The holidays are upon us. Birthdays are all year round. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversaries – the list is endless and we often find ourselves confused and frustrated as to what to give. We ask ourselves where could we find a gift that shows true meaning and appreciation of the person we choose to give it to?
Our advice? Get them a great bottle of whisky. Something made with love, attention to detail, and care taken to ensure it provides something really special and unique. After all, isn’t that what gifts are all about?
Why Whisky Makes the Perfect Gift
We might be biased here, but we genuinely believe that there are few greater gifts than a truly wonderful bottle of aged whisky. More so than any other spirits, whisky requires real time, patience, and craftsmanship. The greatest bottles are the product of heritage and tradition, and their release after decades of ageing is a cause for celebration in itself.
If you’re looking for a whisky to give for as a gift in the future, then chances are you’re going to be faced with quite a choice when you head to your local bottle shop. Thank goodness, then, that we’re on the case: we’ve picked out our five favourite whiskies of 2018 that make the perfect gift. Take a look, and see which one you think would make the best gift for a lucky someone. Cheers!
Wyoming Whiskey Double Cask Sherry-Finished Bourbon
If you’re looking for giving a bit of wild west spirit, then this bottle is really going to hit the spot. This whiskey is Wyoming through and through – it’s made from 100% regionally sourced Wyoming grains (with a non GMO guarantee), with a delightful combination of corn, barley, and wheat going into the mash. The water used is sourced from the iconic Big Horn Basin, and it’s made in tiny batches at the traditional distillery in the frontier town of Kirby.
While all of that in itself would surely be enough to make a whiskey of real character and distinction, the story doesn’t stop there. This whiskey is first aged in the white oak barrels required by law for Bourbon production, but is then moved to Sherry casks imported from Jerez, Spain, to give it a truly distinguished and subtly fruity finish. Delicious!
The Macallan 18
When it comes to truly stunning Single Malt Scotch Whisky, there are few distilleries which cause such ripples of excitement as The Macallan. The reasons for this are plentiful, and when it comes to depth of flavour, sheer levels of distinction, and clarity of expression, no other single malts manage to get close. How do they manage to achieve this time after time? It comes down partly to the peerless experience of the master distillers, the access the distillery has to those pure and clear Scottish waters, and tried-and-tested techniques of using Sherry casks to bring out the very best in the grain.
This 18 year single malt is probably the greatest ‘mainstream’ Macallan whisky out there right now, and while it isn’t the cheapest bottle on the shelf by a long stretch, it’s worth every single dollar. It’s a whisky lover’s whisky, the pride of any whisky fan’s collection.
Highland Park 30
If you’re looking to really give a rare treat, and have a slightly higher than average budget to spend on his gift, then the Highland Park 30 year single malt is one which is going to make a massive impact. The 25 year aged Highland Park made massive news five years ago after being the first ever spirit to earn the full 100 points at the Ultimate Spirit Challenge… any many claim this 30 year bottle is, if anything, even better.
When it comes to lingering finishes which take you on a journey through the Scottish Highlands and beyond, this whisky really does hit the spot. A fudge-like sweetness, layer upon layer of secondary and tertiary flavours, a bouquet which is equal parts mountain air and spice market… it’s a phenomenal whisky from the first sip to the last.
Starward Wine Cask Edition
If your budget is a little more modest, and yet you want to give a whisky which really stands out from the crowd, it’s worth looking for something a little leftfield and unusual. There’s a whole world of whisky out there, and each year brings with it new distilleries in new lands, each showing off something unique about their terroir and vision for what whisky should be. This is certainly the case with Starward; an Australian whisky which has made considerable waves on the international scene this year.
Starward is showing the world that the land down under is set to be a considerable force on the whisky scene in the coming years. This wine cask edition is made using real Aussie Shiraz wine barrels, which lend a gorgeous fruitiness and tannic quality to an already quite fruity whisky. With bags of caramel flavour, mountains of spice, and a more expression than you can shake a boomerang at, it’s sure that we’ll be hearing lots more from Starward soon.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky
Japan has long since proven itself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to whisky, and the country’s distillers have well and truly nailed the Scottish model down to a fine art. Hibiki is one of Japan’s more established distilleries (you may remember them from the advert in the Bill Murray movie, ‘Lost in Translation’), and they specialise in producing blended whiskies of phenomenal character and distinction.
This blended whisky from Hibiki neatly sums up the finest of Japan’s whiskies in one bottle, and brings together carefully selected distillates from the Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita distilleries to produce a whisky which is far more than the sum of its parts. Complex yet utterly smooth, classic yet contemporary, traditional yet full of unexpected features; it’s a real treat, and a bottle they simply won’t be able to get enough of.