It is that time of year when you must find the perfect present for those difficult loved ones. What better present to offer than a bottle of whisky or even a set. The choice is exhaustive, and there are plenty more gifts you need to buy for the family. It takes an educated palette and time to enjoy the drink to decide which of the whisky gifts offer the best value. Here are the Best Whisky Gifts for Christmas.
This is not a gimmick set; this is a true collector’s edition of fine Whiskies. Comprising of 8×700 milliliter bottles, each from a separate distiller, all single malts.
The Oban Little Bay Reserve, stamped with the Night’s Watch, is a true Scotch at 43% ABV. Little Bay has tasting notes of spice, mint, and apples with deep-gold color. Little Bay is the English translation of the Gaelic Oban.
Clynelish Reserve steps up the strength at 51.2% ABV, with its dark amber tint. The Clynelish distillery was founded 200-years ago in the highlands of Scotland. Clynelish forms a large part of the blend used in the Johnnie Walker Gold Label range.
Talisker is also related to the Johnnie Walker line and used in their blends. The whisky has initial hints of caramel, chili, and finishes with wafts of leather. Due to the complex taste, this whisky is to be consumed neat or with a drop of water to help explore the flavors.
The Singleton of Glendullan uses classic American and European oaks to age their whisky. This balance enhances the rich fruit flavors in this complex, rich, and rounded 12-year-old whisky.
Royal Lochnagar wears the royal warrant as a sign of Queen Victoria approving of the brand in 1848. Notes of bananas and caramelized sugar give this whisky a unique and enjoyable taste.
Lagavulin is a historic distillery with over 200 years of knowledge in making fine whiskies. This is a 9-year-old malt Scotch with a rich-smoky taste, complex, and hints of salt spray.
Cardhu Gold enjoys the company of ice when consumed. The smooth taste of honey and apples make this whisky a perfect drink for sharing around the Christmas table.
The final whisky in the set is Dalwhinnie Winters Frost, a light, and evenly balanced drink. Tasting notes of a magical winter with spice, honey, and fruits.
Pros: Generous Bottles, Presentation
Conor McGregor, of MMA fame, has branched out and bought himself a distillery. McGregor is the owner and chairperson of the distillery; he also took an instrumental lead in deciding on the flavor profile of this brand. As a result, the criticism of this whisky receives either firm support or a strong hatred. These biases would seem to be aimed at McGregor as an athlete, rather than as an owner of a distillery for which he has the same supporters and haters. There is a complex range of opinions on this brand of whisky and the flavors present. The complex tasting notes are of vanilla, wood, and honey.
Proper Twelve is an Irish whisky that tastes like bourbon. The whisky is comparable to whiskies of other decent brands, and it would seem some refuse to support a company headed by a celebrity. This is fine as a whisky gift at Christmas, but more for someone that is a fan of McGregor. The taste of any product can influence how someone perceives the owner. If you are buying this for someone that is unaware of McGregor, they will enjoy this whisky. If you are unsure if the intended is a supporter, there are plenty of other brands, which cost less and suit a broader audience.
To optimise the taste, we recommend drinking from a Glencairn whisky glass with 3 good sized ice cubes. That’s it.
Pros: Smooth, Different
>> You might also like our guide to the best wine decanters, these also make excellent gifts if you are stuck for ideas.
Watching back-to-back episodes of Peaky Blinders with a glass of fine whisky is a great way to spend a Christmas. Triple aged in sherry casks; Sadlers Irish whisky is an Irish Whisky Masters silver award winner. The blended malt has tasting notes of apple, toffee, and cinnamon. The flavor profile is complex and has all the elements of a Christmas Glühwein.
This is another example of how famous names can affect a product. This is a good whisky that will either appeal to a fan of the show or be dismissed by those with high expectations. If you took the element of the show away from the picture on the bottle, the appeal would be the smooth taste. Fans of the show will appreciate the gift and the extra effort in finding a whisky that tastes good and has a personal touch.
