As 2021 draws to a close, get ready to celebrate and welcome a new year with intimate and pandemic-safe parties. Pick out some cool and exciting gifts to get your whisky loving friends and sweep them off their feet. In the process, get your own whisky loving-self one to beat the pandemic blues and get in the mood this festive season.
Whether you’re shilling out the big bucks or tightening your belts this season, you’re sure to find a perfect gift for your budget and style below. Between DIY kits to fancy accessories and paper treasures, this list features something for every whisky nerd. Usher in the new year in style with these quirky and stylish whisky themed gifts along with a warm bottle of dram.
An art-deco style hand-cut crystal decanter in a tall rectangular shape may be the classic version, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Gift your whisky lovers one of the fancier and quirkier versions to ramp up their décor and drinks this New Year. A Ship’s or Captain’s crystal decanter may have been once used exclusively in ships, but today adorns homes as a symbol of affluence. With a wide jewel cut base, voluptuous curves and a long narrow neck, these will make for an elegant option.
The visually striking water and whisky double decanters and the slanting decanters are also a great choice for a practical version that can do double duty and pique interest. For a more flamboyant look pick one of the stag, horse or bull-shaped pieces and watch your guests coo over them at your next cocktail party.
Have a DIYer on your hand who also happens to be a whisky aficionado? Buy them a mini barrel to age their own whiskies. Loads of fun, these mini barrels let whisky age faster and add cask character to your drinks. While it doesn’t stand up to the whisky maturity of an industry standard casks, it emulates age and adds additive cask character. The wood of the barrel releases sugars, tannin and vanillin into the whisky, making for a sweet vanilla heavy variant of your choice drink. They are also pretty little additions to your bar decor and will give you a greater appreciation and knowledge of the whisky making process. A 3-litre barrel would be the best size for beginners as its easier to work with. However, be aware that a good portion of the drink being aged will evaporate during the process. So do yourself a favour and use of the cheaper variants for this experiment and leave your rare, limited edition and premium pieces for the rocks glass.
Arts and Posters
A good drink and bar gear can be good choices, but why not put their love on display for all to see. Art pieces, when picked right, can be gifts that are loved and remembered for a long time. It could be a funny quirky poster with simple graphics or a modern artsy rendering of a whisky bottle against a white background for the minimalists. A vintage ad print, a whisky making patent print or a whisky regional tasting map will be treasured by the more serious connoisseurs. A reclaimed whisky cask décor piece would definitely put a smile on any whisky lovers face. Pick one within your budget and knock it out of the park with your gifting game.
Why not take whisky out of the bar and infuse its flavors everywhere else? For a lighter and less boozy version pick some whisky flavored chocolates. Dark and milk chocolate shaped as bars and bottles, filled with single malts from Singleton, Talisker and more. The classic chocolate whisky pairing works well as an occasional treat without getting into the boozy zone. Or spike coffees the Irish way but without the buzz. Choose a pack of whisky barrel aged artisanal coffee grounds for that extra hard wake up call. The coffee flavor gets enhanced with the malty fruit notes from the barrel. Tea lovers can opt for the whisky barrel aged black tea variants.
Whisky Flasks are generally designed to be innocuous enough to slip inside your suit and sturdy enough to withstand the tossing and tumbling of outdoor activities. But this doesn't mean they can't still look dapper. Pick a mini leather-bound version for storing warm drinks and carrying on the sly and a bigger insulated copper or steel finish version for rougher use and keeping your drink cool. Want to flaunt them instead. There are many flashy colorful options in chevron to neon to iridescent metal finishes that are sure to satisfy your tastes. Make sure the outer surface is durable and the opening is large enough to comfortably sip on.
Ice buckets may be a basic necessity but, the modern version of these party superstars, are anything but basic. A small insulated ice bucket that's easy to carry can be great for smaller events and outdoor activities. But for bigger parties, a large party size bucket where you can also store your drinks might be a better option. Choose a sturdy stainless-steel piece with hammered, gold or faux leather details for a classy yet striking look. Embellished versions with animal and bird figurines also look great for parties. For those who love a rustic understated style pick a wooden style piece that can easily merge into the background.
For the whisky snob who has it all, opt for a whisky journal. A logbook designed to record their tasting experiences with all the premium drinks they try and the notes organised. They help keep track of the age, distilleries, aromas, colour and flavor profiles of each new drink tried. Whisky experts across the world, from collectors to master distillers and blenders, all keep notes to help fine-tune their knowledge about the dram. It is a necessary arsenal in every Whisky zealot’s armour. Make sure to pick something small enough to fit in the pocket during travels, but still sturdy enough to withstand rough use. A leather-bound version would certainly class up the look enough that you’d want to pull it out and jot down in a crowded bar just to show it off.