The Best Liquor Gifts for a Man: Your Guide for the 2018 Holiday Season

The holiday season is certainly a spirited one, so it only makes sense that at least one person on your holiday shopping list deserves to have an even more spirited holiday by receiving a nice bottle of booze. (That person could very well be you, we’re not going to judge … because we’re going to be gifting ourselves some alcohol as well).

Below, you’ll find our picks for the best bottles of booze to give someone this holiday season. Whether they’re a fan of whisk(e)y, gin, rum, or something else, we’ve got you covered. The only thing left to do, then, is to decide what you’re getting for yourself.

Please note that prices may vary slightly depending on where you buy the products.

Whisk(e)y

best liquor gift for a man gifts men whiskey

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Port Finish

Winner of the 2013 “Best Spirit in the World” award by Spirit Journal in 2013, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels is a rare release totaling only 12,000 bottles. Coming in at 124 proof, this unfiltered bourbon has caramel and raisins on the palate with a dark chocolate and oak finish. ($200)

Aultmore 21

Aultmore’s newest expression, Aultmore 21-Year-Old, was aged in American white oak refill hogsheads and comes in at 46 percent ABV. A light and delicate malt whisky, you’ll find notes of tea, honey, marzipan, and fresh apples. ($250)

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye

Made with 70 percent rye (an outlier compared to most other rye whiskeys), Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye was the first new mash recipe made by the distillery since 1866. You’ll find notes of ripe fruit and toasted oak mingling with the spice characteristics we know and love in a good rye whiskey. ($50)

Bare Knuckle Straight Wheat Whiskey Single Barrel Cask Strength

Using grains sourced completely from local Virginia farms, Bare Knuckle Straight Wheat Whiskey Single Barrel Cask Strength from KO Distilling is double-distilled and aged for at least two years. The mixture of grains (60 percent wheat, 30 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley) produce butterscotch flavors that are overlaid by vanilla, honey, and anise. You’ll find rye spices on the finish. ($50)

High West Midwinter Night’s Dram

An annual release from High West Distillery, Midwinter Night’s Dram is a blend of rye whiskeys aged in American oak and finished in French oak port barrels. The blend of whiskeys and barrels creates a palate of dried cherries, dark chocolate, almonds, and more. The finish teems with clove and blackberries. ($100)

Aberlour 16 Year Old

Aged for 16 years in a combination of American oak casks and sherry butts, Aberlour 16 Year Old is a rich, sweet, and fruity Scotch whisky. Look for floral notes and raisins on the nose, some oak, some spice, and sweet plums on the palate, followed by a long, warming finish. ($40)

Conviction Bourbon

Made in the country’s first prison distillery (situated in an old prison, not run by prisoners), Southern Grace Distilleries began by producing white whiskey while their bourbon aged. Now, the bourbon is on the market and is full of brown sugar and cinnamon notes followed by a body of oak, cinnamon, and candied fruit. ($35)

Egan’s Fortitude

The fourth expression from Egan’s, Fortitude is a single malt whiskey aged in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. The expression is a tribute to the  brand’s co-founder, Henry J. Egan, and shows off notes of sherry, honey, and raisins. On the palate you’ll find chocolate and dried fruits followed by a long, complex finish. ($50)

Chivas Mizunara

The first Scotch whisky to be partially finished in Japanese Mizunara oak casks (more on the wood here), Chivas Mizunara is a blended whisky that has a nose of white peach, pears, caramel, and vanilla cream and a palate that is floral and sweet with a hint of spice, thanks to the Mizunara casks. ($45)

The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve

The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve is the newest in the Dalmore line and is aged in ex-bourbon casks and aged Tawny port pipes, delivering a rich and full-bodied whisky. There are sweet berries and oranges on the nose, which lead into a palate of coffee, caramel, and roasted chestnuts. The finish is full of plum, cherry, and more orange. ($99)

(Want a cheaper whiskey? Check out this list of the best whiskies under 20 bucks.)

