Unsurprisingly, the Royal Navy is at the heart of the ‘passing of the port’. Many theories exist for the custom of passing the port to the left, the likely one being the Royal Navy rule, ‘port to port’, meaning that the decanter (most likely a ship’s decanter) should be passed to the left. Again in the Royal Navy, the Loyal Toast is traditionally drunk in port and, in contrast to other branches of the British Armed Forces, the officers remain seated. So, for port, and for other spirits, the English mouth-blown crystal ship’s decanter with its traditional wide base, has both the shape and heritage to pull rank among decanters. The wide base and long neck are good for stability in a gale, and the gently sloping sides and broad base are helpful when it comes to decanting. By pouring the port, or other spirit or wine, gently down the sides it is ‘unbruised’ by the experience and the wide area allows maximum breathing surface. And here is the nub of the matter: the fine Admiral’s Decanter here is not only mouth-blown in English crystal with a hand-ground stopper for an exceptional seal, it displays a gleaming English sterling silver collar.
It is a classic, yet contemporary, a fine shape, as eye sweet as the lines of a ship. It takes 100cl and stands 21.5cm.
RRP £400. CCUK £198.