Christmastime is when the whiskey drinker can expect their loved ones to give them a gift related to their hobby. They can expect gifts of glassware or some other related items that are sold in the market today, but what most Bourbon-loving gift recipients really want is a bottle.
Now most people will say they want a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Twenty Year Old or something from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, but those are not realistic expectations. Those bottles are not in the market long enough for the gift giver to find them.
So what are some bottles that are available that make excellent gifts? I thought I would list some here. The bottles are based upon availability in the Louisville, Kentucky market, but I think most should be available in every state. Whiskey drinkers should be very happy to receive any of these bottles. I will list them in alphabetical order.
- Evan Williams Single Barrel. Heaven Hill does a good job of keeping this whiskey in the stores and it is always a little different each year. Sure to please the whiskey drinker every time.
- Four Roses Small Batch. Another product that is always on the shelves in the liquor stores. You can never have too many bottles of the Four Roses Small Batch.
- Maker’s Mark Private Selection. These bottles are always unique as the flavor profile is created by the bar or liquor store at the distillery. They are commonly for sale at liquor stores and easy to find because each store gets a full barrel of whiskey which averages around 250 bottles.
- Old Bardstown Bottled-in-Bond. This Bourbon from Willett is not expensive but is better than many Bourbons costing twice its price. It would make an excellent gift for those not wanting to spend a lot of money.
- Old Grand Dad 114. This is very reasonably priced and very easy to find and I have yet to meet a whiskey drinker that did not like a good pour from one of my bottles.
- Old Overholt 114. Another great whiskey at a reasonable price. It is nice to have a rye whiskey to pair with the Old Grand Dad 114.
- Kentucky Peerless Bourbon. This is an underrated Bourbon in most markets. It is an excellent whiskey that every whiskey drinker should have on their shelf.
- Wild Turkey Rare Breed. This is Wild Turkey at cask strength. It has been around for decades and is easy to find in the liquor stores at a reasonable price.
- Whiskey Row Bottled-in-Bond. This is from Kentucky Artisan Distillery is the one whiskey that might be hard to find outside of the Louisville area, but well worth it if you do find a bottle.
- Wilderness Trail Six Year Old Bottled-in-Bond. This wheated Bourbon is the closest I have found to the old Stitzel-Weller Bourbons I have drunk. It may be a little hard to find outside of Kentucky, but it is another one that you should get if you find it.
There are many other whiskeys that could be given as gifts that I have not listed here. Check your local distilleries for bottles from them. These whiskeys have limited markets but make excellent gifts to give to someone that lives across the country. In the northeast I would look for Dad’s Hat or Liberty Pole ryes. In the South I would look for Dettling 1867 Bourbon. In the Midwest the Old 55, Journeyman or FEW Bourbons. Out west, the Frey Ranch Bourbon and Rye whiskeys are excellent. There are other great distillers making good whiskey. Give them as gifts to those in other states. A gift of whiskey does not have to be hard to find or expensive.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller