2019 TWS Holiday Whisky Gift Guide

It is that time of year again (you know, that Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus time of year), and whatever you celebrate, you’re probably buying gifts for the important people in your life. Got a whisky/whiskey lover on your list? Here are some helpful suggestions of what to get for them!

General Gifts for the whisky fan:

  1. Do not get them whisky stones. We’ve mentioned this each of the last 3 years and it remains true… don’t buy a whisky fan whisky stones.
  2. Glencairn Glasses/Canadian Whisky Glasses: make sure your whisky loving friend has a few extras so they can share their whisky with you!
  3. Bitters: Angostura is the classic and available at most grocery stores. For something more unique, check out Dillon’s Bitters, and specialty stores such as BYOB Cocktail Emporium and 1/2 oz Cocktail Emporium in Toronto.
  4. A night out at The Feathers Pub/The Caledonian/The Emmet Ray/Via Allegro/Char No. 5: These are some of Toronto’s best whisky bars, so if you wanted to share in your whisky lovers passion, treating them to a night out to any one of these pubs would make for an amazing gift.
  5. Whisky Books: Especially good for those on your list who are just getting into whisky, books can be a nice gift to accompany a bottle. The Whisky Cabinet and Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Expert are two written by respected Canadian whisky experts. Single Malt: A Guide to the Whiskies of Scotland is a wonderful book for people interested in the history of many distilleries in Scotland.
  6. LCBO Gift Cards: A simple and easy pick that lets the whisk(e)y lover on your list pick the bottle which interests them the most.

For Canadian Whisky Lovers:

  1. Wiser’s NHL Alumni Edition Wendel Clark ($45): A great 11 year old 100% Rye that is hard to beat at it’s price.
  2. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye ($65): A wonderfully bold, spice heavy cask strength rye that is very well priced. Move fast on this one because there’s not a lot of bottles left in Ontario!
  3. Lohin McKinnon Peated Single Malt ($64): A unique Canadian whisky made in BC from 100% peated malted barley! Nice floral and citrus notes along with subtle peat make this an interesting offering.
  4. J.P. Wiser’s 23 Year Old Cask Strength ($150): The most expensive option on our list, but the complexity of this cask strength Wiser’s is simply phenomenal! If you want a Canadian whisky that’s full bodied, oily and buttery then this cask strength Wiser’s is for you.
  5. Gooderham & Worts 49 Wellington ($90): This year’s special release brings some barrels of red winter wheat whisky and a few spare barrels (supposedly) of the beloved Wiser’s Red Letter into this lovely blend!

For Bourbon/American Whiskey Lovers:

  1. Four Roses Single Barrel ($52): This wonderful single barrel bourbon at just under $55 makes it one of the best whiskies for your buck at the LCBO.
  2. Knob Creek Single Barrel ($63): This bourbon packs a ton of flavour and is widely available at the LCBO. At 60% ABV this bottle has wonderful depth and character to it.
  3. Stagg Jr. ($90) or Booker’s Straight Bourbon ($110): Both of these bourbons are barrel proof releases with a ton of character and flavour. Not recommended for those just getting into bourbon.
  4. Wild Turkey Rare Breed ($65): A great value at the LCBO for a barrel proof bourbon. Lots of spice in this bourbon, great for cold winter days.
  5. Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Bond ($50): A great value higher proof rye that’s good for both sipping and cocktails.
  6. Wild Turkey 101 Straight Bourbon ($38): A steal of a value at the LCBO for a higher proofed bourbon.
  7. Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength ($71): One of the best barrel proofed bourbons available at the LCBO this holiday season. A tangy citrus forward bourbon with tons of depth.

For Scotch Lovers (under $150):

Sadly there are few options under $150 currently available at the LCBO that we would recommend. For more expensive gifts we highly recommend asking the recipient for recommendations or suggestions that would fit best to their whisky preferences. Whisky varies by personal taste, and unfortunately there is no true one-size fits all bottle.

  1. Laphroaig 10 ($80) or Quarter Cask ($90): For those who like smoky Islay whiskies, these are some of the less expensive options that are widely available.
  2. Aberlour A’Bunadh ($100): A powerful sherry bomb with a big alcohol punch and lots of character; great value by LCBO standards.
  3. Glenfarclas 105 ($99): Another solid, sherried scotch with a bit of youth but some great fruity and spicy complexity that makes this one a great dram for the Holidays!
  4. Glendronach 12 Year ($80): A widely available sherried whisky that is a great crowd pleasing bottle. Good complexity from aroma to finish.
  5. Tomatin 14 Year Portwood ($110): A unique Highland scotch finished in Port casks, lovely fruitiness and nuttiness makes this one a solid pick for port wine lovers!
  6. Glenfiddich Fire & Cane ($80): this experimental release combines peated Glenfiddich whisky with rum barrel maturation. A wonderful blend of smoke and sweetness.
  7. If you are buying a whisky for someone who loves peat, you also cannot go wrong with either Ardbeg 10 Year ($100) or Lagavulin 11 Year Offerman Edition ($120)

For Irish Whiskey Lovers:

If you are buying a whisky for someone who is a big fan of Irish Whiskey, you cannot go wrong with any of the following: Redbreast 12 Cask Strength ($108), Yellow Spot ($98), Bushmills Black Bush ($39), The Irishman Cask Strength ($190), Writer’s Tears Red Head ($65) or Teeling Small Batch ($52)!

Happy Holidays/Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Festivus to all of you reading and good luck finding gifts for everyone on your list! Remember, if you are ordering online it is better to order now due to slow delivery times during the holiday season. Cheers!

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