8 BEST BOURBONS FOR GIFTING
Looking to get your favorite family member, friend, or co-worker a boozy and unique gift this holiday season? Checkout out the best giftable bourbons.
Henry McKenna 10-year Bottled in Bond
It’s hard to go wrong with a bottle of the bourbon awarded Best in Show, Best Single Barrel Bourbon, Best Bourbon, and a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. An attractive bottle, a 10-year age statement, and great bourbon inside – this would be a great gift for any bourbon drinker. Retail price is about $30-$35, but expect to pay nearly double for this gem.
Willett Pot Still
What bourbon drinker wouldn’t want their bourbon served from a bottle that looks like a copper pot still? While looks aren’t everything, the bourbon inside this great packaging is solid as well. The bottle itself, with a seal and gold script placed on a tall, elegant pot still are eye-catching. The 94-proof bourbon inside, though, lives up to expectations with nutty, brown-sugar notes. In some locations, you may find this for around $35, but expect to pay closer to $60.
Blade and Bow
Released in 2018, Blade and Bow is produced at the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, KY (of Julius “Pappy” Van Winkle fame). Stitzel-Weller shuttered its doors over 25 years ago, but new life was breathed into the old distillery when Diageo reopened the grounds in 2014. The neat bottle carries a skeleton key that pays homage to the 5 keys that once hung at Stitzel-Weller corresponding to the 5 steps for making bourbon – grains, yeast, fermentation, distillation, and aging. Rumor has it that there are 5 different keys to collect. This brand is more widely available than some of the others on this list – expect to pay about $50 retail.
Wilderness Trail Bottled in Bond
When we reviewed this bourbon earlier, it had a limited distribution area. However, as word and production have ramped up, consider gifting this sweet-mash bottled-in-bond bourbon. You’ll find it on shelves in DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, KY, MI, NV, OH, TN, VA and WY for about $39.
While most bourbons are made from a sour-mash (meaning that some of the previous mash is added to the next fermentation batch), Wilderness Trail utilizes the trickier sweet-mash (meaning that each batch has its own fresh batch of yeast). This cornbread-and-honey flavored bourbon is a testament to taking your time and doing things right.
Jim Beam Distillers Cut
If your gift recipient doesn’t stray far from the Jim Beam White label, surprise them with a bottle of Jim Beam Distillers Cut. Carrying a statement that it’s made from hand-selected 5-6 year barrels, this bourbon carries notes of a fried apple pie smothered in vanilla ice cream. This one may come in an attractive gift box, making wrapping easy and the $19.99 price point won’t break the bank.
Four Roses Single Barrel
Shaped in a tall and elegant bottle, Four Roses Single Barrel is perfect for gift giving. Master Distiller Brent Elliott normally crafts bourbons utilizing two different mashbills combined with 5 different yeast strains. He reserves the OBSV mix for his single barrel products. O – represents Four Roses B – represents the 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley mashbill S – represents straight bourbon V – represents the yeast strain providing delicate fruit, spicy and creamy notes
The receiver will be greeted with beautiful, light floral and fruit notes – a unique change of pace from typical caramel and vanilla notes. You may have to look for this one a bit, but expect to pay around $40 – $50.
This iconic packaged bourbon in its pineapple shape with a horse & jockey stopper will wow your bourbon drinker. If you look closely enough, you’ll see a small letter on each stopper. Collect them all and they spell B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S. Line them up and you’ll see a stop-action view of a horse galloping down the track.
The package is a truly unique one, and the bourbon inside won’t disappoint either. Developed in 1984 by master distiller Elmer T. Lee, Blanton’s was the industry’s first single-barreled product, and breathed new life into a bourbon industry shaken to its knees by clear spirits. These much-sought-after bottles are increasingly in demand. Expect to pay $60 – $100 to catch this ride.
Heaven Hill 6-Year
If your holiday shopping has worn a hole in your pocket – and you happen to be passing through the Commonwealth of Kentucky (as its reserved for locals) – grab a bottle (or two) of Heaven Hill 6-Year Bourbon. You’ve heard me talk about this one on several occasions. While the packaging may harken from decades ago, the bourbon inside is unlike its $10 – $12 price-point.
Yes, you heard that right. For a little more than a Hamilton (the bill, not tickets to the show), you can have a smooth, sweet, bourbon that will beat craft bourbons, yet carries a bottom-shelf price.
Make this season a spirited one! Enjoy responsibly.