pickup the decanter and pour your beverage from it by tipping it to its side. Within this type of decanter you have the classic all glass (or other material) decanter that many are familiar with. In addition to that you have versions that mix various materials like wood and metal. Typically with this style the glass vessel would hold your spirit of choice and the wood/metal would act as a decorative holder in which the glass would be removed from for pouring. Below we have include an example of the classic all glass design as well as a few more decorative designs that fit within this category.
If you buy a decanter, you want to make sure it is big enough to hold everything you want it to.
Ask yourself, how much alcohol do you want a decanter to hold at one time?
Most decanters will hold at least the contents of a 750ml bottle of liquor. We make most of our decanters to hold 1000ml or more. This size will ensure that you can empty the contents of an entire bottle without needing that extra shelf space for what is left.
Some decanters out there are made around 750ml or even less and we advise to stay away from those. Not only will they look small and unimpressive but the size also just isn't practical. We strongly recommend buying a decanter that is over 900ml.
This cannot be stressed enough: If you are keeping wine or spirits in a decanter for a long period of time (over a few hours), you need to have an airtight seal on your stopper. Both wine and liquor will oxidize but a stopper with an airtight seal can prevent that.
If you are just using the decanter to display/serve your wine or spirits in a few hours, over dinner for instance, then a loose-fitting stopper (or no stopper) will work. This is typically most common with serving wines, most wine decanters have an open top without a stopper as they are meant to display the wine while serving over a short period of time.
We have chosen to create all our decanters (outside of our one classic wine decanter) with an airtight seal. We have found that most people want to use the decanter for longer periods of time so we have chosen to ensure an airtight seal for all of our decanters.
The last thing you want is to poison yourself or anyone you serve a drink to from your decanter. That’s why you want to make sure you go with a decanter that is made from lead-free glass.
Traditionally, decanters used for serving and storing spirits were made from crystal cut from lead glass. The presence of lead in glass was sought after for its clarity, allowing enthusiasts to see more clearly their stored spirits. However, because these crystals are made from lead, they pose an increased risk of lead poisoning.
If you do buy a crystal decanter, it should only hold liquor for a short period of time. Decanters made from glass can store wine or spirits for longer periods of time. If you are giving a decanter as a gift certainly ensure you purchase one that is lead-free. You don't want to have to worry about the education involved with a leaded crystal decanter.
Now it is time to go looking for that perfect decanter. But before you get out there, you should know what to expect in terms of a price tag.
Like every other aspect of your decanter, the price will largely depend on you. Decanters range in price from under $50 to over $1,000. The average price of a quality, unique decanter is somewhere between $100-$200.
Are you looking for a regular use decanter that is reliable but won’t break the bank? Get one on the lower side of the price scale. But if you are looking for a showpiece you might want to pay more.
With all these features in mind, we have compiled lists to help narrow down the best decanter for you. Take a look at these to get a better idea of what you are looking for from a decanter.
From our hand-blown decanters to our innovative whiskey glasses, every item we make is a labor of love. Each glass design is created with premium grade glassware to withstand the test of time. We have scoured the country for the best materials and made it our mission to never use substandard wood or assembly-line glassware. Instead, our products are made the old-fashioned way... because quality takes effort.
Our decanters are handcrafted and hand-blown by artisans with an eye for detail and formed into designs limited only by our imagination. Our glassware is crafted from borosilicate glass - a thicker, more resilient type of glass. This ensures our intricate designs are not only beautiful, but built to last. Decanters are more than gifts, they are treasures that will be passed down for generations to come.
Our wooden bases are handcrafted in Louisville, KY from American Oak sourced in the Midwest. Our intricate, unique glassware paired with the wooden bases and prominent grain from the oak create an eye-catching, conversation starting decanter sure to impress. Beauty is the harmony of function and form, and our master craftsmanship ensures our decanters will be appreciated through the generations. If you're looking for a decanter that's a functional piece of art then we have a product for you.
Each one of our decanters goes through a 38-step production process and 13-step quality control checklist. We’ve refined this over time and it is our way to produce the most stunning decanters. Additionally, we have invested heavily in the packaging for our products to ensure they arrive to you in perfect condition.
