Christmas gifts for the whiskey lover

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Is there a whiskey lover on your holiday gift list this year?  Yes?  OK, buy them some whiskey.

The end.

Kidding, kidding.  (Totally not kidding.)  But seriously, here are some ideas for the whiskey drinker who made it onto Santa’s nice list.

1) Whiskey.  See, told you I wasn’t kidding.  Whiskey will always be happily received by the whiskey lover, sort of by definition.  If you don’t know their preferred libation, and don’t know much about whiskey yourself, though, it can be intimidating to choose.

unnamedA few crowd-pleasers in the $40-50 range are Blanton’s bourbon and The Balvenie Scotch (the Double Wood and Carribean Cask are both lovely—the Caribbean Cask is sweeter, aged in rum barrels).  Most whiskey drinkers I know would be thrilled to receive these.  Of course, there are hundreds of other great choices, but knowing absolutely nothing else about your particular whiskey drinker, I can tell you that The Balvenie and Blanton’s have a sort of general appeal without being too intense or overpowering.

2) Whiskey glasses.  For those who drink their whiskey on the rocks, a set of great lowball glasses, or rocks glasses might be in order.  The glass needs to have some weight and feel good in your hand.  Lowball glasses are a great chance to take advantage of other interests your whiskey drinker might have.

Uncommon Goods has one of my favorite selections of glassware, including glasses etched with historic city maps from New York, Austin, DC, or about a dozen other cities.  They have glasses for math geeks, hipsters, or cat people, as well as handmade artisan glasses.  These optimist/pessimist glasses are my favorite.

For those who drink their whiskey neat (meaning plain, no ice), I highly recommend the Glencairn glass.  Specifically designed for whiskey, its special shape concentrates aromas to bring out much more complexity in the nose.  Most serious whiskey aficionados I know drink from these, or something similar.  You can buy them on Amazon singly, in pairs, or as a set of four to accommodate many budgets.

flaskGlencairn has also come out with a larger Canadian whisky glass that I haven’t had a chance to try yet.  If you’re not sure how your whiskey drinker takes their favorite beverage, it might be a good compromise, allowing room for rocks, but with the tulip-shaped bowl I prefer for drinking whiskey neat.

3) A great flask.  Sometimes we whiskey drinkers are out and about, and we like to have a little sip to keep us “warm.”  Etsy is a great place to look for flasks to fit any personality.  A search for “moustache flask” (or custom flask if you’re not as taken with moustaches as everyone else seems to be) will link you up with many great vendors.  Or check out this novelty (but actually functional) flask belt buckle.  Silly, but pleasing.

Under a microscope. So this is what
So this is what bourbon looks like.

4) Anything from Bevshots.  This is the coolest thing.  Some really smart person took photos of booze under a microscope and made it into art.  That cool image over

there?  That’s what bourbon looks like under a microscope.  I KNOW!  Isn’t it awesome?  You can get these as art for the wall, or get the image printed on a flask, a scarf, coasters, a pocket square, shot glasses, etc.  So cool.

unnamed (4)
So good!

5) Booze with chocolate.  Check out these bourbon truffles.  Or this smoked caramel and whiskey bar.  For the person who doesn’t need more “stuff”, it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate plus whiskey.

6) Booze without chocolate, i.e., a Whisky Advent calendarMaster of Malt, a UK-based company, has come up with the brilliant (if somewhat irreverent) idea of an Advent calendar filled with whisky instead of chocolate.  They ship to the US, and to most countries, although shipping will cost you.  Between shipping and the booze, this one will set you back a good bit of money, but it’s pretty fab!  They also have a premium version with higher quality whisky if money is no object, as well as small samplers and other gift possibilities.

7) Whiskey lip balm.  On the other end of the money spectrum, stuff your whiskey drinker’s stocking with whiskey flavored beeswax to keep their lips nice and soft for some mistletoe action.  I have the bourbon and Scotch versions from this Etsy vendor, and love them both.  There is some risk to going about in the world with your mouth smelling ever-so-slightly of whiskey, but rest assured, it’s on the subtle side.

8) Balls.  Every whiskey gift guide has an entry for whiskey stones, or Scotch rocks, or some kind of rock that you put in the freezer for chilling your whiskey without diluting it.  Here’s the thing about that.  I actually like my whiskey room temperature, and I think many of the people who like theirs on the rocks might actually like the water from the ice melt.

calendarThat said, these Balls of Steel were funny enough to me to overcome my general meh on whiskey chilling doodads.  I mean, come on… balls of steel.  Don’t you want to give that special someone balls of steel?  Don’t you want them to have to tell people you got them balls of steel?  That’s the kind of stuff that makes life worth living.

And speaking of life being worth living, Balls of Steel gives 15% of the proceeds to research on testicular cancer.

9) Stuff made from old whiskey barrels.  A platter made from old whiskey barrels, a ring made from old whiskey barrels, even a charger for your iPhone made from old whiskey barrels.  Etsy is your friend for this kind of thing.  Support artisans and buy cool random stuff made from whiskey barrels.

10) Boozy ornaments.  Another inexpensive stocking stuffer, these are Christmas ornaments made from mini bottles.  They contain whiskey-colored resin, not the real thing.  So sadly, you can’t pull them off the tree and drink them when visiting relatives drink up all your booze.  But in the end, that’s probably a good thing.  They come in many varieties from Boozy Christmas.

Whiskey drinkers, please chime in!  What are you hoping to see in your stocking or under the tree this year?

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2 thoughts on “Christmas gifts for the whiskey lover

  • November 23, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    Great story! Thanks for the resources. I will be sure to check them out!

  • November 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM



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