Designer Felicia Ferrone raises the glass for Mortlach whisky

Mortlach’s ‘Cowie’ glassware by Felicia Ferrone is designed to intensify the whisky-tasting experience

bottle of Mortlach whisky and two Cowie glasses designed by Felicia Ferrone
Felicia Ferrone’s ‘Cowie’ glasses for Mortlach, with their distinctive central void
(Image credit: Mortlach)

In partnership with Mortlach

A spirit of audacity pervades the complex curves of designer Felicia Ferrone’s new ‘Cowie’ glassware range for Mortlach, the Scotch whisky maker based in Dufftown, Moray. Inspired by the ‘audacious’ nature of Mortlach’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Ferrone, founder of the US- and Italy-based brand Fferrone, brought a sense of boldness and surprise into her design. ‘Cowie’ glassware pushes the envelope of expectation to the same levels of fearlessness as the Mortlach whisky that it holds. 

Designer Felicia Ferrone sketching, with Mortlach whisky and her glass designs on desk

Designer Felicia Ferrone

(Image credit: Mortlach)

Named after George and Alexander Cowie, the 19th-century father and son owners of Dufftown’s first distillery and originators of the unique process that produces Mortlach whisky’s robust spirit, the glassware lives up to the family’s indefatigability and verve. 

‘Glassware, upon first thought, is quite simple,’ says Ferrone. ‘I needed “Cowie” to be anything but. I strived for the bold, courageous and outside-the-box. With this in mind, I designed these glasses to be unlike anything else, to have a single, dedicated use: for tasting Mortlach. I wanted them to match the intricacy of Mortlach and reflect the high level of craftsmanship that goes into the spirit’s distillation process. I continuously challenged myself as I iterated through various designs of the glassware to push the final product to truly embody what it means to be audacious.’ 

Hand reaching for Mortlach whisky

(Image credit: Mortlach)

The glassware had to be unique, but functional, protecting the Mortlach Single Malt from changing temperature due to hand-transferred body heat. ‘I chose an adventurous route, creating a void straight through the middle,’ explains Ferrone.  The challenge was working out how the liquid would stay inside the glass when tipped and not pour through the centre void. The design also had to facilitate easy sipping without  the central stem interfering with the tasting process. 

The ‘Cowie’ glass holds a standard 1.5 ounce neat pour, its wider form allowing a fuller olfactory appreciation of the Mortlach Single Malt even before you taste it, and allowing notes of citrus, cocoa nibs, vanilla, and spice to swirl forth. The texture of the central, open stem’s interior is scalloped to highlight Mortlach’s unique tonal play, ‘creating a glowing effect when the spirit is in the glass’, says Ferrone. 

bottle of Mortlach whisky and 'Cowie' glasses designed by Felicia Ferrone on desk

(Image credit: Mortlach)

The designer insisted that each glass be intricately handmade, without a mould, by master craftspeople in the Czech Republic, using a specialist process not unlike the distilling at Mortlach’s Dufftown HQ; each step is carefully executed and considered to create the highest quality final product. 

Making the intersection between the glass’s two volumes – the ring shape where the whisky is poured and the central, inner void in the body of the glass – perfectly align and come together while both shapes are in a molten state, is a technical challenge requiring extraordinary precision and artistry. 

Honouring the eye of the designer, the skill of the glassware experts and the audacious spirit of the Mortlach founders, the ‘Cowie’ glass was created to surprise and delight. It makes for an intense and intimate taste experience, for Mortlach whisky only.