It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the time when we all try frantically to think of good gifts to give the people we love. If you’re stuck on gift ideas this year, you should consider giving whiskey. It’s a classy gift that keeps on giving long after the twelve days of Christmas have passed.
But if you’re going to give someone a whiskey bottle, how do you pick the right one, and how do you wrap it? Read on to discover some whiskeys that make great gifts and learn how to wrap it perfectly.
Different Types of Whiskey
Before we get into specific whiskey recommendations, let’s do a quick review of different types of whiskey. There are tons of different types of gentlemen whiskey, including Japanese, Canadian, Tennessee, blended, and single-malt whiskey. For this article, we’ll focus on Scotch whiskey, bourbon, Irish whiskey, and rye.
Scotch whiskey is made in Scotland and must be aged in an oak barrel for at least three years. Bourbon is American-style whiskey made from corn and aged in a new oak barrel; rye follows the same process, but uses 51 percent rye instead of corn. Irish whiskey is smoother than most whiskeys and has to be aged in some sort of wooden barrel (not necessarily oak) for at least three years.
For Scotch Lovers
If you know the person you’re buying for likes Scotch whiskey, there are a few good bets for what to get them. Bunnahabhain 12 Year is an amazing single-malt scotch that undergoes a light peating before its distilled. Some recent tweaks to the Bunnahabhain distilling process have given this whiskey a pure flavor profile and mouthfeel.
You can also go for Johnnie Walker Green, a classic favorite that’s recently reappeared on shelves. It’s an amazing blended Scotch whiskey created from single malts that have been aged for at least fifteen years each. It’s a great way to get the quality of more expensive Scotches for the price tag of a more everyday Scotch.
For Bourbon Lovers
If your person is a bourbon drinker, it’s hard to beat Jim Beam Black Extra Aged for a gift. Jim Beam makes a full-bodied robust whiskey that’s a great quality for a better price. It’s a little heavier than the original Jim Beam and incorporates wonderful vanilla notes and a finish that will stick around through the long winter nights.
Four Roses Single Barrel is another great choice for bourbon lovers. Four Roses has survived prohibition, the Depression, and both World Wars, and their Single Barrel is a testament to that legacy of perseverance. It has a higher rye content than most bourbons, which gives it a nice spicy quality balanced against sweeter maple notes.
For Irish Whiskey Lovers
For Irish whiskey lovers, it’s hard to beat Redbreast 12 Year. This distillery is one of the only ones left in the world that still does single pot stills. This creates a balanced, rich whiskey with a fantastic mouthfeel and some gorgeous spicy notes.
Knappogue Castle 16-Year-Old Twin Wood Single Malt Irish Whiskey is another fantastic choice. This whiskey starts out spending fourteen years in old bourbon barrels, followed by nearly two years in old oloroso sherry casks. This creates a fruity-forward whiskey with nutty undertones packed in a limited-edition bottle that comes signed and numbered.
For Rye Lovers
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye is a great option for the rye lover in your life. Its mash bill includes 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley, creating a clean, spicy whiskey with dried fruit notes. It then goes through Jack Daniel’s signature charcoal mellowing process that’s been in use for more than 150 years.
Cedar Ridge Malted Rye comes out of Iowa’s first craft distillery and is one of only three malted rye whiskeys produced in the world. The rye grains are soaked in water to germinate and then blasted with hot air the same way barley usually would be in whiskey production. The result is a whiskey with a nice spice profile and notes of biscuits and toast.
For Christmas Spirits
If you’re not sure what kind of whiskey the person you’re buying for likes, or if they drink everything, you may want to get them something a little more festive. There are some great whiskeys out there that taste just like Christmas, perfect for enjoying around the fire on Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
Alberta Premium Dark Horse is a perfect option for this gift, with a toffee pudding taste and a buttery texture. GlenDronach 12-Year-Old is another great option, aged in two kinds of sherry casks and offering a creamy, spicy, fruity whiskey. And you can’t go wrong with High West A Midwinter Night’s Dram, a spicy rye whiskey that ages in used port and French oak barrels, smells like a gingerbread house, and tastes like a fruitcake.
How to Wrap a Whiskey Bottle
Once you’ve picked out your bottle of whiskey, you have to give it the perfect presentation. There are a lot of ways to wrap a bottle of whiskey, but let’s start with the basics. You’re going to need some wrapping paper, tape, and a nice ribbon (preferably silk).
Lay your whiskey bottle out on the wrapping paper and cut your paper so it’s a few inches wider and longer than your bottle. Wrap the paper lengthwise across your bottle, tape it closed, and fold the bottom in like you would on the end of a regular gift box. Stand the whiskey bottle up, cut off a length of your ribbon, and tie it around the neck of the bottle, cinching in the wrapping paper and creating an attractive package.
Give the Gift of Whiskey
Whiskey is a great gift option for the alcohol aficionado in your life. You can get great whiskey in a variety of flavor profiles and at a variety of price points. Wrap your whiskey bottle in your best wrapping paper and tuck it under the tree for a gift that’s guaranteed to please.
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