Whisky products can make a great gift for someone who loves a good scotch but it’s important to understand the difference between something they’ll appreciate and something they’ll stuff at the back of a cupboard and never use. If you’re looking for the perfect whisky present, look no further than our expert gift guide.
Is whisky a good gift?
A bottle of whisky is a reliably excellent choice when it comes to making someone’s day. However, before you make a purchase, it’s important to know their personal preference when it comes to taste and style. Simply going off the price tag isn’t always the smartest idea as everyone’s taste buds are different, especially when it comes to the huge varieties of whisky out there.
It makes it a lot easier when you know the kinds of flavours a person likes, not just in terms of spirits but also food and non-alcoholic drinks. If they have a drinks cupboard packed with a very specific type of whisky, then it makes sense to hunt around for an extra special version of it. For instance, somebody with a taste for good quality blends and barrel-aged bottles is likely to appreciate our 7 Bourbon Barrel Finish, especially if they enjoy a hint of sweetness and fruit flavours.
It also helps to consider the occasion you are gifting for. For example, when Father’s Day comes around, you might be looking for whisky gifts for your dad. Or you might simply be getting in some early research for the holidays. The beauty of most whisky gifts is that they have a long shelf-life, so you can stash these presents away and have something to wow people at a moment’s notice.
Which is the best whisky for a gift?
It’s not as simple as looking for the ‘best’ whisky as many factors come into play. However, some whiskies are practically tailor-made for gifts. These are special or limited-edition releases, usually found around certain national celebrations and events.
The stunning Shawna X Limited Edition bottle, for example, is decorated with all the joyous colours the artist herself is renowned for. As well as tasting great, the upbeat design will appeal to anyone who appreciates art, as well as giving them a collector’s item for years to come.
On that note, the best whisky to get for a collector is any bottle that has the year of bottling on it. Take a look at any whisky auction site and you’ll find a vintage bottle that has the year it was produced printed on it is far more valuable than the rest.
What the ‘best’ whisky gift boils down to is one that has some thought behind it. Ultimately, you want to consider the age and flavours of the whisky as well as the preferences and interests of the person that you are giving it to.
What do you get for a whisky lover?
Aside from the obvious choice of a whisky-tasting gift or full bottles, you might be wondering what else you can get a whisky lover. Whisky accessories could be the perfect answer. However, if you want to combine their love of whisky with another of their passions, then you’ll need to get creative.
For the gamer
If you know that the person you’re buying a gift for loves nothing more than settling down on the couch for a long night of console gaming, you won’t go far wrong with a bottle of Ballantine’s Moxxi’s Bar Edition along with a copy of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. They’ll be able to play away the hours on the planet Pandora and rustle up a Sandbox Sip cocktail of whisky and sweet vermouth to sup on whilst they do so.
For the art appreciator
The Ballantine’s Joshua Vides Limited Edition is the perfect whisky gift for someone who loves contemporary art and the new and novel. This eye-catching bottle is designed according to Vides’ signature monochromatic style and is filled with Ballantine’s Finest. Pair the bottle with an assortment of black and white accessories. Think highball glasses, coasters or even a cool framed cocktail poster.
For the budding chef
Good food and good whiskey are a match made in heaven so if you know someone who appreciates cooking as much as cocktails, then a gift that echoes this is a great idea. Ballantine’s 12-year-old scotch is a sophisticated blend of whiskies with notes of honey, oak and vanilla. It is delicious on its own but also works as an accompaniment to dinner. Of course, it could even be used in the dishes themselves. Gift it with a cookbook, a selection of artisan produce or a gift voucher for a culinary course.
For the purist
Some people like to uphold traditional values and enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. When it comes to whisky, this means drinking it on its own or as a classic cocktail. Ballantine’s 40 year aged whisky draws on generations of history to create a moment of pure pleasure. It is a rich blend of whiskies, aged 40 years and over, resulting in a sweet yet spicy whisky with a long-lasting finish. So that it can be experienced in all its glory, gift it with a set of stones and whisky glasses suitable for the individual or occasion.
For the sunshine seeker
Summer has a way of bringing good vibes with it, lifting peoples’ spirits and encouraging people to get together and make memories. For those that love the warm, light evenings and the long, hot days that remind them of far-flung destinations, a tropical whisky drink will be the gift that keeps on giving. Ballantine’s Passion is a lively mix of traditional scotch and flavoursome fruits including kiwi, grapefruit and honeydew melon. Gift it with summer essentials such as a pair of stylish shades or go personal with a hand-picked playlist of feel-good tunes.
For the party host
Whisky lovers who have a reputation for great parties will appreciate a liquor that works well with cocktails. This is where the classic Ballantine’s Finest blended scotch whisky can make a big impression, as it can be the basis of a great whisky sour or many other whisky-based cocktails. You can even add to this gift by including everything they’ll need to get the party started including a cocktail shaker, reusable straws, and decorative stirrers.
For the lover
If you are looking for a Valentine’s whisky gift, you could make a meaningful statement and pick up a bottle that has been aged for as many years as you’ve been together. Bottles are typically labelled at the seven- and twelve-year marks, with some premium bottles at the 17, 21 or even 30-year mark for you long-lasting loved-up couples. This can also work for those landmark birthdays (for people over the age of 18!).
For the one that likes to try new things
Still not sure what whisky to get? Cover all bases with a whisky gift basket. Designed as the perfect present for people who aren’t scared of experimenting, these combine multiple different types of whisky in stylish packaging. They’re typically in smaller measures, so once you notice which sample is finished the quickest, you’ll know what to get for them next time. If there isn’t a premade basket that takes your fancy, then why not select a few bottles of Ballantine’s scotch whisky and create a truly bespoke one for that special person in your life?
How do you SEND whisky as a gift?
You’ve decided on an unbeatable gift and now you need to get it to the recipient. Of course, where you buy it from it all depends on what gift you have settled on but there are two main options: an online retailer or a physical store.
If you go down the classic route of choosing a great bottle of whisky, you should be able to source it from any good retailer, but this depends on how rare it is. Higher value and less common bottles may require a slight detour to a specialist whisky store, but almost any dedicated liquor shop will be able to order a bottle once you tell them the name and type you’re looking for.
You also need to consider if you’re purchasing other items to go along with the bottle of whisky and where you’ll get these from.
If you are ordering online, you may be able to send your gift directly to the person it is for. Some online retailers even offer a gift-wrapping service for such circumstances. Opt for a tracked delivery service so that you know when the gift has been dispatched and when it reaches its destination.
For items you have picked up in-store, you’ll have to arrange their delivery. Of course, handing over a gift in person is lovely but if this isn’t feasible, package up each item carefully and put them into a sturdy box. For bottles of whisky, we’d recommend first containing them in a sealed bag in case of breakage before covering them in bubble wrap. Remember to mark the box as fragile before sending it via a tracked service.
Go the extra mile and get them something special
Whether you’re buying for someone new to drinking whisky or someone with years of experience, our gift guide should have given you plenty of inspiration. No matter what you choose, what they’ll remember more than anything is the effort you made to find something special for them. It beats a pair of socks, any day of the week.
Got another special occasion to plan for? Check out our whisky Christmas drinks and whisky-themed party ideas, along with our full whisky drinks collection.
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