As you make your way through the holiday rush, we’ve rounded up some gift ideas to help complete your list. There’s a little something for all sorts of whisky lovers in your life, be they in need of new ways to bring the party, beautiful bottles to bedazzle their shelves, and much, much more. And if you’re looking for something smaller (and edible) we have a list of great pairing gifts as well.
Of course, don’t forget the ultimate whisky gift guide, our annual Top 20 list, which captures the most exciting whiskies from the year, weighing quality, affordability, availability, and x-factor. We’re counting down to Whisky of the Year on December 9, with the full list revealed on the following day.
Whisky Gifts for Your Bar and Beyond
Bring Your Bar Absolutely Everywhere
Have you ever wished you had access to your home bar while you were traveling? This backpack ($248) aims to give you just that. Complete with 17 different components, among them a stainless steel hawthorne strainer, muddler, jigger, and corkscrew, as well as a shaker, cocktail spoon, paring knife, and cutting board, this padded backpack has everything the serious (or casual!) mixologist might need, and it makes bringing them around a breeze. A removable organizer means you can keep everything in check, too. But wait, there’s more: this bag has space for three full-sized bottles, which, while a bit of a load to shoulder, means you can really bring the party wherever you go.—JH
The Original Golden Dram: Aberfeldy 12 year old Gold Bar
For scotch aficionados or those who are first dipping a toe into the world of whisky, Aberfeldy 12 year old Gold Bar is a go-to single malt. From the distillery known as the Golden Dram—thusly named for the gold deposits that fill the land, through which the Pitilie Burn runs and supplies water for the scotch—Aberfeldy 12 year old sees a long fermentation in copper pot stills, giving the whisky the house’s signature honey notes. Aging in a combination of first-fill sherry and bourbon casks, along with refill and re-char casks, creates an array of nuanced flavors, from dark chocolate and plump fruit to vanilla and toffee. The 12 year old Gold Bar’s bold gift packaging makes a statement, too: Its impressive Gold Bar tin speaks of the generosity and richness to be found in the bottle.
A Cocktail Book You Can Dance To
There is no shortage of cocktail books available right now. You can mix up a drink in the style of Tommy Bahama ($40) or based on the season as instructed by an Alaskan brown bear ($10). Then there’s “Can I Mix You A Drink: 50 Cocktails from My Life & Career” ($30) written by R&B singer T-Pain in collaboration with hospitality professional and mixologist Maxwell Britten. Inside, you’ll find traditional recipes with a T-Pain twist—all the drinks are named after his songs. That means you get cocktails like the Shawty Get Loose (1 oz. Gentleman Jack, 1 oz. Cinzano sweet vermouth, 1 oz. Campari liqueur, ½ oz. white crème de cacao) or the All I Do Is Win (1½ oz. Fistful of Bourbon, ½ oz. simple syrup, 2 orange slices, 3 lemon slices, 1 small bunch loose mint, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, topped with club soda). It’s a lighthearted take on cocktail culture with beautiful images and some of T-Pain’s drinking wisdom sprinkled throughout. —TS
A Feast For The Eyes
For a whisky lover, a bottle of rare, exquisite, or otherwise special whisky may certainly suffice when it comes to gifting. But take it up a notch by giving not just any bottle, but a limited edition bottle that speaks to the eyes as much as it does the palate, with exclusive, artfully designed labels. Japanese whisky enthusiasts, look no further than the newly released bottling of Hibiki Japanese Harmony ($125), which features painted flowers that represent Japan’s 24 different seasons within the lunar calendar, and the passage of time. Elsewhere, a collectible bottle of Glenmorangie’s 18 year old ($235) is now available, with a limited edition design by Japanese artist Azuma Makota. Like the Hibiki bottle, the new Glenmorangie bottle and its packaging are resplendent with flowers—100, to be exact, in a work called “Dancing Flowers of Glenmorangie.”—JH
Barrel Down The Mountain
Have a ski bum in your life who loves nothing more than sinking into a cozy bar seat for a fine aprés dram following a day on the slopes? This first-of-its-kind collaboration might pique your interest. Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and Wagner Custom Skis (starts at $2,295)–both Colorado artisans– have teamed up to design the “ultimate Rocky Mountain skis.” Modern ski technology and the centuries-old technique of barrel maturation are combined here to create a pair of wood skis made of white oak, with an inlay from a used Stranahan’s single malt barrel. The skis, branded with the Stranahan’s logo and silhouettes of the Rocky Mountains, are customizable. Don’t worry—even though these skis look like the wood from which they came, they’re hand coated in satin polyurethane, meaning they can take you anywhere on the mountain without snapping like a stick.—JH
