This article is about the glass. For the steam engine valve, see Snifter valve. For the sweet, see Pascall (company).
A snifter glass.
A pipe snifter.
Look up snifter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

A snifter (also called brandy snifter, cognac glass, or balloon) is a type of stemware, a short-stemmed glass whose vessel has a wide bottom and a relatively narrow top. It is mostly used to serve aged brown spirits such as bourbon, brandy, and whisky.


The large surface area of the contained liquid helps evaporate it, the narrow top traps the aroma inside the glass, while the rounded bottom allows the glass to be cupped in the hand, thus warming the liquor. Most snifters will hold 180–240 mL (6–8 US fl oz), but are almost always filled to only a small part of their capacity. Most snifters are designed so that when placed sideways on a level surface, they will hold just the proper amount before spilling.[1]

A variant is called a pipe glass or pipe snifter, used for port and brandy.

Usage with beers

The attributes that have made the snifter a popular glass for brandy have also made it a preferred glass for some styles of beer,[2] mainly those that feature complex aromas and have an ABV measure of 8% or higher, such as the imperial stout, baltic porter, barley wine, and double India pale ale.[3]


  1. "What is Brandy & a Cognac & How Do You Pour Them". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  2. "America's World Class Beer". Samuel Adams. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  3. "Small Tulip or Snifter". Retrieved 2010-10-16.

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