15 Wedding Gift Whiskies

Anyone who’s ever gotten married knows what a double-edged sword the wedding registry can be. On the one hand, it ensures that clueless relatives are directed toward gifts the couple actually wants. On the other hand, you could end up with 42 teaspoons and only three plates. And even with a registry, someone’s always going to go off-book and give you their idea of a great wedding present. (Thanks for the decorative bathroom art, Aunt Mary!)

But sometimes everything on the registry gets snapped up by other guests—or is way out of your price range—and you need a great gift idea. Our favorite go-to, of course, is whisky, a gift guaranteed to be enjoyed and not to collect dust in the attic. Whether you’re attending the nuptials of your best friend from kindergarten or you’re leading the wedding party in the funky chicken dance, there’s a bottle or two that will fit the situation and bring added joy to the happy occasion.

The Best Whisky Gifts For Brides And Grooms

If you’re the best man or maid of honor:

Sure, the day is all about your friend, but you’re setting the example for the rest of the wedding party here—plus you have to calm those pre-wedding jitters and make sure the reception gets off to a rollicking start. Choose a whisky with a bit of a kick (it’ll work well in the crucial flask hidden in your bouquet or back pocket), and make sure you have a second bottle for the after-party.

Try High West Bourye ($80, 92 points) or Tamdhu Batch Strength ($90, 92 points).

If you’re the parent of the bride or groom:

It’s your baby’s big day, so go all out—even if you’re paying the bills for the reception. You want to impress the in-laws, don’t you? And by showing what great taste you have, you’re guaranteed to get first preference for the holidays.

Go for Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 3 ($350, 91 points) or Compass Box 3 year old Deluxe ($300, 91 points). Or look for a Glenfarclas Family Cask from the year of your child’s birth, or even your own wedding date—a delicious and meaningful way to shower the new couple with blessings.

For the friend you thought would never get married:

Depending on how you feel about your friend’s soon-to-be-spouse, this is a moment of great joy or great disappointment. Either way, you need a really good bottle for toasting—or for holding your peace.

We recommend Arran 18 year old ($100, 89 points), Yoichi single malt ($80, 92 points), or one of Masterson’s barrel-finished ryes ($89, 91-95 points).

For a destination wedding:

Traveling with whisky is never easy (though we can recommend a few cases to shield your precious bottle), and if you’re already on the hook for a high-end resort and expensive plane tickets, you may not feel like spending at the top of your range. In this case, ship a wedding gift ahead of time and take along a bottle you can enjoy on your balcony, away from the high prices of the hotel bar. Go cheap, just in case your luggage gets lost.

Try Jim Beam Bonded ($23, 88 points)—perfect on a rock or two—or Speyburn Bradan Orach ($20, 86 points).

For your third cousin once removed:

Does this person even drink whisky? Who knows? You’ve barely spoken to them since that family reunion in the ‘90s, when Uncle Joe yelled at you for licking the potato salad bowl. A situation like this calls for a good all-rounder whisky, one that anyone would be glad to receive as a gift.

Try Tullamore D.E.W. 15 year old Trilogy ($80, 88 points), an Irish whiskey that will impress both snobs and noobs alike. Or pick up a bottle of Macallan Edition No. 2 ($105, 90 points)—it’ll go great with the wedding cake.

For that friend you haven’t spoken to since high school, but she’s having a 300-person wedding and somehow you’re on the list:

Your gift is probably going to be overlooked in the crush of loot this couple gets. Buy a solid crowd-pleasing bottle at around $50 or less, slap on a big bow, and enjoy the make-your-own pasta bar.

Pick up Glenrothes Vintage Reserve ($55, 89 points), Russell’s Reserve 10 year old ($37, 88 points), or Glendalough Double Barrel ($35, 86 points).

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