Can you feel it? The crispness of the air, the shorter days, the melodic and dramatic swoons of Mariah Carey? That’s right, it’s the holiday season and that means that it’s officially shopping season too. This time of year can be as stressful as it is fun, so I’m going to start by sharing this list of choosing the best bourbons for your Eggnog (you’re welcome), but I’m also going to share another list with you to help you get some of your to-do’s done. These are the eight best holiday gifts for whiskey lovers in 2022.
Bottom Line Up Front: What to Get Your Whiskey Lover This Year
The best gift for a whiskey lover depends on their interests and needs. However, if I had to choose a great “please all” gift, I’d lean on either the Heaven’s Door Trilogy Collection or a Mash and Grape subscription. Both of these unique gifts give whiskey lovers what they love: whiskey. Both are great prices for what you get and add a tasting element to the gift experience, which is always fun.
1. Heaven’s Door Trilogy Collection
Heaven’s Door is a unique distillery because it is celebrity-owned and is not absolute garbage. (Lookin’ at you, Kendall Jenner.) Bob Dylan co-founded Heaven’s Door in 2018 in partnership with a capital firm. The artwork on all the bottles is all inspired by Dylan’s personally created sculptures and the whiskey itself is high-quality, tasty, and true to the artform that is American whiskey. Would you expect anything less from the legendary Bob Dylan? For all of these reasons, I love the Heaven’s Door Trilogy Collection as a holiday gift for the whiskey lover in your life.
The Trilogy Collection includes three 200-milliliter bottles of Heaven’s Door’s whiskies. The goal of this collection is to showcase the breadth of the Heaven’s Door products. It, therefore, includes their bourbon, double barrel bourbon, and rye.
Why do I recommend this as a gift though? Well, there are a lot of whiskies out there today and even more distilleries popping up around the country. I like to help people to know about the good ones, so they don’t waste their money and time on the bad ones. Heaven’s Door is one of the good ones. This small collection offers you a sampling of three of their fabulous products. Plus, it’s only $59.
2. Mash and Grape Subscription
If you’re looking for a subscription box, Mash and Grape is one monthly subscription box that appears on a lot of holiday gift-giving guides this year. It will only cost you $69 a month to surprise your whiskey lover loved one every month. If you don’t want to spend that much monthly, you can do a one-off box or even only two or three boxes. (I love the flexibility!)
I really love this idea as a gift for the whiskey lover in your life because it’s really a gift that keeps on giving. Once the celebrating is over and everyone is adjusting to the new year, your friend or family member will get the pleasant surprise of a Mash and Grape box. Kind of like getting a belated birthday gift—it’s a great little treat!
Some highlights that you can see in these boxes are Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon, Woodford Reserve 2021 Kentucky Derby 147 Bottle, Writer’s Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey, and Bruichladdich Classic Laddie—to name a few. In short, this is a fabulous selection. The problem won’t be finding something good, it will be choosing the ones you want!
3. Rabbit Freezable Whiskey Glasses
I recommend these glasses over whiskey stones. In my experience, whiskey stones are fairly common gifts for whiskey drinkers. They are literal rocks you keep in your freezer and put in your whiskey to cool the temperature without diluting the whiskey with an actual ice cube. So why do I prefer the Rabbit Freezable Whiskey Glasses to whiskey stones? Well, what happens when you sip your last sip and there’s an ice cube left in your glass? It slides down toward your mouth. Imagine doing that with an actual rock. A frozen, actual rock. Yeah, exactly.
Avoid the dentist bill this holiday season and opt instead for the Rabbit Freezable Whiskey Glasses. They are made of glass like a regular rocks glass, but they’re made for freezing. That’s right, not all glasses are meant to go in and out of freezing temperatures. These glasses can withstand the freezing temperatures and more importantly: the temperature changes, which is where glass tends to get stressed and crack. Plus, the Rabbit Freezable Whiskey Glasses come with silicon sleeves to keep your hand from getting cold but to also prevent the warmth of your hand from speeding up the warming up of the glass.
In short, a dentist-approved, inexpensive, thoughtful gift.
4. A Whiskey Decanter
I love this as a gift because it’s a pretty and unique way to display your whiskies. For that reason, there isn’t just one that I love, because everyone has a different aesthetic. Here are a few decanter styles that are all unique and fun. Hopefully you will find one in your budget that also match your whiskey lover loved one’s personal taste.
Classic decanter look
It’s hard to beat that classic-look of a carved crystal decanter. I love this Westwood whiskey decanter from Pottery Barn, which is also a very reasonable price of $79. (It is marked down from $99 and is on sale at the time of this article’s publication.) This comes with two matching glasses, which I also love. (Sharing is caring!)
I consider this a very “please all” decanter. No matter the style of your whiskey lover’s house and surrounding decor because it’s a classic look. I feel it really hits the notes of a great gift.
If your whiskey lover friend has a vintage aesthetic, look no further than this beauty. This Antique, 24 Karat Gold Leaf Whiskey Decanter is a true stunner. It comes with two matching glasses and is handblown. The total on this is a little steep, ringing in at $198. Still, for what you get, I think this is worth the cost.
