Christmas Gift Guide – Bourbon & American Whiskey

Christmas is fast approaching and as Michael Bublé creeps out from his cave with his sultry festive tones, comes a need to get the drinks cabinet ready and show your friend and family your diverse range of spirits, or pick up a bottle of something special for that special person.

Across 2019, we’ve been to some fantastic events and sampled some amazing Bourbon & American Whiskey so wanted to share our thoughts on some of the gems we’ve found and enjoyed over the last 12 months that would make great gifts, or even drinks for yourself.

We hope you find this as handy gift guide to help you in your journey of Christmas shopping.

1. Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is a staple Bourbon we always enjoy as part of an Old Fashioned cocktail. A bourbon with a faint vanilla and tobacco spice on the nose, and silky smooth creamy finish, Woodford Reserve offers a staple Bourbon to have in the drinks cabinet.

Recently it was Old Fashioned Week, and Woodford Reserve were the bourbon partner with events across the world celebrating the cocktail and bars were offering plenty of twists on the cocktail, illustrating the diversity of the spirit.

Woodford Reserve Distiller Select also works well in a Whiskey Sour

Woodford Reserve Distillers Select is available for around £33 at most retailers and supermarkets.

2. Bulleit Bourbon 10
Last year Bulleit extended its range of premium American Whiskeys with the launch of Bulleit Bourbon 10-Year-Old.

Bulleit-10-Year-Old is the latest whiskey to join the brand’s range and has been aged for a minimum of ten years in charred American white oak casks to add richness and depth, offering a smooth sipping experience. The new expression is dark in colour with a warm, orange hue and delivers definitive aromas of rich toasted oak with hints of vanilla and dried fruits, each sip provides a mellow finish of dry spice with caramel notes.

Bulleit Bourbon is available for around £42 from most specialist retailers including Masters of Malt.

3. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
For something extra special this Christmas, why not pick up a bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.

The whiskey is added to a second barrel for a further 6-12 months, which has gone through an “extreme toast”, at least twice the level of Distiller’s Select.
This double barrelling of mature Woodford Reserve allows the spirit to extract an additional amount of soft, sweet oak character. The result is a complex flavour of vanilla, dark caramel, hazelnut, apple and spices with a long, creamy finish and lingering hints of honeyed apple, making it a perfect pairing with a cigar or on it’s own.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is available from most specialist retailers for around £42.75.

4. Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack

The daddy of American Whiskey Jack Daniel’s has some great extended brands within the portfolio, by why not treat someone to a bottle of Gentleman Jack this Christmas.

Gentleman Jack is mellowed through sugar maple charcoal not once, but twice, to create a full-bodied liquid that’s rich in flavours of vanilla, maple syrup and citrus. Its balanced flavour leaves a deliciously smooth finish on the tongue. Which makes for relaxed and easy drinking both on the rocks, or in a “Whiskey Sour” cocktail.

The refined character and smooth taste also means Gentleman Jack is the perfect whiskey to offer someone who is new to Whiskey.

Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack is available for around £35 from most retailers. At Whisky Exchange you can even get your bottle engraved to make it extra special.

5. Basil Hayden’s

At the start of the year we were invited to Gaucho for a cigar event as part of their 7 days of Bourbon & American Whiskey.

The bourbon for the night was Basil Hayden’s which if we are honest, we had never heard of before. We were treated to the history of the brand and the story of Basil Hayden and how he uses twice as much rye as other bourbons in their collection, giving the taste and aroma a more slightly peppery flavour. These profiles work well with The Montecristo Petit No2.

Expect a mild and light body bourbon with a peppery, almost spicy element and a touch of honey.  It has a gentle bite and a dry, clean, brief finish.

The bottle features a bib-style label and metal band wrap reminiscent of the liquor labels used in the 1900s.

Best enjoyed on the rocks with a cigar in hand, this bourbon makes a fine statement piece for ant drinks collection.

Basil Hayden’s is available from most specialist retailers for around £37.

Hope you enjoyed our guide to what Bourbons and American Whiskeys we recommend this year. Let us know if you end up sipping any this Christmas and if you do, let us know your thoughts.

Happy Sipping!

 

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