Pros: Price, Smooth
Cons: Complex Taste.
This is a fantastic, affordable, tasting set from the Penderyn Distillery. Penderyn is set in the Brecon Beacons, a beautiful National park in the South of Wales. The distillery founded in 2004 produces fine Welsh whisky, vodka, and gin for which they won a gold award. The popularity of the whiskies single malts extends out to a worldwide fan base. The smaller bottles and box make this one of the best whisky gifts you can buy for Christmas. Five small bottles, each with cards describing the origins and tasting notes of each of the whiskies. The solid presentation box also comes with a placemat to settle your glass on between sips.
Penderyn 41 is a smooth whisky, initially aged in bourbon casks, then left to finish in Madeira casks. The finished whisky has notes of peaches and cream.
Penderyn Sherry-wood is a chill-filtered and finished in Oloroso sherry casks. A stronger malt at 46% ABV and perfect for a cold night in the winter. Tasting notes are of a sweet and fruity start, to an oak and sherry finish.
Penderyn Portwood uses bourbon casks to finish of the aging process of this whisky. At 41% ABV, the flavor is approachable and preservers on the palette. The dark amber color and notes of fruit give this a distinct bourbon sensation. Whisky fans that try this for the first time will be looking for more.
Pendryn Grand Slam Edition 2012 aged in bourbon casks and then left to finished in a Madeira wine cask. This 46% ABV Grand Slam Edition whisky celebrates the Welsh Rugby teams Six Nations achievement of the same year. Notes of custard and ginger make this a pleasant alternative to the other whiskies with smoked finishes and dark colors.
Penderyn Peated is a limited production whisky of around 5 thousand bottles. The light oil appearance goes in hand with the lighter taste. For whisky fans, this may come over like a weak flavor, but this is a good balance to the set. Notes of marzipan and honey are subtle, and some criticisms are that they should be more prominent.
Pros: Excellent Set, Presentation
Cons: Small Bottles
Three mini-bottles of 20 centiliters make up this beautiful presentation set. The whiskies come in a classic solid box complete with clasp, in which there are 3 of Scotland’s best whiskies. Each a well-aged single malt.
The Cragganmore is a 12-year-old rich malt, with a light-golden color reminiscent of fine wine. A complete surprise considering the strong malt and smoke taste the whisky presents to the palette.
Talisker is a favorite choice of whisky fans. This 10-year-old malt displays a classic Scotch hue. This is a true Scotch of the Highlands carrying strong notes of charcoal and fruit. A true connoisseur will appreciate the intense and complex finish of the drink.
Lagavulin’s 16-year-old Scotch is a multi-award-winning whisky that has scored several gold awards. The sweetness of peach and cream is soon followed by sea and salt with touches of wood. The light-brass color of the drink compliments the taste of smoked peat that later hits the tongue. It goes well with strong cheeses, making Lagavulin a superb choice for Christmas.
Pros: Excellent Set, Presentation
Cons: Small Bottles
The Last Dram
Whisky gifts are difficult to choose for loved ones at Christmas. Whisky suits a specific pallet and everyone is different. If you drink whisky, then it may be possible to find something that is fit for purpose. Sets are a safe choice; each distiller covers a range of taste profiles. If money is no object, then The Game of Thrones Set is the best choice. Each bottle is full-sized, and the impressive range gives enough volume to taste each whisky properly. The presentation is interesting and receiving a whisky in dramatic packaging will have an influence on the taste.
One of the more affordable whisky gifts, the Penderyn set is excellent value and the choice fantastic. A keen whisky drinker will see that the whole thing disappears before the end of Christmas day. Whereas The Whisky Classic Collection Pack has a smaller range with greater volume. The choice of the most prolific Scotch whiskies ever made, recognised by all. The set of three smaller bottles is closer to the volume of a full bottle. The presentation box fulfils the criteria of a Christmas present, making this one of the best whisky gifts you can buy.
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