A whiskey decanter is different from wine decanters, since whiskey does not typically need to be decanted in the same way as wine. Wine is decanted to allow sediment to settle and to allow oxygen to help the flavors of the wine become bolder. Whiskey does not have sediment, and oxygen exposure may affect the flavors in a negative way, so a good decanter will serve an entirely different purpose. Choosing the best decanter for whiskey starts with determining how large of a unit you need, and then finding one that fits within your budget. Crystal and glass are the two most common materials for such a decanter.
The purpose of a whiskey decanter is primarily decorative: it is usually a far more attractive vessel than the original whiskey bottle, so the it makes a great presentation vessel. A cut glass decanter will feature distinct patterns and cuts in the glass to form the aesthetic, and a cut crystal decanter will do the same. Crystal tends to be clearer than glass, allowing a person to see the whiskey's tone and color more clearly. Crystal also has a special distinction as a fine material, so for entertaining purposes, it's hard to beat. The problem with crystal is the price: it is likely to be quite a bit more expensive than glass.
One of the most important aspects of any whiskey decanter is the stopper. This piece will help prevent oxygen from entering the decanter and affecting the flavors of the whiskey. While cork stoppers are a great way to keep oxygen out, this material is not especially durable and is likely to break down over time. Glass and crystal can both be used to make a stopper, though they will both need to be carefully formed to ensure a good seal between the stopper and the mouth of the decanter. Some stoppers feature a rubber gasket to further prevent oxygen from entering the decanter. This is a good way to combine fine aesthetics with functionality.
Some decanters come in sets that include glasses for serving the whiskey. When choosing a set, consider purchasing one that includes glasses cut in the same pattern as the decanter itself. This will provide continuity of the aesthetic. The size of the glasses matters, too: choose a set that includes rocks glasses, which are the most appropriate vessels for serving whiskey.