“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” –
There’s a lot to love about whiskey. Even if you’re not on team whiskey just yet, you likely have someone in your life infatuated with the beautiful brown liquor.
So, for the less whiskey-obsessed, I’ve put together a list of some of the best gifts for whiskey lovers like myself.
That way, any time you’ve got a special occasion coming up, you have the perfect gift for any whiskey lover in your life.
Before you learn the best gifts for whiskey lovers in your life, it’s important to understand why your loved one is so passionate about whiskey. It’s such a magical liquid, and seemingly no two whiskeys are the same.
Some are smokey, others are sweet, and others still have a bitter bite that keeps you coming back for more.
What defines a whiskey varies depending on your location. In the United States, whiskey has such a broad designation that there are more than 40 different categories. Some of these groups include rye, single malt, wheat whiskey, and bourbon.
Each category also has its own regulations. For example, American whiskey can contain artificial colors and flavors, but bourbon cannot.
Related: The 11 best Bourbons under $50
When you get outside the States, whiskey becomes a little more regulated. There are different styles of whiskey that come from all over the world, and here are a few of my personal favorites:
Irish whiskey is the oldest style of whiskey in the world—referred to as the “father of all whiskey”—and was one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe. Around the 12th century, after traveling through southern Europe, Irish monks brought the technique of distilling perfumes back to Ireland.
Related: 11 Best Irish Whiskeys Under $100
Because it uses cereal grains like barley and malt, Irish whiskey has a widely known reputation for being light and fruity.
Famous Irish Whiskey Brands
Jameson is one of the best known brands of Irish whiskey, selling over 31 million bottles annually. Close behind is Bushmills, which was founded in 1608. If you’re sampling different styles of whiskey, make sure you pick up a bottle of Jameson.
You’ll notice we’ve dropped the “e” in whisky for this section. That’s because Scotch whisky (aka Scotch) is labeled without it. In order to be called Scotch whisky, it must be distilled and bottled in Scotland.
There are five separate categories of Scotch:
- Single malt
- Single grain
- Blended malt
- Blended grain
The most popular and traditional version of Scotch is single malt, meaning that is distilled from water and malted barely without any other cereal grains (such as wheat).
Related: The Beginners Guide to Single Malt Scotch
Some single malt scotches, such as Laphroaig, dry their malt over a peat fire from anywhere between 18-30 hours. That process gives this scotch a deep and distinct smokey taste.
Famous Scotch brands
Good Scotch has a tendency to be pretty pricey. If you’re trying the different styles of whiskey, some of the most famous brands include Macallan, Glenfiddich, and Johnnie Walker. There are over 130 malt and grain distilleries within Scotland, so there are plenty of different options to choose from.