A year or so back some freinds and I put this to the test. My friend had some of the Sam Adams Boston lager glasses, and I did not believe they really were worth the money.
So we got a nice fresh case of Boston Lager, sat down, and did some science!
We tested three diffrent glasses:
1. 16oz Shaker "Pint" Glass (I believe there was something either beer related and/or humorous written on them)
2. 14oz Libbey 3815 Footed Pilsner glass http://www.waresdirect.com/products/Restaurant-Supply/Libbey-Glassware/14-Oz-Pilsner3241?trackURL=shopzilla
3. The Sam's Boston Lager glass.
We poured out 3 full glasses for each person (4) and tasted repeatedly as the beer levels droped and temperature rised.
We found there was a noticeable diffrence in the flavor and overall aroma profile and intensity.
The Shaker was much less noticeably aeromatic, and that affected its overall flavor. You more noticed just body and bubbles.
The Pilsner had a nice rich noble hop character which remained througout the glass, this helped bring out both more percieved hop flavor (as you got a nice nose full as you took a sip) as well as helped heighten balance in the beers flavor.
The Sam's Boston Lager glass also enhanced the aroma and percieved flavor, but not significantly more than the pilsner.
Primarily our purpose was to debunk the sam's glass, and we kinda did, If you happen to have the libbey pilsners the sam's glasses just don't give you significantly more. But in comparison to the Shaker, the diffrence was NIGHT and DAY.
The 4 of us came to unanimous agreement that the glass did noticeably have a diffrence in the experience. And shakers don't seem to do much very well. But they are practicaly free, every beer event gives them away I don't think I have paid for one shaker glass myself!