Distiller’s World Whiskey Gift Guide 2023

December 9, 2023

It’s gift giving season once again so that means it’s also time for our Holiday Gift Guides! As is the case each year, we’ve done the “tough” part of tasting to make our recommendations. To make your shopping excursions a bit easier, we’ve organized our lists by category and price. Furthermore, we’ve made suggestions on who on your shopping lists we thought the picks would best suit.

For our purposes here, World Whiskey is considered any whiskey made outside of the US and Scotland. As such, you can expect to see plenty of recommendations from Ireland, Canada, and Japan. But we’ve also tasted a few gems from Australia, India and more. But in case you’re shopping for other whiskey styles, we’ve got you covered with separate Gift Guides for Bourbon, Scotch Whisky, and American Whiskeys.

On the whole, our picks are widely available without any super rare releases suggested. And in addition to world whiskies that are new for 2023, we’ve also included some core expressions you can find year-round.

Please note that prices listed for our World Whiskey Gift Guide are the suggested retail price (SRP) for purchases in the US. Of course, prices may vary depending on your location. Happy shopping!

Budget World Whiskey Picks (Under $40)

Slane Irish Whiskey

What to Know: This blended Irish whiskey is triple-casked in heavily-toasted, medium-charred virgin oak, seasoned Tennessee whiskey barrels, and ex-oloroso sherry casks. Slane was founded in partnership with Brown-Forman and the Conyngham Family of Slane Castle, home of legendary open-air rock concerts since 1981.

Tasting Notes: sweet and fresh with pastries, buttery vanilla, and sweet spices

Best gift for: A friend looking to stock their home bar with a crowd pleaser

Other Budget World Whiskey Options: Starward Two-Fold Double Grain $35, Pike Creek 10 Year Rum Barrel Finish $33

Beginner World Whiskey Picks (Under $50)

Lost Irish Whiskey

What to Know: Lost Irish is a blend of all three styles of Irish whiskey – grain, malt, and pot still. Casks from six continents were used in its maturation: Africa (South African brandy), Asia (Japanese Mizunara oak), Europe (sherry), North American (American bourbon & Caribbean rum), Oceania (Australian tawny), and South America (Colombian rum).

Tasting Notes: Orange zest, cantaloupe, and peach aromas blend with a taste profile of Irish breakfast tea, raisins, and baking spices

Best Gift for: Your younger sibling looking to graduate from shots to sips.

Other Beginner World Whiskey Options: Nikka Days $49.99, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye $41.79

Lost Irish Whiskey Lost Irish Whiskey/Photo Credit: Lost Irish Whiskey

Aficionado World Whiskey Picks (Under $200)

Nikka Yoichi 10 Year Single Malt (2023 Release)

What to Know: This whisky was created by Nikka’s current blenders to highlight the distinctive characteristics of the Yoichi Distillery located on the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. This 2023 release marks Nikka’s first age statement release in several years.

Tasting Notes: Fruity, floral and nutty aromas combine with gentle cedar smoke, oak, and warm baking spices

Best Gift for: A loved one who likes to spend time getting to know a whiskey

Other Aficionado World Whiskey Picks: Teeling Wonders of Wood Virgin Portuguese Oak (2nd Edition) $100, Indri Drú Cask Strength $80

Splurge World Whiskey Picks (Over $200)

Redbreast 27 Year

What to Know: Introduced in 2020, Redbreast 27 Year is the oldest permanent addition to the brand’s portfolio This pot still whiskey is triple distilled and matured in three types of casks: ruby port, ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry.

Tasting Notes: Chestnuts, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon is followed by a jammy, spiced palate

Best Gift for: Your significant other who is growing their whiskey collection.

Other Splurge World Whiskey Picks: Bushmills 21 Year $299.99, Hibiki 21 Year (100th Anniversary Edition) $5,000

World Whiskey Picks for Mixing Cocktails

Suntory Whisky Toki

What to Know: Introduced in 2016, Toki is a blend of selected malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita distilleries. Suntory Toki Highball is made with one part whisky, 3-4 parts sparking water, and a twist of citrus.

Tasting Notes: Light bodied with orchard fruit, walnut and green tea coupled with shortbread and white chocolate

Best gift for: Your co-worker who likes to shake things up!

Other World Whiskey Picks for Mixing Cocktails: Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye $40, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey $28

Unconventional World Whiskey Picks:

BEARFACE Wilderness Series Matsutake

What to Know: This blended Canadian whisky is aged in French oak (red wine & virgin oak), sherry pipes (PX, cream, and amontillado), and casked Matsutake. The Matsutake cask was made by adding wild foraged matsutake mushrooms to a cask filled with BEARFACE whisky where it was allowed to infuse for 2 months.

Tasting Notes: Gentle herbal and earthy notes pair with cereal grains, light fruit and toasted oak

Best Gift for: Your best friend with an adventurous spirit

Other Unconventional World Whiskey Picks: Powers Irish Rye $34, M&H APEX Pomegranate Wine Cask $95

With Distiller, you’ll always know what’s in the bottle before you spend a cent. Rate, Review and Discover spirits! Head on over to Distiller, or download the app for iOS and Android today!

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