In the warmer months, we’re all about rolling up to the roof party or front step with a bottle of chilled rosé, but come the cooler days there’s only one thing that’ll do: a bottle of brown. By which we mean bourbon. Whether consumed straight up, from a brown paper bag while walking through a snowy park (we won’t tell) or mixed in a variety of cocktails, it’s basically the perfect beverage. And why not share?
Because we happen to live in tiny NYC apartments, we know the holiday bank account struggle is real, so we've put together a list of three different bourbon gifts, arranged by price point: One bottle of exceptional bourbon, a trio of indie bourbons that’ll keep your favorite boozehound warm and cozy all month long and an unbelievable, holy-moly-over-the-top collection of eight stunning bottles they’ll remember for the rest of their life as the best gift they ever received. NBD.
Whichever you pick, rest assured they’ll be smitten – but there’s just one question: How much do you love them? (Kidding.)
Below, three bourbon gifts that will have you winning the gift game this season:
BRECKENRIDGE BOURBON WHISKEY – $61 FOR 750ML
When it comes to making a distinctive bourbon, a high percentage of rye in the mash is a great start. And this one is only 56% corn with 38% rye (and the last 6% barley), which makes it one of the highest rye-content bourbons out there. All that rye adds delicious spicy notes to bourbon's sweet and oaky flavors, though this bottle is less sweet than the average.
And then there’s the Rocky Mountain snowmelt they use to bring it to the right proof – that is, to have a desirable alcohol content with all the warmth and none of the fire. The water's natural minerals enhance the mouthfeel for a creamy texture we can't get enough of.
INDIE BOURBON TRIO – $178.50 FOR 3 BOTTLES
While bourbon’s ancestral home lies in the heart of Kentucky, it can legally be made anywhere else in the country. And frankly, most of the most exciting craft bourbons are being made outside the Bluegrass State, off the well-beaten trail. So we’ve assembled a flight of craft bourbon whiskeys from points north and west:
First, a smooth and super drinkable Bourbon from Ohio. The state grows about 10 times more acres of spelt than any other, so Watershed Distillery added 5% spelt to the predominantly corn mash. After two and a half years in the barrel, this one's still got just enough spice to balance out the classic caramel and vanilla.
Next up: a bold spicy and smoky Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Kansas. Going down with full-bodied maple sweetness balanced by peppery spice from the addition of rye, this bourbon from Union Horse Distillery is made with locally sourced corn and grain. (You know what they say: There’s no taste like home.)
And finally, a dryer, lighter Bourbon from Washington. Seattle’s Tatoosh Distillery bases their unique bourbon recipe on a family moonshine tradition, then ages it for three years to pick up noticeably charred flavors from the oak, and hints of dried fruit. It’s all brought to proof with water from the West Coast’s Cascade mountain range.
BOURBON LEGENDS – $500 FOR 8 BOTTLES
Whether it’s smooth, rich, two-and-a-half year old bourbon distilled from 5% spelt in Ohio; or an upstate New York grain-to-glass corn and rye bourbon finished in sherry casks for sweet fruit flavors, spice and nuttiness; or even a Massachusetts-made, local corn bourbon whose fire is tamed with Berkshire mountain spring water – each bottle in this bourbon-palooza is bound to convince you of our country’s masterful handle on the classic American spirit. It’s the gift for the ultimate bourbon planner.Get your gift bourb-on, people!