Got This? Get That – Distiller’s Bourbon Gift Guide 2022By Stephanie Moreno
It’s official — the gift giving season is upon us! It’s time to start making your lists and checking them twice. But even if you’re an elite shopper, selecting just the right gift for that special someone can be stressful. This is especially true if you are purchasing gifts outside of your area of expertise, like say, whiskey. But if you’ve got a bourbon drinker in your life, they probably would prefer you get them actual bourbon, instead of accessories like glasses or fancy ice trays (and please no whiskey stones).
One way to think about your purchase is to consider which bourbon bottles your giftee drinks regularly. Which brands do you hear them order when they’re out? What bottles do you see on their home bar? If you have that info at your disposal, then you can level up with bottles that have some similar features, but perhaps offer a unique aging process or are produced in an unexpected area.
Our following bourbon gift guide can offer some handy guidance to those looking to make a unique purchase this year.
Got Buffalo Trace or Elijah Craig? Get These:
Earlier this year, Castle & Key released its first bourbon since the brand restored the Old Taylor Distillery in 2014. And while its bourbon is made with a bit more malted barley, fans of traditional bourbons will find much to like here. In fact, we found an unexpected fruity note that should pique their interest. There were six batches released this year, each one representing 40-80 barrels. As an added bonus, the bourbon is packaged in an attractive bottle perfect for gift giving. (SRP $50)
Barrell Craft Spirits is an independent blender and bottler of unique whiskeys (and rums). For this Vantage bottling, BCS uses bourbons from Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, then finishes the maturation in three types of virgin oak barrels: Japanese Mizunara oak, French oak and toasted American oak. These barrel types offer a wonderful spiced note to the bourbon which couples well with fruity sweetness. (SRP $89.99)
Got Maker’s Mark or Weller Special Reserve? Get These:
Maker’s Mark and Weller are classic wheated bourbons which are easy drinking and enjoyable. These options in our bourbon gift guide offer a similar recipe, but are made outside of Kentucky — yes, it’s allowed!
Wyoming Whiskey is a grain-to-glass distillery in Kirby, Wyoming featuring grains grown in the state. Each Single Barrel release represents the top 1% of the bourbon barrels sampled each year by the brand. Additionally, each barrel is aged for 5 years with no two barrels alike. The 2022 batch of single barrels was just released in November so keep your eyes peeled. (SRP $99.99)
Named after the Texas State Park, Balmorhea (Bal-more-ray) undergoes a double maturation process. It first spends four years maturing in new American white oak barrels made followed by a further year in a second new oak barrels. This double aging offers a bold, oak forward flavor along with added layers of leather, vanilla Tootsie Rolls and mint. Enjoy on a starry night by the fire! ( SRP $199.99)
Got Woodford Reserve or Bulleit Bourbon? Get These:
High-rye bourbons like Woodford Reserve and Bulleit present a spicy, hearty profile on your palate. These alternatives share some similar DNA, but through blending and additional aging bring a bit more complexity to the party.
This is the 6th edition in this limited bourbon series from Luxco which celebrates the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Crafted by Master Distiller Ian Stirsman and his team, the 2022 Medley is a high-rye bourbon comprising five bourbons aged 8-14 years. This is a powerhouse of a bourbon which punches well above its price point. (SRP $99.99)
The Fusion Series features a blend of bourbons distilled in-house as well as those sourced elsewhere in Kentucky. Here BBCo. blends two of its own bourbons making up 70% of the blend with 12-year-old sourced bourbon making up the remainder. Taste wise you’ll find a rich, sweet profile with rye spice and a light smoky flavor. (SRP $64.99)
Something Outside the Bourbon Box
If you’re wanting a bonus recommendation, may we suggest something not exactly bourbon, but featuring an all-American oak barrel.
Redbreast Kentucky Oak Edition is the first release for the brand’s American oak series. The single pot still Irish whiskey is made like their other core offerings using bourbon and sherry barrels in maturation. But this one is then finished in barrels crafted from selected air-dried American oak from the Taylor family farm in Kentucky for a minimum of four months. This US exclusive release is a great gateway whiskey for those looking to either get into the bourbon category or for those wanting to take a baby step out. (SRP $95.99)
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