The special supermarket adverts are rolling out and streaming of Love Actually is increasing exponentially – the signs to ready your festive jumpers are here. Christmas is the perfect time to think about the whisky lover in your life, and while there are plenty of amazing bottles released throughout the year to whet the appetite of any whisky fan, at Christmas… well, Christmas showcases some of the best whisky-related products available.
Be it finding the perfect present for someone in your life who loves this special elixir or putting together a list of gift ideas for yourself, there is no better time of year to find a brilliant bottle, a great glass, a hip hipflask, or a superb Scotch subscription. Beyond the bottle there is plenty to get excited about when it comes to whisky-related presents. So here we have complied a list of our top 16 whisky-related Christmas gifts.
Please note, that all items in this whisky gift guide include prices and stockists for those based in the UK – but should hopefully provide inspiration for whisky lovers around the world this Christmas.
Top Christmas gifts for the whisky lover in your life
The Whisky Advent Calendar, Drinks by the Dram
What could be a better treat behind the advent-calendar door than chocolate? The only answer is whisky. The rise and rise of alcohol advent calendars has been unstoppable over the last few years, and the countdown to Christmas has never been so tasty. Now an annual tradition, Master of Malt’s calendar contains 24 wax-sealed 30ml bottles from around the world, containing measures of whisky from Nikka to Nc’nean. There are three different designs to choose from, with the White Christmas edition (pictured) making an especially festive addition to the other decorations in the house.
Pour & Sip subscription
Every month, subscribers get five samples of whisky by post and invites to live tastings hosted by Master of Malt’s experts. They can taste the drams alone or online with the rest of the club, plus they’ll get discounts on full-sized bottles and access to shop the archive for past boxes. A recent box included a 12- and a 14-year-old whisky, plus samples from the Highlands, Finland and Kent. The subscription is a great choice for the adventurous whisky lover or someone discovering what they like… and for the gift-buyer who doesn’t feel confident about choosing a single bottle.
£89.95 for a three-month gift subscription, pourandsip.com
Islay Connoisseur Set, LSA
LSA’s mouth-blown Islay Connoisseur Set makes a particularly special present for any whisky lover. The litre-sized Islay decanter, nosing glasses and covers are made by master glass-blowers and the wooden coasters, decanter base and high-walled tray are shaped from American walnut, sourced from managed European forests. Perfect for the whisky purist.
The Greatest Hits of Whisky Vol. 1, That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Selection packs are a mainstay of the Christmas period but might not always feel like the most original Christmas gift idea. Enter the always funky That Boutique-y Whisky Company, which is producing a ‘Greatest Hits of Whisky’ package based around a vinyl record. Already onto its second release, it’s a snazzy gift set housed in a music-themed box and featuring 10 different 5cl miniatures of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s excellent and independently bottled whisky. This is sure to be someone’s Christmas No.1.
If you want to enjoy a good whisky properly, the right glassware is key. The choice for many drinkers is the Glencairn, a small, fluted vessel whose shape has become synonymous with whisky itself. Indeed, more than four million of these are sold each year, and you can even buy pin badges in the shape of the glass, such is its popularity. Take the drinking experience up a further notch with a hand-blown and hand-cut version that makes a great present. Engraving is available as an option too.
From £6, glencairn.co.uk
Ice ball moulds set, Uberstar
The big debate among whisky drinkers is whether to add water, ice, or nothing at all to the glass. Head over to Japan, and the ice ball is the addition of choice for many drinkers. A clever invention, adding a large ball of ice to your glass chills your whisky without melting too fast, meaning minimal, slow dilution. While in Japan’s top bars, ice balls are hand carved, you can save your fingers when preparing drinks this Christmas thanks to these clever moulds for the freezer. Uberstar’s pack of four are made of safe, long-lasting silicone and work as well in a cocktail as they do with a neat bourbon. Ice may be sacrilege for some whisky lovers but even they will need it if they want to enjoy a decent Old-Fashioned.
Umi tumbler, Kori Whiskey
Heavy-bottomed and rippled like seawater, the design of the Umi tumbler is named after the calm water sometimes seen at high tide and is a stylish alternative to the more traditional cut-glass whisky tumblers. Perfect for fans of Japanese whiskies, Kori’s handcrafted glassware gives Nikka and its counterparts a distinctive presentation.
