The San Francisco World Spirits Competition Adopts the Neat Spirits Nosing and Tasting Glass

The San Francisco World Spirits Competitionhas announced that it will use the new patented NEAT nosing and tasting glass in the 2013 judging which takes place in San Francisco from March 21 through 24.

“This amazing glass is hand-made, mouth-blown, lead-free and made in the U.S.,” reports the competition’s Executive Director, Anthony Dias Blue, who is also co-owner and Editor in Chief of THE TASTING PANEL. “In comparative tastings against other glasses—tests performed in laboratories and in our own tasting rooms—the NEAT glass consistently out-performed the others, and this includes the popular Glencairn glass and various other dedicated spirits glasses.”

The NEAT glass—it stands for “Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology” by the way—is shaped like a pot still and functions in much the same way. It funnels the meaningful aromas to the nose while its flared rim dissipates the sting of alcohol. As a result, spirits do not need to be “watered” for tasting.

The NEAT glass was developed by George Manska, a retired engineer, who inadvertently invented it during a glass-blowing session at artist Dale Chihuly’s studio. Mr. Manska and his partner, Christine Crnek, market the glass through their Las Vegas–based company, Arsilica Inc.

Describing the pot still-shaped glass, Manska explains, “The widely flared lip and its proximity to the surface of the liquid allows ethanol to escape before nosing, and positions the nose directly over the concentrated vapors. Size and proportional relationships are everything in the design.” Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, prove the ethanol is dissipated and only the flavorful esters and aromas remain.

Crnek says that this is the first time a scientific approach has been applied to evaporation to control what spirits nosers smell. The durable glass fits nicely in the hand and its hourglass shape lets fast moving ethanol (the alcohol that can burn olfactory receptors) billow out, while the heavy aromatic molecules responsible for taste concentrate in the narrow center of the glass.

“The San Francisco World Spirits Competition,” says Blue, “is excited to be the exclusive user of this groundbreaking tasting glass.”


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