We take extra care every step of the mile to ensure your decanter arrives flawlessly. Countless tests and innovative designs have led to a 98% success rate with shipping. If for any reason your decanter arrives in less than perfect condition, don’t fret - we’ll quickly get a replacement sent to you free of charge. Part of our A+ customer service guarantee is to ensure all matters such as this are handled quickly and made as simple as possible for you.
Our decanters aren't run of the mill. We have unique designs with personalized elements. What better gift for a golfer than a golf themed decanter. These are the types of decanters you will find with us. You don't have to hope you'll get a STUNNING decanter - you can guarantee it with ours. Stop them in their tracks with this striking decanter. The only problem is that once they see this decanter, no other "plain" decanter will do.
Our decanters and whiskey glasses make a great, unique gift. Whether you’re buying for a birthday, graduation, retirement, or any other occasion, we have products that would be a great fit.
We believe in creating decanter designs that are unique and remarkable. Our designs aren't run of the mill, we create most of our decanter designs for very specific buyers. For instance we have decanters for Marines and veterans, and we have decanters with specific airplanes inside of them. These decanters make a perfect gift for anyone who has served in the Marines or flown one of the aircraft we have in our decanters. This is a personal gift that can tell part of their story. This specificity while great for some, will be too specific for others. Unfortunately, some people won't be able to find a product that would fit for them or their significant other.
Although we are constantly expanding our product line, our unique designs mean we just aren't for everyone. With that being said if we don't have a decanter for you yet, we would love to discuss any ideas you have for future designs, we are always looking for new products to launch and maybe in the future we can have a product for you too.
Our focus is on high quality decanters using high quality materials. This means our products are priced to account for the increase in labor and materials. This typically means our decanters are priced in the middle to high end of the price range. Since all of our products are hand-blown and handcrafted there is a lot of labor involved in the process to create each decanter. That plus our commitment to superior quality and American jobs means our price just isn't for everyone. When customers buy our decanters for their home or to give as a gift they expect the best. They want high quality and they want something the recipient will remember and show off for years to come, for those reasons we refuse to sacrifice quality for price.
The following are a breakdown of some of our decanter styles and some pros and cons of the different styles. We have kept the pros and cons based on the overall decanter shape, it's use and specifically in comparison with our other styles so that you can compare the differences in our decanters based upon the buying guide above.
Large - Holds 1150ml and spigot is high enough off the counter that you can fit a glass under for easy pouring without putting the decanter on a ledge. The size means it will make a great centerpiece or eye-catcher as it will stand out.
Lots of Wood - This design includes the most wood of all of our similar designs. You can see all of the beauty of the oak wood grain.
"Amazing quality, beautifully made. A unique piece for a special loved one. I ordered this with a custom message for my mother and she absolutely adores it. "The best gift ever" were her exact words! Sits perfectly on her bar, an eye-catcher for sure!"
"It is awesome! The packaging is very classy and the decanter and glasses are beautiful! We purchased these for my father (who has everything and is very hard to buy for) and he LOVED them as well. 100% satisfied and will definitely recommend. Thank you!"
"This was a Christmas gift for a good friend of mine, and he loved it. I was informed that it looked great and possessed excellent craftsmanship. I think it was a great success as a gift."
"This gift was very well received. for someone with a bar in their home it will be valued as a well thought out gift."
Size - This decanter takes up more counter space than any of our similar decanters. If space is an issue one of our smaller profile decanter styles is likely best.
Great to Display on Shelf - The height of the decanter means it fits great on a shelf where most other bottles or decanters would be too tall.
Spigot - The spigot makes it easy to dispense from a shelf or ledge without having to remove the product from its location to pour.
"Got this for my nephew for Christmas. He loved it!! Very well packaged great craftsmanship. The ship looks like it’s “sailing” when filled."
"Gifted to family, They immediately opened it, put in the spout, and poured in their favorite bourbon. Easy set up, no leaking. They loved it, it sits on my great grandmothers mini bar my mother inherited and they can’t wait for the next piece to make a collection."
"Beautiful! This is Truly a work of art! It is functional and it is beautiful to look at! Worth the buy! We love it!!!"
"This is, simply put, an awesome f***ing decanter. All my friends that have seen it love it and want one within 5 seconds of seeing it. The only negative is that Im not sure its theme goes well with anything but Rum. But, who cares if a glass ship is floating in a sea of gin? No one, thats who."
