Whiskeys That Will Make Great Gifts

Shopping for the perfect gift for your friends, family, or boss this year? Try picking up one of these highly rated but lesser known whiskeys! You'll look like a pro.
Dec 11, 2016
  • 10
    10 anCnoc 18 Year
    90
    Sweet & Rich
    anCnoc whiskies (pronounced "a-nock") are produced at the Knockdhu Distillery, founded by John Morrison in 1892, at the Knock estate in Aberdeenshire. This 18 year old whisky is aged in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon oak casks. It is un-chill filtered with no additional coloring, so may get cloudy with water or if kept in cold temperatures.
  • 9
    9 Rossville Union Master Crafted Barrel Proof Straight Rye
    91
    Rich & Full Bodied
    As the name suggests, this is the cask strength version of Rossville Union, the first proprietary rye brand released by MGP Ingredients. It is made from a batch of 83 barrels, noted on the front of the bottle, aged in new, charred American oak. Barrel Proof is bottled at 112.6 proof and is available beginning June 2018 in select markets in the Midwest and Southwest US.
  • 8
    8 Hirsch Small Batch High-Rye Straight Bourbon 8 Year
    91
    Spicy & Rich
    Released in mid-July 2017, this small batch bourbon release from Hirsch is comprised of two high-rye mash bills. In addition to corn from both Indiana and Ohio, one contains 21% rye and the other 36% rye. This sourced whiskey is aged in barrels with a char #4 on the bodies of the barrels and a char #2 on the heads of the barrels. This straight bourbon was aged for 8 years.
  • 7
    7 Speyburn 15 Year
    92
    Rich & Vanilla
    Speyburn 15 Year was introduced to the US beginning November 2017. The single malt ages for 15 years in American and Spanish oak. It is non chill-filtered and there is no coloring added. This bottling also marks a new package and label design for the brand.
  • 6
    6 Wyoming Whiskey Double Cask
    92
    Sweet & Rich
    Double Cask was released in January 2017 from Wyoming Whiskey. They take their five year old bourbon, and finish a batch of it in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The bourbon itself has a mashbill of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley, and the expression is bottled at 50% ABV. Seven states will receive a shipment of Double Cask, with a total release of 110 cases.
  • 5
    5 Aerstone Land Cask 10 Year
    93
    Full Bodied & Rich
    Aerstone Land Cask is one of two 10 year old single malt Scotch whiskies launched by William Grant & Sons (the owners of the Glenfiddich and Balvenie Scotch whisky distilleries, amongst others). The Aerstone whiskies aim to 'demystify' whisky for beginners. The Land Cask is described as the 'rich and smoky choice.' The distillery where this is produced is not disclosed. This single malt launched in the UK in mid-September 2018 and launched in the US in September 2019.
  • 4
    4 Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye
    93
    Rich
    Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye is a limited edition Irish whiskey available beginning mid-November 2018. It is made from a mash bill of malted and unmalted barley and around 30% rye. Since Single Pot Still whiskeys cannot have more than 5% of any grain other than barley, it doesn't qualify as such technically. It is double distilled in copper pot stills, one of which was made in the early 1800s and is the oldest working pot still in the world. Rye was used by Irish distillers in the late 1800s, but it disappeared around the time of Prohibition and the Irish War of Independence. It is the first Kilbeggan whiskey to be 100% distilled and matured at the Kilbeggan Distillery since it was restored in 2010.
  • 3
    3 Glen Scotia 15 Year
    93
    Full Bodied & Rich
    Campbeltown was once considered the "whisky making capitol" of Scotland with 28 distilleries. Of those 28, only 3, including Glen Scotia remain. Though they no longer malt their own barley, they source it to very specific details, using longer fermentation and vatting methods than in the old days. Released in 2015 as part of the brand's relaunch, this Scotch was matured for 15 years in ex-bourbon barrels before bottling.
  • 2
    2 J.P. Wiser's Dissertation
    94
    Rich
    Master blender Dr. Don Livermore has a doctorate in distilling. To simplify his dissertation, he studied how wood interacted with different spirits to draw out flavors. His hard work produced a surplus of barrels that have been aging whisky for the past 12 years. Dissertation is a blend of 87% rye whisky and 13% corn whisky bottled at 46.1% alcohol, the molecular weight of ethanol. Note: Not available in the US.
  • 1
    1 J.P. Wiser's Legacy Canadian Whisky
    94
    Rich & Fruity
    This whisky is a tribute to J.P. Wiser and a testament to the quality of Canadian whisky that Wiser established as a style many years ago. Former Master Blender David Doyle blended this Canadian gem with then Wiser apprentice Don Livermore. A rye-grain heavy mash is distilled in traditional copper pot-stills then aged in toasted new white oak barrels. A toasted oak, rather than charred oak, helps mellow the distillate through the aging cycle.