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Cigar Tip: Guide for Giving the Gift of Bourbon

15 Dec 2015


With Christmas next week you may be scrambling to pick out some last-minute gifts. If your giftee imbibes, here are a few suggestions depending on the type of gift you want to give. (Note: While Pappy Van Winkle or any number of other rare bourbons make for an amazing gift, I’ve limited options to things you are actually likely to find on the shelves of a well-stocked liquor shop.)

Non-Whiskey Gifts

A bourbon gift doesn’t need to be booze. Here are some ideas Amazon will deliver for you:

Glencairn Whisky Glasses – The gold standard whisky glassware is designed to bring out the best in bourbon, rye, and single malt (it’s also good for drinking cognac and aged rum). Even if they already have some, a few more will let them taste some side-by-side, or host a tasting with friends.

A Good Bourbon Book – For a good overview of the the story of bourbon from the 17th century to present, I can recommend Chuck Cowdery’s Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey. Although I haven’t read it (yet), I’ve only heard good things about Reid Mitenbuler’s new book, Bourbon Empire. Finally, for a next level bourbon drinker, even a particularly well-versed aficionado will enjoy Cowdery’s follow-up, Bourbon, Strange.

Inexpensive Bourbon

Bourbon has some great values, so inexpensive doesn’t mean it isn’t good. For under $20 you can’t go wrong with Four Roses Yellow Label ($18), Evan Williams 1783 ($16), or Old Forester ($20, 1L). They are perfect for your office Yankee Swap (if your office is fun) or a secret santa gift with a spending cap.

Bourbon for the Cocktail Aficionado

For a proper cocktail you want something that will hold up and is flavorful but won’t break the bank. Old Grand Dad 114 ($23) and Wild Turkey 101 ($24) fit the bill. Also consider a nice set of cocktail bitters.

Fine Bourbon

Now we’re getting to something special. No real bourbon drinker will ever turn their nose down at Eagle Rare 10 Year ($30) and Four Roses Single Barrel ($40). Blanton’s ($55) is an excellent bourbon that also looks great on a shelf with its distinctive bottle. Booker’s ($60) is barrel-proof and not for amateurs, but it’s consistently excellent, especially for the bourbon-on-the-rocks drinker.

Bourbon to Make an Impression

Well-aged bourbon is in demand these days, especially since people tend to identify older bourbon as better, which has, in turn, made such bourbon tougher and tougher to find. Two such bourbons that you can actually find, though you’ll have to shop around a little more, are the recently released I.W. Harper 15 Year ($75) and Blade and Bow 22 Year Old ($150). Each comes in a fancy bottle (the I.W. Harper’s decanter bottle is particularly sharp) and fortunately the bourbon inside is excellent too. These will impress your bourbon collecting father-in-law or boss.

–Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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  1. Tip: Guide for Giving the Gift of Cigars | The Stogie Guys - Thursday, December 17, 2015

    […] Tuesday we offered up some tips for giving the gift of bourbon for the holidays. Today, with one week until Christmas Eve, we provide some suggestions for […]