Norlan Glass Uses Biomimicry To Improve Whiskey-tasting Experience

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Fledgling design and style brand Norlan and Icelandic designer Sruli Recht have launched a Kickstarter campaign to increase funding for a whiskey glass that generates waves in the alcohol to aerate it.

Whiskey glass by Norlan Glass

The brand aims to increase the whiskey drinking expertise by adding inner “fins” within the double-walled structure.  These produce wave-like movements in the liquid when the vessel is swirled, exposing far more of it to the air.

This helps the ethanol in the alcohol evaporate, releasing the scents within the alcohol and generating a more powerful impression of the flavour when smelt prior to drinking. Aeration can also permit the flavour of the spirit to develop further prior to it is drunk.


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Norlan claims the form of the glass is an improvement on classic nosing glasses, which force whiskey connoisseurs to tilt their head back in an antisocial manner, or tumblers, which diffuse the vapours.

“Present whiskey glasses come down to a compromise amongst great delivery of spirit and good seeking layout,” explained Norlan brand director Brian Fichtner. “We engineered a new type of whiskey glass by mirroring a scientifically doing within with an aesthetically lovely outside.”

Whiskey glass by Norlan Glass

Designer Sruli Recht – who previously used layers of walnut wood for a menswear assortment – designed the glass by means of “a procedure of combining fluid dynamics modelling and biomimicry”.

“We had to apply biomimicry methods to copy the natural way the waves moved, but inside the glass, and produce a wave result when you swirl it so as to include air into the fluid for massive oxidisation,” he explained. “Increasing the surface to air ratio causes significantly much more ethanol to evaporate.”


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The designer collaborated with synthetic biologist Martin Hanczyc to create the vessel, adding four fin-shaped protrusions at the bottom of the glass which aid agitate the liquid and release ethanol vapours much more quickly.

Norlan worked closely with master whiskey distillers and specialists to finalise the glass style, hosting a four-day workshop which involved redesigning and 3D-printing models for testing on the spot.

Whiskey glass by Norlan Glass

The glass is Norlan’s debut solution, although the firm intends to create “an evolving suite of merchandise” devoted to enhancing the whiskey expertise. The company is at the moment looking for backing on Kickstarter to fund the initial manufacturing run, with the campaign ending on 15 December.

Los Angeles layout brand Sempli also set out to increase the drinking experience earlier this year, launching a set of 4 glasses tailored to facilitate the enjoyment of different kinds of craft beer.


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