Review: The Norlan Rauk Heavy Tumbler

I fully acknowledge that I am pretty basic when it comes to the staples in life. Unlike Nick, I don’t need high end paraphernalia to complete the experience, and would normally be just as happy with sipping bourbon out of a red solo cup as I would a high end glass. Until recently, my go-to glassware was some heavy glasses etched with “The Ohio State University | College of Engineering”. To me, they were enough: they fit great in your hand, have great heft… and most importantly, were “free” (if you ignore years of tuition and donations). But that go-to alumni glassware might have actually been replaced now that I found the Rauk Heavy Tumbler.


Regardless of my personal reluctance to invest, I will admit the experience of having a great drink with friends is definitely influenced by great glassware. I love a glass with some heft – something when you toast gives you feedback that you can feel in your bones. It’s also important to have a glass that highlights the visual beauty of your drink and fits great in your hand. So as much as I might want to fight it, even I concede that glassware does make a difference.

I enjoy a glass with a lip that curves slightly inward. It’s why the quintennial Glencairn tasting glass has the reputation it does: that curve helps to funnel aromas to your nose, which carries just as much of the experience as your tongue. But while great for a neat tasting, I usually want a little more volume in my glass than the eyedropper’s worth I get with the Glencairn. That is where there 250mL tumbler comes into play — it has enough room for a healthy pour on a big cube.

Now, there is no shortage of high end glassware on the market. In fact, you will find a couple of reviews for Nick’s preferred glassmaker, Simon Pearce, here on Thirty-One Whiskey (Double Old-Fashioned Glass & Shoreham Whiskey Glass). Each brand has its own unique shape, weight, pattern, and cult following. 


As I mentioned, I love a hefty glass and the weight and balance is a priority to me. Weighing in at just over a pound, the Rauk Heavy Tumbler definitely fits that bill. There is the old joke about doing “16 oz curls”… but with this glass you actually can. 

The weight comes from thick walls, with an even thicker base. Produced form molten crystal that is machine pressed into a complex five-part mold, the glass has a rounded lip, and allows the drink inside neatly when you take a sip. It does not feel brittle or sharp and has a very comfortable feel in your hand.


Overall, the shape is very bulbous and slightly rounded in way that feels like it was made to be held. There are geomatic facets in the shape of an “X” in the base of the glass — and with the etching being in the inside of the glass, you get a lot more light and color from the glass. I like this better than more classic cocktail glasses, since it gives it uniqueness — especially as it glistens in the light without making you question if Gatsby himself drank from them. More importantly, it helps to reflect light upward into the cocktail, which, is the reason we are all here in the first place.

The Rauk Heavy Tumbler comes in two sizes: 250mL and 350mL. I have the 250mL glass, and it could easily accommodate a 2” ice sphere or large cube with a 2.9” diameter mouth. When you really want to flex on the normies, the 350mL glass has a 3.4” mouth and weighs in at nearly 2lbs. For context, that is like drinking from a carton of milk, an average sized pineapple, or a sock filled with 180 nickels. 

Obviously, you have to choose the size that works for you. Personally, the 250mL glass is perfect for me, as I tend to enjoy my whiskey neat or on the rocks. If you like a cocktail, I would suggest that you look at the 350mL version. As you can see from the picture above, there is not much room for mixers or garnish in the 250mL glass if you use a large ice cube.


These glasses have taken over as my favorite glasses (for indoor use only). They’re everything that I look for: comfortable, weighty, and perfectly sized. That said, they are not as cheap as some of the mass produced glassware on the market. A single 250mL glass is priced at $50; and the larger 350mL glass is ~$64. 

That is a bit on the expensive side, especially when you consider the volume of mass produced glassware that is a “Buy Now” button away. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with the mass-produced stuff (just see my own previous apathy about glassware)… but keep in mind that those glasses are not made with the same level of care, craftsmanship, and adoration as the Rauk Tumbler.


Model: Norlan Rauk Heavy Tumbler
Price: $50 (Amazon)

Overall Rating: 5/5
In my opinion, this is an idyllic glass: it’s simple, yet elegant; has solid presence, yet allows the bourbon to be the focal point.


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