A Passion for Whisky
Stow away to Islay with Ian Wisniewski’s captivating history of Scotch’s heartland. The author explains how the climate interacts with production, profiles the island’s 13 distilleries alongside illustrations and provides tasting notes for particular malts. For anyone planning a road trip in 2024, this guide is an unmissable primer.
Shiso Bitters, The Japanese Bitters
These shiso bitters are an impressive way to upgrade a Highball or Whisky Sour. A little minty, a little grassy, the perilla flavour brings out these notes in food pairings and can also take a humble Gin & Tonic to new levels. If you’re present-hunting for a serious Japanophile, the same company also makes Hinoki, Yuzu and Sakura Bitters, plus a Mizunara Oak liqueur.
Pewter hip flask, English Pewter Company
A hip flask for life, this pewter version is made and hand-finished in Sheffield and comes hallmarked. It has its own tan leather pouch and trusty screw cap for winter warmers in the great outdoors. Engraving is available for a small surcharge to give a personal touch.
Milk Chocolate Single Malt Whisky Bar, Fortnum & Mason
A beautifully designed stocking filler or festive thank-you – and less of an investment than the shop’s hamper (see below) – Fortnum & Mason’s milk chocolate is filled with a ganache infused with the brand’s own-label English single malt whisky. A saunter around the food hall at F&M’s flagship store on Piccadilly reveals plenty of other whisky-related wonders, including a single malt whisky Dundee cake and an orange and whisky marmalade, but naturally these treats are also available to order online if you can’t get to the shop in London.
THE JOHNNIE WALKER PRINCES STREET TOUR
Surely the ultimate for any whisky drinker is a distillery visit and there are plenty of places around the world that accommodate fans of their drams, be it Woodford Reserve in Kentucky or Kavalan in Taiwan. But a ‘must-visit’ whisky experience in Scotland is is the Johnnie Walker Experience in Edinburgh. Standing proud on the busy throughfare of Princes Street, the experience is an immersive journey into the world of Scotch whisky, with drams and cocktails aplenty to be enjoyed throughout an impressive tour of the site.
From £28 per person, johnniewalker.com
Whisky & Cedarwood Home Candle, Jo Malone
Jo Malone and Huntsman Savile Row have collaborated to produce a set of four colognes and one of them, the Whisky & Cedarwood scent, has also been released as a scented candle. It’s a great way to set the scene for a nightcap, with the fragrance beginning with a pimento top note before giving way to a blend of sweet woody notes that nod to the nose of a good whisky. The 200g candle burns for 45 hours.
The Whisky Collector’s Hamper, Fortnum & Mason
The masters of the hamper, London’s Fortnum & Mason creates a special version for whisky lovers each Christmas. A journey in a wicker basket, it comes with some really top-end bottlings including offerings from Glenfarclas, The Macallan and Bruichladdich in Scotland, Waterford and Green Spot in Ireland, plus the brand’s own English single malt made at the Cotswolds Distillery. If you know a clan of whisky lovers – or one very deserving person – what could be better to send their way?
A Good Old-Fashioned Christmas Whisky, The Whisky Exchange
There are key notes in certain whisky releases that reflect the festive flavours found at this time of year. Notes of Christmas Cake are often found in sherried whiskies, along with candied orange peel, dark chocolate, spices and nuts. Some distillers and bottlers have worked to capture these in Christmas or winter-specific release. The Whisky Exchange has launched this year’s Christmas bottling, A Good Old-Fashioned Christmas Whisky. Kept in ex-sherry casks, this is a sweet, spicy, full-bodied Scotch promising notes of fruit cake, clementines, hazelnuts and plum pudding. There are just 1,800 bottles available, so the exclusivity adds to its appeal as a gift . If you’re looking for a sure-fire hit for your Scotch-enjoying relative, Whisky Exchange is a reliable place to look.
Club Oenologique magazine
We couldn’t go without mentioning a subscription to our flagship print publication, Club Oenologique. Each issue covers the very best in fine wine and spirits, food and travel, which includes plenty of insights into the very best Scotch and world whisky. Pick up a single issue for the glossiest stocking filler or gift them a subscription that includes access to The Collection – our online home for premium content – and both issues of the magazine each year at a preferential rate.
From £14 for a single issue, click here