This season we’re bringing you the top five gifts to give a whisky enthusiast (but will probably want to keep for yourself). Instead of making a last-minute dash for another boring box set, stop being lazy and make some damn good gift decisions before it’s too late.
Diageo “Game of Thrones” Limited Release Scotch Whisky Set
Hold the door. It’s probably a good idea to just buy the whole set of eight (Nine if you count the Johnnie Walker White Walker Edition). Let your relatives of the North remember how much you care about uniting all households with whisky during the holidays. Each bottle represents a region of Scotland that best reflects the house it is named for. The chosen distilleries are a perfect complement – The Nights Watch (Oban) being our rebel favorite. The whole set is available for a limited time at the Cask Cartel, so run don’t walk.
A Whole Barrel O’ Bourbon
Ever wonder what it would be like to pick your own cask in one of Kentucky’s most prized rickhouses? We wonder… Wild Turkey offers a Private Barrel program that allows outsiders to select and bottle their own barrel. Those that venture to the distillery get the chance to hang out with whiskey Hall of Famer Eddie Russell, while getting to decide between (Russell’s Reserve or Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit) basically whatever blows your hair back. The barrel yields about 174 bottles and the experience will run you about $8500, but totally worth it to get to hang out with Eddie and select a private label of some of the best bourbon out there. (Side note you will need a liquor license or someone with a liquor license that will purchase the barrel on your behalf). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year Bourbon Barrel-aged Pure Maple Syrup Limited-edition Batch
A consolation prize for a fraction of the price. Yeah you came up short again this year. So, what? It’s not like Pappy Van Winkle is the best whiskey there is. We know you’d rather have a bottle of the Stagg or Weller from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection instead. But that mark-up though! Why not just taunt your friends with a bottle of this pure as silk maple syrup that will probably be the closest that they will ever come to having a bottle of anything that says Pappy Van Winkle on it. And hey the mark up on the 23 year isn’t bad, might even be able to splurge on one of those needle point pappy flasks: Make someone on your list a “Pappy Camper” at Pappy Co.
The Five Gallon Moonshine Copper Still
For when a simple bottle of whiskey no longer quenches the thirst of the enthusiast. Gift them their own adult chemistry set and the ability to get their shine on. A great way to spur some middle-aged creativity, this five gallon still is handmade and yields a gallon of hooch per run. It’s everything a beginner or experienced moonshiner could ask for. Why make bath tub gin when you don’t have to? This gets them motivated to get outside and make something the neighbors will be proud of. Check out this copper still and more at the Moonshine Stills Company. (Check if this is legal where you live – cause nothing is worse than the Feds kicking in your door at 3am and ending up on COPS months later).
Subscription to Flaviar
With a limited number of openings into this secret society, Flaviar is probably one of the most established and reputable monthly subscription whiskey tasting sites out there. They send you a few rarer pours from around the world monthly and for $20 a month, you can’t beat getting three 1.5-ounce pours delivered to your door. The try before you buy technique makes committing to those more expensive bottles a little less terrifying. Commitment in general can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be with Flaviar.