sponsored by Tullamore D.E.W.
Whether or not you’re personally a whiskey fan, everybody has someone in their life who’s a serious devotee of the spirit. Buying a holiday gift for such a person seems pretty simple: Just get whiskey or whiskey accessories, right? Well sure, but if you take our advice, you can’t possibly go wrong. Below, find a dozen fun gifts (and one excellent bottle) that’ll make any whiskey lover happy this holiday.
NEAT EXPERIENCE GLASS ($14.95)
This odd-looking vessel made of mouth-blown crystal is what happens when you use science to build the ultimate whiskey-tasting glass. The large bowl allows the contents lots of room to swirl, releasing more of the volatile chemicals that give whiskey its signature flavors, while the narrow neck and wide opening cause ethanol vapors to disperse over the rim. All that means you can put your nose right in the middle to experience all the complexity without the burning sensation from the alcohol that you get with less-futuristic glasses.
WHISKEY WEDGE ($17.95)
Let’s face it: The small and melty ice cubes most home freezers create are not the best for whiskey on the rocks; overdiluting the spirit before it gets cold enough. Short of installing a professional bar ice machine at home, this clever contraption is the next best solution—plus it looks cool. Fit the silicone mold into its companion glass, fill with water and freeze to get a perfect wedge of ice whose smaller surface area in contact with the whiskey makes it cold but not watery.
WONDERMADE MARSHMALLOWS BOOZY SET ($30)
These adorable confections are handmade by a husband-and-wife team in Orlando who specialize in booze-infused marshmallows. The set gets you 16 fluffy cubes in each of four varieties: beer, bourbon, gin and Fireball. They’re all made with the actual hard stuff, but sadly they won’t get you wasted—the alcohol boils off during the cooking process. Still, a bourbon-marshmallow s’more paired with a nice dram is perhaps the ultimate whiskey-lover’s dessert.
HANDMADE VINTAGE OAK WHISKEY BARREL COFFEE TABLE ($895)
If building a full-on rickhouse in the basement seems a little…extreme, you can do the next-best thing with this table. Each is one-of-a-kind, showing off the unique patina of a barrel actually used to age whiskey in Tennessee. And it’s highly functional, to boot: The top opens up to reveal ample storage within. Is there a better place to store those extra-special bottles in your collection than inside your very own barrel?
TULLAMORE DEW IRISH WHISKEY
It wouldn’t be a whiskey lover’s gift guide without some actual whiskey! The triple-distilled Tullamore DEW has all the characteristic honeyed smoothness of classic Irish whiskey with extra complexity thanks to its blend of three different distillates aged in three different types of casks. Since 1829, this tasty dram has been beguiling drinkers with its combination of fruitiness, light spice and vanilla oak.
BROOKLYN BRINE WHISKEY SOUR AND MAPLE BOURBON BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES ($55 FOR 6 JARS)
It’s a mind-blowing twist on the Pickle Back: Pickles actually made with whiskey! Straight out of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, these pickles come from an expert in the art of brine. If you like the classic tart-and-salty New York deli-style pickle, go with the Whiskey Sour variety, made with Brooklyn Brine’s classic mix and rye whiskey, but if sweet is more your style, the Maple Bourbon Bread and Butter pickle chips incorporate bourbon and New York State maple syrup instead.
BALLS OF STEEL WHISKEY CHILLERS ($29.99)
There are lots of products out there designed to chill whiskey without diluting it, mostly made of stone or marble in an array of sizes and shapes. These stainless-steel balls might be even more effective, as they’re filled with a special thermal gel that makes them chill your drink incredibly effectively. Plus, they’ve got a great name, and support a great cause: 15 percent of proceeds from Balls of Steel goes toward testicular-cancer research.
PROHIBITION-ERA WHISKEY PRESCRIPTION ($17-$75)
During Prohibition, booze was not exactly 100 percent legal: A doctor could write you a prescription for alcohol (y’know, to cure that terrible case of…sobriety, I guess?) that you could have filled at your local pharmacy. Etsy seller ProhibitionWhiskey seeks out well-preserved examples of these historical artifacts, offering a variety of real prescriptions from the ‘20s and early ‘30s. One of these on the wall is the ultimate decor for a whiskey-lover’s home bar or man cave.
BOURBON BARREL WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE ($6 FOR 100 ML)
Steak and whiskey is a classic combo, and could there be any more appropriate way to dress that steak than Worcestershire sauce aged in a bourbon barrel? The stuff is made with sorghum syrup, giving it a nice mineral sweetness that matches well with both bloody-rare beef and a glass of something delicious.
33 GLASSES OF WHISKEY ($5)
Put your whiskey-loving friend on the path to creating his or her own personal library of tasting notes with this handy-dandy pocket-sized notebook. It includes blanks for all the pertinent info, plus a flavor wheel that helps you compare different bottlings. And what’s more, there’s even a tiny bit of actual whiskey mixed into the ink used to print each one! There are only 33 pages per book, but at just five bucks each, you can definitely afford to buy a bunch.
THE CARRY ON COCKTAIL KIT OLD FASHIONED ($24)
Let’s face it: You haven’t been able to get a decent cocktail on an airplane since the Jet Age glory days of Pan-Am stewardesses. Until now. This compact (and fully TSA-approved) kit can make life at 35,000 feet a little bit better. The Old Fashioned edition comes with sugar, a special mini-spoon/muddler, a tiny bottle of bitters and a pair of linen coasters for a bit of elegance. All you have to do is order a couple minis from the drinks cart and you’re on your way to midair cocktail bliss.
THE WORLD ATLAS OF WHISKEY ($39.99)
There are a lot of whiskey books out there, but for the connoisseur (or wannabe connoisseur), this is one of the best. Whiskey expert Dave Broom has an engaging style, and his guide is both comprehensive and accessible, covering more than 400 different whiskies from more than 200 different distilleries in Scotland, Ireland, Japan, the US, Canada and more. Make sure you snag the 2014 second edition, greatly expanded and updated from the 2010 original.
PERSONALIZED WHISKEY BARREL ($85)
When you’re serious about home bartending, your home bar needs to have its own name. And if when you’re serious about home mixology, you have to try barrel-aging a few cocktails. This countertop barrel solves both problems at once! It comes custom-engraved with the name of your choice, and the two-liter size is perfect for making barrel-aged cocktails, or for a real adventure, adding a little extra oakiness to your favorite straight whiskey.