Well, it’s that time of year again: the streets are thronged with shoppers, and everybody’s just starting to enter panic mode as Christmas sits just around the corner… and there’s still so much to do. There’s the big family feast to plan, you’ve still got to figure out where the in-laws are going to sleep, and chances are, you haven’t even had a moment to think about Christmas gifts for everybody yet.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret – Christmas need not be so stressful, and buying Christmas gifts doesn’t have to be the Herculean task it often seems to be. Why? Because everybody appreciates a great bottle of whisky, and thanks to the stunning variety of bottles, styles, flavours, and aromas out there in the whisky market, there really is something to please every palate.
Whether you’re on the lookout for a whisky that’ll put a smile on the face of a committed aficionado, or you need a beginner’s bottle for somebody just heading out on their whisky appreciation journey, we’ve got the bottles you need to make Christmas shopping easier than ever. Just follow our simple suggestions for the whiskies that are lighting up the critic’s taste buds in 2019, and which are ideal for every type of whisky drinker. Just remember to wrap those bottles well, and resist the urge to crack them open for just a little dram or a taster!
Lagavulin’s 16 Year Old is an absolute joy to behold, and if there’s someone special in your life who can’t get enough of the distinctive smoky, peaty, rugged flavours of authentic Islay single malt, this bottle really is guaranteed to hit the high notes. Beneath all that smoke and earth lies a gorgeously decadent wave of sweetness and spice, and despite its relatively affordable price label, this scotch really does punch well above its weight. No wonder it’s considered a favourite in pubs and whisky bars all across Scotland!
Creamy vanilla and rich, fruity dark berries supply mountains of flavour and aroma in The Macallan 12-Year-Old Triple Cask, making this beautiful scotch an absolute winner for those who love their whiskies as smooth as silk and bursting with class and character. This delightfully golden whisky is definitely among the most elegant of recent releases from this world-renowned distillery, and the swanky packaging helps make this bottle the ideal gift for anyone who loves the finer things in life.
For those who insist on an ‘e’ in their whiskey, nothing can beat the stubbornly Irish character of Green Spot who has an enviable heritage in the Irish whiskey world which comes across by the bucketful in every bottle. Supremely sippable, and packed full of caramel and fruit notes, this beautiful whiskey was once upon a time available exclusively via the world-famous Mitchell’s grocers in Dublin but is now accessible to Irish whiskey fans the world over. Thank goodness for progress!
Old Pulteney 12 Year Old comes from one of Scotland’s most picturesque coastal distilleries, located above the wave-batted cliffs of Wick. The sea most certainly lends plenty of character to this particular bottle, as that salty sea air is bracingly evident in every dram. Dive beneath those maritime notes, however, and you’ll discover nuts, caramel, honey, and earthy layers… it really is a voyage of flavour in every single sip! What’s more, Old Pulteney has converted its distillery to be sustainable and eco-friendly, making the whisky even more satisfying than ever before.
You don’t have to be on the cutting edge of whisky fashion to know that Japanese whisky has been very, very, very big news recently. However, it is the younger generation of whisky drinking movers and shakers who have helped the Japanese drinks industry reach dizzying new heights of success – and Nikka Yoichi single malt is the ideal bottle to get for anyone looking to dip their toes into the latest spirits trend, and earn their aficionado status. The Scotch inspiration is clear in this bottle, yet it manages to avoid being contrived and maintains a distinctly Japanese flavour profile. Peat, tropical fruit, and nuts are all present on the nose, and it boasts a smoothness that fully justifies the hype.
Jack Daniels is probably the world’s most instantly recognisable and iconic whiskey brand, and whether you think that’s well deserved or rather depressing depends entirely on a matter of taste. Love it or hate it, there’s a huge amount of brand loyalty surrounding this Tennessee distillery, and if someone in your family or friendship group is a fan of JD’s output, then they’re likely to be overjoyed by receiving a bottle of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select a – frankly – impressive bourbon that packs in heaps of character alongside plenty of spicy rye, honey, and cereal notes.
For some whisky drinkers, nothing compares to the depth and spice you get from a glass of good old’ the rye. If you know someone who can’t get enough of that unique and distinctive flavour profile, then Old Overholt Bonded Rye is really going to hit the spot perfectly; this gorgeously deep and punchy whiskey really dials up the heat after four long years in the barrel, and yet also manages to capture the balance and craftsmanship that goes into its distillation. Delicious!
There you have it – seven beautiful whiskies from all over the world, each one perfect to give as a gift this Christmas. Just don’t forget to treat yourself to a bottle, too, or you’ll end up feeling a little left out once all the presents have been unwrapped! Cheers, and happy holidays to you all.