Agave

best liquor gift for a man gifts men agave v2

1800 Milenio

After the initial aging process, this extra añejo tequila from 1800 is aged for a further period of time in French oak Cognac barrels, which create a soft and balance tequila rich in vanilla, red fruit, and cinnamon notes. An exquisite tequila created originally to celebrate the new millennium, Milenio comes in a bespoke bottle, making it as fun to look at as it is to drink. ($232)

Mezcales de Leyenda Durango

Made from agave cenizo (which takes 10-14 years to fully mature), this artisanal mezcal from the Mexican state of Durango is floral, with accompanying notes of grass and leather. On the palate of this product from Mezcales de Leyenda you’ll find stone fruits, spices such as coriander, and even buttered popcorn flavors. ($90)

Montelobos Tobalá

The newest expression from Montelobos, Tobalá is made from the eponymous (and coveted) agave variety. Montelobos’ iteration of the mezcal is produced using only sustainably-produced Tobalá and is redolent of lemon, pear, and green pepper. On the palate, you’ll find notes of citrus and basil, among other flavors. ($100)

Desert Door Sotol

Made in Driftwood, Texas, Desert Door Sotol is made from wild-harvested sotol plants (a cousin of agave) and is very close in flavor to some mezcals. Incredibly earthy and somewhat smoky, this sotol is also herbaceous and vegetal, with hints of mint and a generally dry, desert-like character. ($50)

Rum

best liquor gift for a man gifts men rum

Dos Ron 16

This rum from the Dominican Republic has Cuban roots, as the Master Blender’s family distilled rums on the island prior to the Castro Revolution. In this 16-year-old, Solera-method rum from Dos Ron, you’ll find notes of oak and molasses on the nose and a full-bodied palate that exudes more of those same notes in addition to some tropical fruit flavors. ($50)

Santa Teresa 1796

Created by Venezuelan rum distillery Santa Teresa to celebrate its bicentennial, 1796 utilizes a Solera system to blend rums of different ages creating an ever-more-complex flavor profile. What results is a rum with plenty of vanilla and caramel flavors, bolstered by candied fruits, spice, and some tropical notes. ($60)

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry

This rum from Plantation is 100 percent distilled in copper pot stills, an homage to the original Jamaican rums that were once produced. With a name that evokes the original Arawak word for the island, Xaymaca is a rum that is equal parts funky, sour, and sweet. Somewhat meaty on the nose, the palate is dry with white grape, soursop, coconut milk, and nutty flavors. ($25)

Facundo Exquisito

Once the rums used in Facundo Exquisito (aged for between seven years and 23 years) have reached their specified maturity in oak barrels, the spirits are blended and rested in sherry casks for an additional month. What results is a silky smooth sipping rum bursting with notes of lavender, honey, tea, mocha and tobacco. ($150)

Gin

best liquor gift for a man gifts men gin

Malfy Con Arancia

An Italian gin, Malfy Con Arancia is made with juniper, six other botanicals, and the star of the show – Sicilian blood oranges. The key ingredient produces a brilliant orange-red gin with a distinct sweet citrus nose and body. Juniper is there, but it takes a backseat to the key ingredient in the spirit. ($30)

Monkey 47

Hailing from the Black Forest area of Germany, Monkey 47 is a dry gin that uses – you guessed it – 47 different herbs and botanicals to craft their spirit. A third of these ingredients, including the brand’s “pièce de résistance,” lingonberries, are harvested from the Black Forest itself. Juniper-forward, you’ll find sweet citrus and crisp floral notes with a little bit of spice throughout. ($45 for 375ml)

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin

Made with Chinese gunpowder tea, other Asian botanicals (twelve in total, including the tea), and “Irish curiosity” are the hallmarks of this gin. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin (aside from having a fun-to-say-name) is rich in anise and citrus flavors that meld just about perfectly with the juniper and other berry flavors. ($40)

Vodka

best liquor gift for a man gifts men vodka

Straw Boys Vodka

Produced by Connacht Whiskey Company, Straw Boys Vodka is a copper pot batch-distilled grain vodka made in County Mayo, Ireland. Silky and rich on the palate, the vodka is also semi-sweet, with hints of vanilla. Straw Boys Vodka is named after straw boys, who were known as a good luck sign if they crashed weddings to dance with the bride and groom. ($20)

Smithworks Vodka

Distilled three times, charcoal filtered, and made from corn sourced from Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, Smithworks Vodka is a product of the Heartland through and through. Smithworks Vodka is endorsed by Blake Shelton and has a smooth, neutral body. ($20)

Cîroc Black Raspberry

This limited edition French vodka from Cîroc is distilled five times in a copper pot and made with French grapes before being infused with black raspberry and other natural flavors for a juicy, sweet flavored vodka experience. Black raspberry is the dominant aroma and flavor, but spend enough time with it and you’ll find citrus notes on the front and back ends as well. ($40)

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