Spiegelau IPA Glass Review: Is it worth it?

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The 19 oz. Spiegelau IPA glass was designed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company specifically with hoppy beer in mind. Together with Spiegelau, who are most recognized for their wine glasses, they came up with this distinct, if not slightly awkward design. After receiving a set for Christmas we decided to put the glass to the test and see, “Do Spiegelau IPA glasses really make IPA’s taste different?”

1 ipa

The short answer is, “Yes, they do.” We used a widely available session IPA to test the Spiegelau IPA glass against a traditional pint glass and we have to say the difference was stark. Though we were both skeptical at first, by the end of the tasting we were wondering what we had missed out on by trying so many other IPA’s in possibly improper glassware.

From our pint glass, the aroma of the IPA was a bit muddled and flat, with notes of resin, syrupy malt and bitter hops all coming into play. The lacing didn’t cling to the glass for more than a couple seconds at a time. The taste closely followed the aroma, with a bitter hop presence being the star of the beer. Overall it felt a little on the heavy side and the hop flavor was one note, offering very little beyond a weighed down, resinous quality.

From the Spiegelau IPA glass, the difference was evident almost immediately. The aroma seemed lighter, more refreshing and oddly even colder, if that’s possible. Though there was still a bitter hop presence, it was complimented with lively floral notes that added dimension. Lacing clung onto the sides of the Spiegelau better, possible because the glass is so thin, if you’re into that kind of thing. By the same token the head also stayed up much longer. The taste was light, hoppy and floral with a little sweetness throughout the sip. Hop bitterness lingered in the aftertaste, but it never felt heavy or like it was stealing the show.

Spiegelau IPA Glass Review

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As skeptical as we initially were, the difference was staggering with Kevin saying, “I guess it’s like how people say you have to hear the record on vinyl.” We were left wondering if drinking an IPA out of the Spiegelau IPA glass gives you the flavor breweries truly intending while making the beer.

Of course, this was only one session IPA compared between two different glasses. We also tried a stronger IPA in four glass styles to note the comparisons and are looking forward to seeing what (if anything) the Spiegelau IPA glass does for beers that aren’t all about the hops. Beer science, eh?

[We have heard that these glasses break fairly easily and the glass is quite thin so it makes sense. Wash them carefully by hand. We wouldn’t recommend putting these in the dishwasher.]

Written by A+K

January 27th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Beer,Beer Reviews

One Response to 'Spiegelau IPA Glass Review: Is it worth it?'

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  1. Sounds like you two really like it. I was skeptical at first too but I was converted. I also have the Porter glasses coming and should be in my hands by the morning. 🙂

    Just some notes I noticed, Spiegel seems to have changed focus towards the beer side. Might be a business choice as they are a subsidiary of Riedel. I’d also get the new wheat glass but there aren’t enough wheats here.

    As for other beers, I found these good for most beers where you want to smell the ingredients. My Green Tea Golden tastes better in these glasses. It could also be due to the fact I tend to hop more than usual. Either way, I think any spice beer would work well also.


    28 Jan 15 at 9:54 am

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