As we are in full force holiday gift-giving season, you might find yourself looking for the perfect gift for the whiskey lover in your life. Well, Whiskey Culture has you covered. Don’t let this list be exclusive to the holiday season. Feel free to use this year-round for any occasion as there is never a bad time to buy your whiskey lover a gift. Cheers!
For the Bourbon Lover
E.H. Taylor Small Batch ($45)
Whether the person you’re shopping for is just getting into bourbon or they are a seasoned bourbon connoisseur, E.H. Taylor Small Batch is always a MUST pick up for anyone. This bottle isn’t easy to find and may require you to ask the store clerk if they have it, but if you can find it for around MSRP, listed above, pick it up. Every bourbon lover will appreciate this bottle.
Knob Creek 12 Year ($60)
A little bit easier to find, Knob Creek 12 still offers bourbon lovers of all types a solid pour. In my opinion, as the best of the Knob Creek line-up. This is arguably one of the best bottles in its price range. And, Knob Creek is one of those brands that is instantly recognizable. And, for good reason.
This particular bottle has just recently become more available. So, the mystique of this bottle is still very much alive and will surely impress your bourbon lover without sending you on a wild chase to hunt one down.
Nassiff Family Reserve ($45)
Ok, so this isn’t a bourbon but I had to mention it. This is arguably the best value whiskey on the shelf. To me, this is hands down a must for any bourbon/whiskey lover. It captures all the essence of what I love about higher-end bourbons at an incredibly affordable price point.
Sitting at 107 proof, this American Whiskey drinks more like some of the heavily allocated bottles that we all hunt. They may not recognize the label but they will surely be recommending it after tasting it.
For the Scotch Lover
Lagavulin 11 Year, Offerman Edition ($90)
No contest, one of the best scotches that I was able to try this year was the 11-Year-Old, Offerman Edition from Lagavulin. The reputation of Lagavulin in the world of whiskey needs no explanation. However, the Offerman Edition takes the already fantastic whiskey from Lagavulin and ages it 4 months in Guinness casks. The added complexity is a unique addition to the legendary brand. Bonus points if your scotch lover is a Parks and Rec fan.
Aberlour A’Bunadh ($80)
Not all Aberlour bottles are created equally. But, this one… is “that one.”
I once told Greg, the head writer and founder of Whiskey Culture, that he should buy it. I told him that if he didn’t like it, I’d buy it from him. Needless to say, I didn’t have to pay for it.
While I’m not willing to make that same guarantee to all of the readers, hear me when I say “it will not disappoint.”
The depths of flavor that this bottle offers are not like most scotches that are on the shelf. Also, at 121.4 proof (30% higher proof than most scotch on the shelf), it will appeal to the bourbon lover, too.
Glenfiddich 14 Year Single Malt Scotch Whiskey ($55)
For the scotch lover you like, but are not willing to drop the cash for those bottles above (and maybe bourbon lovers, too).
This is just a fantastic, well-balanced whiskey. While there are a lot of single malt scotches aged in some sort of bourbon barrel, this one tends to offer a lot more complexity and rich flavors than others. A lot of the barrel can be tasted throughout this bottle which offers a lot to both scotch and bourbon drinkers alike.
For the Irish Whiskey Lover
Spot Whiskey (Blue Spot, Red Spot, Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Green Spot (Finished) (From $60-$125)
It comes in blue, red, green, and yellow. Each with its own unique expression and flavor.
That’s it. That’s the suggestion. All of these are great expressions and you won’t go wrong with any.
The person who wants something unique
Barrel Picks/Store Picks
A lot of retailers have the opportunity to hand-select barrels from distilleries. This offers the customer an opportunity to purchase a bottle that is truly unlike any other. The fun part of whiskey is that two barrels from the same distillery, aged in the same rickhouse, on the same floor, could have two completely different flavor profiles and proofs. Be sure to check out your local store’s barrel pick/store pick selection.
For the person you want to splurge on
Calumet Farms 15 Year ($120)
This bottle is easy to find and is dramatically underappreciated.
I have said for a long time that Calumet 14 Year was the best bottle of bourbon on any liquor store shelf. Then, Calumet farms dropped the 15-year. (As cliche and this is going to sound) Just when you thought something couldn’t get any better, Calumet Farms outdoes themselves.
It was an easy grab for me.
As a bottle that many enthusiasts may not have tried, and one that is easy to find and drinks above its value, this is an easy recommendation to add to your holiday shopping list.
Glenmorangie 18 Year ($120)
A classic and distinguished scotch that will make you a fan favorite for whoever receives this bottle. It is beautifully aged and has a flavor profile that seems to have an endless journey attached to it. An easy bottle to celebrate with or that you may want to leave a positive impression with.
For the person who wants something besides a bottle
Not a plug (yeah, it’s a plug).
Greg takes a deep dive into how whiskey became the juice that we whiskey enthusiasts came to enjoy, hunt, obsess over, analyze, critique and love while also mirroring human history.
It’s great for new whiskey enthusiasts and veteran whiskey snobs alike to learn a little more about whiskey’s backstory and cultural/historical significance.
Oh, and look at that… a hyperlink to make your gift buying even easier.
Pappyland (Thompson, 2020) ($27)
This book offers an exploration into bourbon and the most coveted whiskey in the world, Pappy Van Winkle. Thompson is able to tell the story of Pappy and make it more desirable. An awesome read.
City Etched Rocks Glasses (Around $20 per glass)
These are such cool and sentimental gifts. The glasses are customizable and can get as detailed as to show college campus building names. This can be as personable as you’d like, think hometown or city you got engaged in or maybe just a vacation spot.
Camp Craft Cocktails ($25)
As simple as it gets to create a quality cocktail. You pick the spirit and simply fill-up the jar. After the allotted time, you have a simple and delicious cocktail. One jar yields about 8 servings and can even be used twice. From classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned to eccentric blends that incorporate ginger and marshmallows, these jars offer an option for every type of cocktail.
Chris first became affiliated with Whiskey Culture when he met Greg at one of their regular hangouts, Whiskey Willy’s in Tampa, FL.
Their mutual love for whiskey and connecting with other whiskey enthusiasts quickly spurred a great friendship between them. Chris and Greg would share samples, and hunt bottles for each other as their travels took them around the country.
Chris regularly attended Whiskey Culture events, and was even invited to sit on the tasting panel for Whiskey Culture’s first private barrel pick!
Now in Philadelphia, Chris is a regular contributor for Whiskey Culture writing op-ed pieces and bottle reviews.