15 Best Whiskey Gifts, According to a Spirits Expert

We found the best whiskey gifts for everyone from the casual sipper to the serious connoisseur.

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October 27, 2022

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Close up color image depicting two fine crystal glasses of malt whisky on a white wooden surface. The glasses of whisky are surrounded by whisky paraphernalia such as a glass decanter and a hip flask. Room for copy space.


Close up color image depicting two fine crystal glasses of malt whisky on a white wooden surface. The glasses of whisky are surrounded by whisky paraphernalia such as a glass decanter and a hip flask. Room for copy space.

Photo by: coldsnowstorm/Getty Images

coldsnowstorm/Getty Images

Well, it’s that time of year again. With summer’s memory fading our thoughts turn indoors, towards holidays, parties and of course, gifts. Eating and drinking are vital experiences that are best shared, and gifts supporting the rituals around communal consumption are some of the most reliable. In general, whiskey drinkers tend to be more attracted to the practice of drinking straight spirits, perhaps with a bit of ice and soda. It’s a different — and smaller — set of tools than what you’d need for a full bar, but there are still plenty of great gifting options. Here I’ve put together a list of my favorite whiskey (or rum, tequila, cognac…) gifts that are perfect for the beginner — or the person that has everything.

These are considered the gold standard when it comes to tasting spirits neat — every year, when I judge the LA Spirits Awards, my fellow judges and I stare down dozens of these glasses. Their tight shape makes them great at concentrating a neat spirit’s aromatics and are a great way for any budding spirits enthusiast to start building their toolkit.

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People tend to associate whiskey drinkers with seriousness, but every bar cart could use a pop of color. These handmade glasses also have the added benefit of being stackable, which is essential when dealing with space constraints.

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I am all about kitschy glassware, and these snowman-adorned old fashioned glasses are perfect for an on-the-rocks spirit pour or, as the name implies, a wintry old fashioned cocktail.

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If you want to go for a more stylish year-round old fashioned, these funky glasses from legendary Japanese glass producer Kimura are a surefire hit. Ordering from Kimura can be a little daunting since they ship direct from Japan, but it’s worth the hassle.

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I was given a set of these glasses as a gift a few years ago and they see weekly use in my house. While the price may not be super accessible, these glasses are durable, feel great in the hand and look even better on the shelf.

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I explained in my decanter guide why you might want to own a few of these, and this affordable-yet-stylish choice is a great way to start a collection. Aside from serving whiskey, decanters are a great way to serve a batch of Old Fashioneds or Boulevardiers next time you’re entertaining.

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This is a great gift for anyone starting out on their whiskey journey. The set is reasonably priced considering the level of quality and stylishness it contains. I’ve had this set for a few years now and each piece sees heavy rotation.

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This handmade embroidered flask is a must-have for any golf lover with a sense of humor. A bit on the pricey side for a flask, but the flask’s build quality and adorableness are more than worth the ticket price.

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You have to be a special kind of friend or loved one to comfortably gift something as significant as a bar cart, but for that special person in your life, this is a great cart to start with. As a nervous person, the railings on every surface give me comfort, and the overall versatility of the unit (not to mention the racks for stemware) are a great way to get your budding home bartender a bit more organized for the new year.

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While the word “clear” should definitely be in quotes here, a tool like this is a great, inexpensive way to get reasonably solid ice spheres at home. The design of this piece provides insulation on the sides that enable a phenomenon known as directional freezing, which creates better-quality ice than simply leaving water to freeze from all sides inwards.

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The whiskey geek in your life is likely to know all about barrel aging, the process that gives aged sprits their characteristic brown hues and rich aromatics, and what better way to help them get hands on experience than to give them a way to try it out themselves? They will be able to age clear spirits such as gin, adding additional wood notes to already-aged stuff, or even age cocktails like a Negroni or Old Fashioned.

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This northern Italian whisky is a fascinating homage to Scotch while being a totally unique liquid on its own. Aged in former Sherry and Bourbon casks, this whisky brings some elegant peat notes as well. Give this to the whiskey nerd who thinks they’ve seen it all.

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Of all the whiskies in the world, Japanese is my favorite. This super unique bottling is made from liquid aged in the southern island of Kagoshima and has a distinctive, vibrant peat and ethereal texture.

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Westward is one of the more acclaimed whiskey producers in North America, and this bottle is made from a cask selected by the team at Astor Wine & Spirits, an iconic NYC bottle shop that recently converted into a worker-owned cooperative. A win for labor rights and your palate.

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Sometimes the best gift for a whiskey nut is … whiskey. Compass Box is a blender based in the UK that has a global cult following. Ultramarine is their answer to Johnny Walker Blue and is sure to delight even the most jaded drinker.

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