Whisky Related Gifts

Looking for the perfect gift for a Scotch or Irish whiskey-loving relative or friend?  Here are some suggestions that should satisfy the enthusiast on your shopping lists.

The Laphroaig distillery on Islay has a couple of suggestions.  First there is Laphroaig Cairdeas 2022, which is a limited-edition crafted spirit honouring the iconic Warehouse 1. It has the classic Laphroaig flavours of peat, smoke and salt, as well as sweet vanilla, nutty and medicinal notes. It has a peaty, spicy and floral finish.  It comes at a price of $144.95 CDN.

The second Laphroaig offering is Laphroaig Ian Hunter – Chapter 3.  With a price tag of $2,499.95 CDN, this 33-year-old bottling celebrates its legendary owner, Ian Hunter. Aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, this whisky is deep copper in colour with pear, peach, honey and rose petal notes. It has a creamy licorice finish.

The Teeling Small Batch Spirit of Dublin Gift Pack contains the Awarded Best Blended Irish Whiskey at the 2018 Irish Whiskey Awards. Aged in hand-picked casks and finished in rum barrels, it is a brilliant yellow gold colour and is light, smooth and sweet on the palate, with notes of burnt sugar, tropical fruit, vanilla and spice.  It comes with a pair of whiskey glasses bearing the Teeling emblem and name.  The price tag on this item is $51.95 CDN.

Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is finished in rum casks for added richness. It has notes of buttered rum, banana and prune along with flavours of fig, vanilla toffee, brown spices, ginger and molasses. The finish is long and spicy with notes of ginger and brown spice.  It is package in its own fancy box with a price of $399.95 CDN.

The Macallan Rare Cask, at a price of $500.25 CDN, offers a nose of opulent vanilla and raisin aroma, that gives way to apple and citrus. The flavour is balanced by a spicy mix of ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate leading to a light citrus zest finish.

For fans of sherry cask-matured single malt scotch whisky, the GlenDronach Revival 15 Year Highland Scotch is matured in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Revival, the 15-year-old expression, is hard to beat at a price of $108.25.

For fans of peated whisky, Ardbeg is an Islay distillery known for its extremely peated whisky, having three core expressions.  First is the 10 Year Old ($112.45 CDN), with its balanced smoke and fruit character. It has aromas of lemon, smoke, peat and brine. On the palate, it is warm and smoky with bold, yet balanced flavours that resonate with the aromas. The finish is long sweet and smoky. Serve neat or with a few drops of pure water.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan ($201.40 CDN) is named after a tidal whirlpool that lies to the north of Islay. It was created with the input of the Ardbeg Committee, which is a group of 120,000 Ardbeg whisky lovers from all over the world. It has an intense nose of cedar, brine, creosote, with caramel, smoky bacon, vanilla and clove. The palate is also intense but it is round and finely balanced with outstanding length. The lingering finish shows smoky black, tarry coffee with chocolate. It is not intended for the fainthearted but a true Ardbeg fan will have an appreciation of this dram.

If you can find the Ardbeg 25 Year Old ($1,395.40 CDN), the whisky collector in your family will thank you. The briny smoke integrates with sweet bakery aromas of vanilla, streusel, ginger-spiced pound cake, cinnamon and allspice, studded with nuts and dried apple. The palate’s silky texture is an ideal base for warm vanilla, toasted nuts, toffee and milk chocolate, swirling with iodine, peat and gentle gingerbread spices. The finish is complex, compelling and quite lengthy with ginger, white pepper, allspice, saline, coffee grounds, dried apple and lingering smoke.

Gift options that don’t come in a bottle include cocktail books such as Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, Cocktail Codex and Death & Co: Welcome Home. These books contain hundreds of recipes of exciting drinks that are complex but still manageable enough to be made at home.

Lastly, the experience of drinking whisky/whiskey can be greatly enhanced by the glass it is served in. The proper vessel allows the enthusiast to fully enjoy the flavours and aromas of any whiskey and the glasses are even nice to look at.  Prices range greatly; starting around $12 and climbing up into the triple digits, depending on whether the vessel is made of glass or varying levels of crystal.         

Happy holidays!

Sláinte mhaith

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