Size- Can appear small. It holds 1000ml but the shape and profile of the decanter can make it appear small. As an example, most people are used to seeing 750ml bottles that are skinny and tall, when you put a Patron bottle with bottles that are more "standard" it looks small despite it holding the same amount of liquor.
Size - Due to the round size of the glass a lot of liquor (1000ml) fits within a relatively small amount of surface area. This is good for limiting the amount of oxygen within the decanter and potential oxidation.
Eye-Catching - This is an eye-catching decanter. The wooden base is an interesting shape that catches the eye, the same can be said about the etched continents on the outside. Once those catch the eye on closer inspection you will notice most of the designs have a unique aspect within the decanter such as a ship or airplane.
"It's well made and beautiful. Eye Catching"
"I gave this decanter to my husband as a Christmas present, and he absolutely loved it! The ship details inside are impressive, and it looks gorgeous standing in the wooden base in his office."
"is even more beautiful in real life! Customer service is AMAZING! My decanter arrived broken (USPS fault) and they had a new one shipped 2 days later,no questions asked. Would 100% recommend!!!"
"The decanter is absolutely stunning. I purchased it as a wedding anniversary gift, and not only does my husband love it- everyone who has seen it has complimented it as well."
Storage - With this decanter you have to lift the glass out of the wooden base to pour the liquor out of it. Due to needing to lift the decanter from the base it is best if this isn't stored on a shelf that is short or where space above the product would be tight.
Size - The shape of the glass means a lot of liquor (1000ml) fits within a relatively small amount of surface area. This is good for limiting the amount of oxygen within the decanter and potential oxidation.
Eye-Catching - This is an eye-catching decanter. The decanter has a lot of wood incorporated through the wooden base which will really catch eyes. On top of that the decanter is a unique shape which will catch eyes and also light, the way light is captured around the decanter is stunning.
"The glass is beautiful and the wood base is perfect for this decanter. I took a pic an immediately sent it to two friends that I know would love this as well. You won't be disappointed if you buy this!"
"My husband and I got this as a wedding gift for my Sister in Law and husband. She is extremely picky so I was very nervous as to what she would think but she ended up saying it was the best gift they received. "
"I bought this as a gift, it was beautiful. Perfect size and the receiver loved it."
"This one was a bit special as diamonds are used to represent income milestones in our business! So perfect!! He absolutely loved it and we were both taken back by the incredible quality."
Storage - With this decanter you have to lift the glass out of the wooden base to pour the liquor out of it. Due to needing to lift the decanter from the base it is best if this isn't stored on a shelf that is short. Another option is to keep this on the bar top or a bar cart.
Bull Shaped Decanter -- $60
If you're looking to add some adventure to your bar...and to inspire hours of conversation about the event that always makes international headlines, this charging bull decanter is the perfect addition. Pick up one now to complete or even start cultivating your personal flair. The sure-fire way to impress your friends and guests every time you share a drink.
Fantasy Football Trophy Decanter -- $200
Raise the stakes with this meticulously crafted 1000ml decanter. With a colored LED light that illuminates your prize trophy, this novelty decanter is guaranteed to make your fantasy league play a little harder this year.
Horse Decanter -- $60
If you’ve always wanted to try a decanter…or you already know the value in ridding yourself of the generic commonness of branded bottles, then the Grand Palomino spirit decanter is just what you’re looking to acquire.
Golf Ball Decanter Set -- $200
This is more than just a decanter ... it's a genuine, collectible art piece. A treasure that will be appreciated for years and years to come. And for the sophisticated golfer in your life, this gift will be a perfect hole in one.
Holding up the world is a little easier with a decanter full of liquor. This intricate, handcrafted globe decanter sits atop a base statue of Atlas. Atlas will hold up the weight of the world within his hands until you're ready for your next drink.
After you grab a decanter don't forget to grab a new set of whiskey glasses. Make your decanter a set and grab a pair of whiskey glasses to match your decanter. You can check out our full collection of glasses here.
Do not fear feeling intimidated about decanters anymore. With this guide, you now know everything you need to know to make a sound decision when it comes to buying a decanter.
Did we miss anything? Do you have any questions after reading this? Comment below and let us know.