My 2020 Christmas Whisky List - What to give and receive!

With Christmas fast approaching, many of you have already started rushing around (mainly on website this year...) to find the perfect presents for your loved ones. But what do you buy someone who likes whisky when you don't know that much about it or are not sure about what is out there?

This is why I thought I would compile a few whisky gift ideas for you here!




Let's start with the obvious, a bottle of whisky.


Under £50

Glendronach 12 years old - £40 to £45

For the price this is a delicious sherried whisky which is perfect for sipping at the end of the night by the fire. Lots of dried fruits and Christmas deliciousness!

Highland Park 12 years old - £25 to £35

A solid one from Orkney with some citrus and honey notes mixed with some aromatic smoke. And you will find it in most supermarkets.

Caol Ila 12 years old - £35 to £40

Moving on to peated whisky from Islay. This is definitely peated but not as intense as others like Laphroaig or Ardbeg. Quite oily, smoky and salty with some sweeter fruitier notes too.

Other bottles to consider: Benriach 10 or 12 £35-45 (fruity), Arran 10 £35 (fruity), Deanston 12 £35 (malty), Aberfeldy 12 £33 (honeyed), Cotswolds £39 (creamy & fruity English), Glen Scotia 15 £50 (coastal, fruity and spicy), Ledaig 10 £37 (smoky), Ardbeg 10 £40 (peaty)


Under £100

Glendronach 18 years old - £100

The 12 is a solid choice for under £50 but the 18 is even better and richer, with even more Christmas cake, chocolate and raisins notes. Prices have been creeping up so you might be looking at the very top-end of your budget here but if it is too much, the 15 is stunning too for around £65.

Arran 18 years old - £85

Arran have been releasing some wonderful whisky and the new 18 sounds amazing. It is said to taste of "vanilla rice pudding and brown sugar, with orange blossom, allspice and candied ginger."

Longmorn 18 years old (Secret Speyside collection) - £90

A less know distillery, Longmorn still produce some amazing whisky with this 18 mixing notes of "mint chocolate, desiccated coconut and dried apricot, with another helping of fudge."

Caol Ila 18 years old - £80 to £90

Like with Glendronach, the older Caol Ila is definitely worth considering. More refined peat, ash, sweetness too, citrus, seaweed, apples, peaches, olives and black pepper. Fantastic for any peat lover!

Other bottles to consider: Glencadam 15 £55-60 (fruity & spicy), GlenAllachie 15 £60 (rich fruit), Ardbeg Uigeadail £50-60 (fruity & peated), Yellow Spot £70-75 (fruity Irish), Laphroaig Lore £70 (peated), Kilchoman Fino Sherry £75 (peated, salty & citrusy)


Over £100

Glengoyne 21 years old - £130

Aged in ex-sherry cask, this is rich, fruity, spicy and decadent. Another very fitting Christmas single malt!

Aberfeldy 20 Year Old (Exceptional Cask Series) - £250

Absolutely stunningly rich whisky drawn from a single Sherry cask with only 618 bottles, available on the Dewars website!

Longmorn 25 years old (Secret Speyside Collection) - £400

Fruity, spicy, rich with lots of oranges, cherries, toffee, pears, some oak and ginger bitterness. What an experience! One to take your time with and savour!

Other bottles to consider: Lagavulin 12 £125 (peated), Bunnahabhain 18 £120 (warming, sweet & spicy), Octomore bottles £130-200 (heavily peated), older Springbank, older Laphroaig...


Personalised bottles

A lot of personalised whisky out there but most of it is engraving. If you want to write your own message on a label, head over to The Whisky Exchange website to personalise a whisky (or gin) bottle. Choose the whisky (from £50 to £450 depending on the bottle), select your label from a choice of 9 different and write your message. Super easy and having tried the £50 Highland single malt, it is delicious too!

 

Whisky Subscriptions

Pour & Sip - £29.95/month ; gifts subscriptions available for a set amount of months

A great whisky subscription service from Master of Malt with a set of 5 whisky samples (5x3cl) delivered to your door every month with tasting cards and 2 free glasses with your first month. The whiskies also come from a nice selection of distilleries and have been so far of excellent quality. This is in my opinion very good value for money and a lovely gift idea!


Sample sets

Another good one for smaller gifts or stocking fillers are sample sets. There are many around and quite a few are not that great but here are some decent ones in my books!

For some smoky ones: Smokehead whisky £22.99

For a great mix of blended malts: Compass Box £25

For a nice fruity coastal set: Glen Scotia £24

For more choice or to build your own: Master of Malt


Glassware

Glencairn have released some coloured glasses including a wonderful blind tasting set of 6 in a stunning box for £60. You can also buy individual glasses for £8 each.

If you're feeling fancy, the 1920's Blender's glass has become another reference amongst whisky enthusiasts. It's quite a bit pricier at £25 a piece.


Books

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021: The Facts, the People, the News, the Stories, Ingvar Ronde. £11

The World Atlas of Whisky, Dave Broom. £25-35


Whisky art

Looking on Etsy, you come across some great art work, and as an Islay whisky enthusisast, I stumbled across these fantastic prints of Islay distilleries. Each one is priced at £15 but there are some multi-buy offers too!


That's a few ideas for you. I hope this helps in your search for Christmas presents.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and feel free to let me know if I have missed anything in my list.

Here are also some affiliate links to some of the sites I referenced in the article. It doesn't cost you a thing to use them to access the sites but if you order anything from them, I get a little something back.

Thanks!


Pour & Sip subscriptions 

Master of Malt

The Whisky Shop

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