Wear Your Whisky On Your Shoulders
Legent bourbon, crafted in Kentucky using Japanese blending techniques, has once again partnered with American fashion designer Todd Snyder for the re-release of the Bourbon Selvedge denim jacket ($398). The jacket, which is aptly crafted in America from Japanese Selvedge fabric, is a new take on Snyder’s Dylan Jacket, reimagined with a whisky-hued denim—it’s a rich, rusty brown that makes your blue denim look oh-so-basic in comparison. You can feel good about gifting this as well; Legent and Todd Snyder donate 50% of the proceeds from every jacket crafted to the Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate, a national coalition addressing anti-American racism across the U.S.—JH
Tote A Bottle Around In Style
Sure, you could tote a bottle along to your next gathering by way of a simple disposable shopping bag, but if you’re looking for a more secure option, consider putting this duffle ($150)—a collaborative effort between Glenfiddich and Rowing Blazers—in your crosshairs. Handcrafted in Connecticut, this water-resistant, canvas banker bag features a detachable mini bottle bag with a drawstring closure, as well as just a bit of Glenfiddich insignia. But that’s not all…another collaboration, this one between Glenfiddich and Waraire Boswell Brand, is serving up a co-branded, ultra-soft sweatsuit ($400) in deep plum. Both the crewneck sweatshirt and sweatpants are detailed with an embroidered stag logo, so you can show off your single malt appreciation. These items are part of Glenfiddich’s The New Standard limited-edition collection, with 100% of proceeds benefiting the GoFundMe Basic Necessities and Justice & Equality causes, and the site’s Small Business Relief Fund.—JH
Your Favorite Distillery, Illustrated
There are plenty of great whisky books (including the cocktail ones above), but how about some whisky art? We ran a profile of artist Linh Do a few years ago, describing her whisky-inspired dresses, and she featured in our story about whisky label art with her Fukano 6000 label. Linh also creates distillery artwork. One great choice would be her illustration of Glenmorangie’s distillery ($25 for an 8.5×11) for the Glenmorangie lover in your life. Linh’s Etsy shop has a wide range of illustrations, most with free shipping.—TS
Heaven’s Door Trilogy Gift Set and Mentoring Session
Featuring all three award-winning expressions, the the Trilogy Collection invites consumers to experience the breadth of the brand alongside an interactive mentoring session. The live virtual tasting will discuss what makes American Whiskey unique and explore the variety within the category. The session will also include a discussion around the distinctive qualities of each expression in the Heaven’s Door Trilogy Collection, ranging from ingredients and production to flavor profiles and finishes. Participants will be invited to ask questions throughout and encouraged to participate in what is sure to be an engaging and informative event.
Sexton Irish Single Malt + Max ID NY
As a whisky lover, it’s pretty commonplace to accumulate a sizable collection of glassware for the backbar. Branded Glencairns? Check. Fish bowl-like snifters? Sure. But what about truly unique, artisan pieces, that feature neither brand name nor simple mass market appeal? Take these tumblers (starting at $96), created by luxury designer Maximilian Eicke. Made from hand-blown, amber-hued glass, these stackable, short glasses are an eye-catching addition to any home bar, bringing major flair and style to the whisky experience. The shape, too, sets them apart, as they’re inspired by the shape of The Sexton single malt’s bottle. Available as a set of two, these 8.5 fluid ounce tumblers are dishwasher safe to boot.—JH
Whisky, Made Dainty
When you think of whisky, dainty and delicate (and their ilk) might not be the first words that come to mind. After all, dusty warehouses and unembellished still rooms don’t necessarily conjure up images of refinement and finesse. This necklace ($129), however, manages to take whisky in exactly that direction. Crafted from wood taken from a whisky barrel, a miniature barrel charm hangs prettily off a sterling silver chain, making this the perfect gift for those who love both a dram and a bit of personal adornment. As an added appeal, the barrel charm comes fully waterproofed at no additional charge, ensuring that no water ever spoils the quality.—JH