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Ask any expert, and they’ll tell you that there’s an art to finding the perfect whiskey decanter. “A decanter is meant to be displayed, so it should fit your home decor and represent your style,” says Clay Whittaker, freelance journalist and whiskey expert. “But, it should also be functional––your decanter shouldn't be needlessly difficult to lift or pour from, and you should consider how difficult it will be to clean or dust.”
Where glass is concerned, safety is always an important factor. Aside from durability, Whittaker says, you’ll want to make sure that the decanter is made from crystal and is lead-free. “Leaded crystal will leach lead into alcohol over time." He adds, "That may not be an issue for glassware, which you're only using for a few hours, but a decanter holding whiskey for a few days, weeks, or months, will make whatever is inside fairly toxic.” With that said, here are some of the best (and safest) whiskey decanters on the market.
Best Overall: Bormioli Rocco Whiskey Decanter Set
Bormioli Rocco's whiskey decanter set is both affordable and high quality. As one of Italy’s top glassware brands since 1825, this is a trusted name with a wide variety of glasses and accessories for any occasion. This set, from the Selecta Collection, is an excellent value with six matching 9.5-ounce, diamond-cut rocks glasses and a stunning glass decanter with a 33.75-ounce capacity, sealing stopper, and intricate starburst pattern cut into the glass. These pieces are crafted from fine sand and other premium raw materials. Plus, both the glasses and the decanter are dishwasher safe.
Best Splurge: Tom Dixon Tank Whiskey Set
Add drama to any bar cart, shelf, or table with this striking whiskey decanter by Tom Dixon, an interior design legend known for making “extraordinary objects for everyday use.” The Tank decanters come in a variety of shapes and colors, but the stripe set is particularly appealing, combining mid-century nods with modern design and architecture. The gleaming metallic stripes on this 35.2-ounce decanter and its two matching double old fashioned glasses are hand-painted, which also have a capacity of 10.5 ounces. Both the decanter and glasses are made in Poland and are hand wash only.
Most Stylish: DeCicio Glass Whiskey Decanter
Decanters often double as statement pieces, and this antique grey DeCicio Glass whiskey decanter is no exception. Complete with a 24-karat gold leaf stopper, this bold piece brings subtle vintage glam to any space and features an elegant diamond pattern imprinted into the glass. During the glassblowing process, this decanter’s stopper is carefully adorned with real gold leaf, then ground and beveled to optimize its fit inside the decanter’s mouth, ensuring a tight seal—important when storing spirits. You can even customize the decanter through Etsy, and matching glasses are also available.
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Best Set: Ravenscroft Crystal Taylor Decanter Set
Simple yet elegant, Ravenscroft’s set of four rocks glasses and matching decanter is all mouth-blown and handmade from 100 percent lead-free crystal. The set is all about the small details: the whiskey decanter’s flared spout is designed to minimize spillage when pouring, while the glasses and decanter showcase subtle artistic elements. In the center of each piece’s weighted base, the artisan glassblowers have blown a single bubble, bringing depth to the clear, lead-free crystal. The decanter holds 35 ounces and the glasses hold 11 ounces apiece. Each piece in this set is hand wash only.
Best Personalized: Home Wet Bar Draper Decanter
Personalized glass items can oftentimes come off a bit tacky, but Home Wet Bar’s Italian-made Draper whiskey decanter is anything but. Choose your single letter, which will be laser engraved in an elegant, Olde English typeface on the decanter’s front panel. Holding up to 24 ounces of the liquid of your choice, this personalized decanter makes for a great gift and is made from lead-free crystal. Note that it is dishwasher-safe, and there's also the option not to monogram the decanter.
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Best Minimalist: Nambé Vie Decanter
The classic scientific beaker gets a modern upgrade with the Nambé Vie Decanter, designed to hold either your favorite spirit or wine. Featuring an acacia wood topper, this glass decanter has a nicely weighted base, giving it a luxe, high-quality feel to match the appearance. Made in Poland and designed by Chris Granneberg, a revered product designer, this whiskey decanter holds 24 ounces and is dishwasher safe (just be sure to hand wash and immediately dry the wood stopper to avoid damage or compromising the seal).
Best Modern: Crate and Barrel Brixton Decanter
Crate and Barrel’s Brixton decanter is a glamourous, gleaming accent piece that’ll enhance any home bar with its classic yet sharp silhouette and modern, diamond-studded texture, which is also functional and provides a solid grip for easy pouring. The stopper fits snugly in place, helping to mitigate a spirit’s evaporation over time. The glass decanter holds 32 ounces of your preferred spirit and can be cleaned either by hand or in the dishwasher. Additionally, mix and match this decanter with other models and glassware in Crate and Barrel’s complementary designs and textures.
Read next: The Best Irish Whiskeys to Drink
Most Functional: Godinger Stone Cold Spirits Decanter
Form meets function in Godinger’s 38-ounce Stone Cold decanter. Ideal for serving versus storing, keep the marble base in the freezer until you’re ready to use it, particularly when serving a chilled neat spirit––this will help keep the spirit cold without diluting, and it’s also a great centerpiece for any table. Made from lead-free crystal, this stunning whiskey decanter can be used to serve any wine as well, chilled or not (if you wish to serve wine or spirit at room temperature, simply keep the marble base at room temperature). Note that this decanter should be washed by hand, and matching crystal glasses with their own marble bases are also available.
Good to Know:
“The best ways to use a decanter are for home blends and infinity bottles; basically, it's the ideal vessel for displaying a whiskey you've blended yourself," says Whittaker. "A decanter is really a statement piece—a way to create a little mystery." He also adds, "Aaron Goldfarb has a great book on the subject called 'Hacking Whiskey,' but trial and error is just as entertaining.”
Read next: The Best Whiskeys to Drink
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Longtime wine and spirits writer Céline Bossart is a big fan of form meeting function, hence her affinity for keeping multiple decanters around the house. In her opinion, no bar cart is complete without one.