Is your whiskey lover more into a modern aesthetic? Then check out this American Atelier Decenter set, available on Amazon. It has smooth, sleek sides with a silver top and four glasses. Unlike all the other decanters on this list, the American Atelier set has four versus two glasses.
I love the Skull Designed Decanter, which also happens to be handmade! It has a glass skull inside the decanter that really pops when the decanter has whiskey in it. It comes with two matching glasses that have skull shapes pushed into the glasses, so that when you pour the whiskey in, the skull shapes appear. It also comes with a wooden stand to rest on, making this look like a true gothic castle piece. For $179 I consider this a steal.
5. A Shaker and Spoon Whiskey-focused Subscription Box
Shaker and Spoon has one of the best subscription box reputations out there. The ingredients are high-quality and yummy. The recipes are easy to follow and fun to make. Plus, each box has enough ingredients to make several cocktails per recipe. I’m recommending this box for the whiskey lover in your life because you can choose whiskey-specific cocktail boxes. This is a great idea for anyone with an interest in mixing at home.
As of the time of this article’s publication, Shaker and Spoon’s whiskey boxes are: Bring on the Bourbon, Ryes and Fall, Summer Scotch 2, Out to Tennessee, New Frontiers, What’ll it be? Whisk(e)y!, All Eyes on Rye, and the Girls Just Wanna Have Bourbon.
Pricing options are also flexible. You can give your family member or friend one box for only $59 or you can do a three-month subscription for $169. There are also six and twelve-month subscription options. I’d recommend doing the three-month subscription so that your gift receiver can choose the whiskey boxes they want and get them whenever they are available.
6. Cocktail Smoker Kit
If the whiskey lover in your life also loves fire and getting their hands a little dirty, I recommend a cocktail smoker kit. This Kuzkuzy Smoker kit on Amazon includes four flavors of wood chips: apple, cherry, oak, and pecan, which gives a nice range of flavors to try. It includes a refillable torch (butane not included), and a wood chimney with a stainless-steel mesh screen to hold the wood chips. This is a simple kit but really fun to play with (and easy to use).
I love this set because you can get the entire set or pay less if you know your friend already has a torch and doesn’t need another. If that isn’t convenient, I don’t know what is.
7. Barrel Aged in a Bottle
You can get your whiskey-lover a cumbersome barrel to perform aging experiments at home, or you can spend less and get these oak barrel staves for them. These staves slide into a bottle, which makes the process sleek and easy to perform in most kitchens.
I love this for its simplicity of it, and that, while it may appeal to whiskey lovers (who adore that oak barrel taste) it can also appeal to anyone who enjoys playing with cocktails at home. I do recommend you grab them some cheese cloth with this project, to ensure that all the wood is strained from the beverage you’ve aged before you consume it. (No one wants to drink splinters.)
8. Large Ice Tray
If your whiskey-lover likes a rock in their whiskey, I highly recommend a large ice-cube tray. The larger the cube, the slower the melt and dilution. For that reason, I like a four-ounce ice cube. I’m a big fan of this Mossime tray on Amazon for two subtle reasons. The first reason is the lid. Have you ever gotten that funny, old food smell in your cubes? You won’t have to worry about that with this tray because of this lid. The lid will also make stacking the tray a lot easier and prevent spills.
The second reason is the way the tray is shaped. Each cube has its individual slot, which makes removing the cubes easier than if the tray didn’t have the slots individualized. You just push one cube out. Trust me when I say you won’t realize how much more convenient this is until you’ve experienced it for yourself.
You can get two of these awesome trays on Amazon and you can even choose a color. Purple, gray, or one of each? You choose and let your whiskey-lover family member or friend enjoy.
FAQs About Whiskey Lover Gifts
Answer: Anything that’s creative and exciting. In my years in bartending, I noticed that whiskey drinkers are not brand loyal. They enjoy trying new things. Grabbing some new whiskey you’ve never seen or a smoking kit will spice things up for the whiskey lover in your life and trust me, they will love it.
Answer: Decanter prices can really vary and easily get expensive. Fortunately, we live in the age of the internet and you should be able to find something in the $50 range. If you’re bargain hunting, just make sure the decanter is made of glass, that’s the best material to store whiskey in. If you’re up for the hunt, thrifting for a vintage decanter is also a fun challenge!
Answer: I really like a classic rocks glass. I am accustomed to tasting higher and lower within the glass to get the layers of scent. Many people prefer a snifter. This is really about preference and how you want to take in the scent. Rocks are better if you want a rock in your whiskey too, that’s just a simple physics equation though!
Answer: Don’t overthink it. You’re giving a gift at the end of the day. They can return it if they already have it, or they can regift it if they don’t want it. It’s just not that big of a deal. My best advice is to try to do some recon in their house if you can, see what they need. Maybe ask their roommate or partner if they have a large ice cube tray or how they like their whiskey. Is it chilled but not with ice? There are glasses for that!
So whether you’re looking to buy a small gift or aiming to make a larger purchase, you have plenty of options for the whiskey lovers in your life. I hope this guide has inspired you and helped you check a person or two off of your shopping list. Happy shopping this holiday season, and of course—cheers!
- 8 Best Holiday Gifts for the Whiskey Lover in your Life - November 24, 2022