WHISKEY GIFT GUIDE
Our favorite whiskies for gifting aren’t the big name, see at every store, tried many times before brands. We love sharing the unique bottles, mostly from small producers, sometimes rare, sometimes local, always made a little differently and always delicious. These twelve whiskies will surprise and delight, by offering up something new, for your boo.
A.D. Laws Four Grain Bottled in Bond Bourbon – We’ve been watching and waiting on Laws since they became the first Bottled in Bond whiskey-maker in Colorado history, a designation of a minimum age and 100 proof bottling. The timing couldn’t be better, so newly arrived, it’s nearly guaranteed your whiskey fan hasn’t had a chance to get one yet. Notes of black tea, plum, honey, and orange peel.
Mosswood 10 Year Nocino Barrel Anniversary Whiskey – Just a single barrel of this whiskey was made by a husband and wife team from Berkeley. After seasoning the finishing barrel with a homemade walnut liqueur, the whiskey spent six months being infused with flavors of cocoa, fig, orange, and cherry. The bottle design was created with local artist Jenny Sharaf, with each bottle finished by hand.
Old Fortunate Small Batch 25 Year American Whiskey – Celebrate good fortune and cheers to the great times ahead with a 25 Year whiskey as delightful as it is rare. Aged in an ex-bourbon cask and distilled as a light whiskey, a delicate fruitiness glides across the palate, baked in brown sugar, maple, and gentle spice. It’s remarkably easy to enjoy, with nuance that a connoisseur will love revisiting.
Old Fortunate Single Barrel 25 Year American Whiskey – The single barrel version of Old Fortunate, this very rare barrel was bottled at cask strength and with minimal filtration for the nerdiest of whiskey fans and collectors. Pour a glass and you’ll be shocked at how supple and full bodied a 62.7% ABV whiskey can be. A wisp of smoky barrel char and cocoa-infused maple give way to a long and elegant finish.
Michter’s Small Batch American Whiskey – Distilled from a mash bill that would qualify it as a bourbon, but aged in a combination of new and used barrels, the aging infuses the whiskey with loads of rich toffee, while eliminating the woody spice component that lots of people don’t like about whiskey. Great for folks looking to get into whiskey, or long time sippers who like to indulge their sweet tooth.
Breaker Wheated Bourbon – Distilled in Wyoming and aged 5 years in Santa Barbara, the California coast might just be the perfect environment for aging wheated bourbons! While it lives up to the category reputation and then some, it’s soo incredibly smooth, we especially love the brightness of this whiskey, with a delicate note of Meyer lemon and hint of ocean brine.
Woodinville Straight Bourbon – The argument goes, the big guys offer you more aging at a lower price, while the small makers add nuance with techniques not available on a large scale. It’s why we’re blown away that Woodinville does the best of both worlds. They put out whiskey made from local grain, entirely pot distilled, well-aged, using barrels treated to reduce tannins - all for an everyday price.
291 Single Barrel Colorado Bourbon – 291 set out to make a brash Western-style whiskey, although we’d say the only brash thing about it is refusing to bottle below 100 proof. Big and bold flavors, the local aspen staves they use to finish the whiskey add rich maple notes and move the spice away from more typical savory rye notes to decadent baking spice, all wrapped up in a full bodied sipper.
Joseph Magnus Straight Bourbon – This triple-cask finished whiskey is chock full of rich winter flavors. Olorosso sherry lends nutty and lingering citrus notes, while the rich dense body, and aromatic raisin notes come from PX sherry, then finally it’s softened by the vanilla and roasted stone fruit of cognac. We especially love this for American whiskey fans who also like Scotch and Japanese Whisky.
Minor Case Sherry Cask Finished Rye – This barely legal rye whiskey (51% rye) still has lots of corn in the mash bill, softening the rye spice and adding more body and richness. Leaning into this more gentle style of rye, it’s finished in a cream sherry barrel, a rare treatment, with this sweeter style of sherry lending complex notes of butterscotch, orange peel, chocolate, red wine, and even a touch of bacon.
Wright & Brown Rye Whiskey – A long-running favorite of ours made in Oakland, distilled with a large portion of barley, an influence from years spent brewing beer. While the profile is full of traditional rye notes, the barley adds a dense chewy texture not often found in American whiskey. The pleasure of this rare combination invites sharing, and has made this one of the most gifted bottles in the shop!
Lock Stock & Barrel 18 Year Rye Whiskey – With so many options, and lots of affordable ones, we don’t splash out that often on triple digit whiskies. This 18 Year Rye is the exception. Simply “the best whiskey in the store”, this is the rare bottling that is well-aged, expensive but not outrageous, that somehow we manage to keep around. Each Lock Stock release is a one-off though, so enjoy while you can.