Wine is served in a decanter to let it breathe and to ensure consistent quality in every glass. This is applicable to whiskey to a certain extent. Since whiskey has a 40% alcohol content it is less affected by the breathing process yet is affected enough to develop an aroma and deeper flavor. The best whiskey decanter serves both purpose of serving with elegance and also giving it time for breathing. While some may deny that breathing is not applicable to whiskey, it is applicable to blended whiskey to replicate the aging process and to avoid inconsistencies between batches. Another advantage of the little aeration that the whiskey gets when stored in a decanter turns even a cheap brand develop deep flavors and aroma, and taste like the expensive ones.
You can either choose a glass decanter or crystal decanter. What you would want to look for is a decanter with a tight seal stopper, cap or lid. While oxidation adds flavor to an extent, a loose lid will cause too much aeration and change the flavor of wine and whiskey. Even among glass and crystal decanters, there are several grades to choose from. Crystal is available as leaded crystal and lead-free crystal. Leaded crystal is cheaper than lead-free crystal but holds the risk of leaching poisonous lead into the drink and is toxic. A leaded crystal decanter of 75% whiskey may release up to 100mg of lead per serving in just two days. If the storage extends to 60-90 days the lead levels are considered hazardous.
When looking for a decanter take care to look for one that has a good quality stopper, there are chances the stopper can send shards into the drink, look for a safe decanter that fulfills your decorative requirements too. Decanters come in sets with matching glasses to the design and pattern of the decanter. This will ensure that you don’t have to go looking for matching glasses separately. Triangular decanters keep the cut and other forms of personalization within the items instead of sharing the shape. Decanters make it easy for the user to pour a drink.
An ideal decanter will be available at around $30 for home bars in both glass and crystal materials. Lead-free crystal tends to cost about 40% more than the other products. Also remember that glass on glass or crystal on crystal products meaning that when both base and cap (lid or stopper) are made of the same material, they are a little cheaper than the decanters with a proper seal to lock out the atmospheric air.
Bormioli Rocco has a plastic wrapper stopper with a high-quality decanter base. It has classic sunburst patterns in crystal and can be matched with various brands of whiskey glasses. It is easy to clean and looks elegant. Excalibur is a glassware whiskey decanter set that will look great on a home bar. The decanter is with a plastic seal and prevents glass shards in the drink. Wine Enthusiast whiskey decanter is hand-blown and hence each piece is different from the other. It looks contemporary with rounded corners and has a certain weight that adds to its quality.