If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the same situation as me: Christmas is about a week away and still have some gifts to buy! No worries, loyal reader. Here are a few whisk(e)y and whisk(e)y-related gift ideas in several price ranges you should still be able to find in online or in stores.
FOR THE OFFICE GIFT-SWAP
Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond bourbon. ($20) Office gift swaps usually have a low price limit for gifts. At about $20 a bottle, you can’t go wrong with Evan Williams BiB. Great flavor for even greater value.
FOR THE FAMILY HOLIDAY DINNER
Macallan Double Cask 12-year-old. ($65) The Macallan’s entry-level single malt should please the masses, including that picky relative everybody has. It’s made using European and American oak sherry-seasoned casks.
FOR A STOCKING STUFFER
Duke Cannon Big American Bourbon Soap ($9.50) Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, this huge bar of soap does not smell like bourbon, so you don’t have to start thinking of excuses when your boss asks why you smell of whisky at 9am on a Monday. Instead, the soap has a sweet oak and vanilla scent and “bits of ground corn” to help with exfoliation.
FOR THE NEW YEAR’S PARTY
High West Midwinter Nights Dram ($90) This rye whiskey is finished in port and French oak barrels, essentially making this the taste like the holidays. Of all the whiskies on this list, Midwinter Nights Dram might be the hardest to find on shelves. You’ll probably have to ask for it in stores.
FOR THE CIGAR FAN
Pappy Van Winkle Tradition – The new cigar release from Drew Estate Cigars is simply flawless. My favorite cigar of 2017!
FOR THE WHISKEY FAN THAT HAS EVERYTHING
Jackson Wayne Bourbon Bag ($475) For those with deep pockets, this beautiful leather bag is perfect to travel with your favorite bottles of whiskey.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A HIGH-END WHISKY ($200+)
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Blended Whisky ($399) I haven’t fully reviewed it here on the blog, but my first impressions are this is a must buy if you can fork over $400 for a whisky. It’s comprised of whiskies from closed distilleries alongside rare malt and grain whiskies. The first in the series is built around the long-shuttered but soon to reopen Brora. Wonderful stuff!
Chivas Regal Ultis ($200) I reviewed this blended malt on the site more than a year ago, and it’s still one I often go back to. A gorgeous new blend from Chivas Regal.
IF YOU’RE ON A GENEROUS BUDGET ($100 – $150)
Orphan Barrel Entrapment ($150) This 25-year-old Canadian whisky was originally made to be blended into Crown Royal, but was set aside to further age. A quarter century has turned this mostly corn-driven whiskey into something special. It’s a rather divine experience.
Glenmorangie Astar ($100) This high proof (52.5% ABV) release from Glenmorangie ensures a robust tasting experience, delivering those beautiful vanilla and floral flavors Glenmorangie is famous for.
Highland Park Full Volume ($110) This limited edition single malt from Highland Park is a bit of a departure for the distillery, utilizing ex-bourbon barrels instead of the usual ex-sherry casks. The result – an extremely tasty whisky that combines the distillery’s heathery peat character with the qualities of a bourbon barrel.
Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection No. 2 ($100) This one-time blend from the Cognac giant is gorgeous, stimulating the palate with lots of spice and dried fruits. Drink by itself or pair with a nice cigar.
IF YOU’RE ON A MODERATE BUDGET ($50 TO $100)
Jameson Blender’s Dog ($70) Jameson hit it out of the park with this new blend by Head Blender Billy Leighton. It’s beautifully balanced.
Booker’s “Sip Awhile” Batch 2017-04 ($70) The last batch of Booker’s for 2017 is a doozy. An easily found yet very solid barrel-proof bourbon.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (B517) ($60) Another barrel-strength monster of a bourbon. This one’s firing on all cylinders. Fair warning: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof might require a bit of searching. That said, they’re still on store shelves in my neck of the woods.
IF YOU’RE ON A TIGHTER BUDGET ($25 – $50)
Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye ($40) This mix of Kentucky rye, Canadian rye and port wine is a winner. Though it’s not a traditional whiskey, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye has tons of fruit and spice notes that might even win over people who claim not to like whiskey. Another nice one to reach for during a holiday meal.
Henry McKenna 10-year-old Bottled-In-Bond bourbon ($25) I’ll continue to say it – this is the best value in bourbon today. You won’t find more age and flavor in a bottle for this price.