With supermarket adverts and Love Actually on the TV, 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 gifts.
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 gifting. So here we have complied a list of our top 13 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.
For more gift ideas for the drink lover in your life, see the full Club Oenologique Christmas gift guide.
Top Christmas gifts for the whisky lover in your life
The Craft 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 booze-based Christmas calendars has been unstoppable over the last few years, and the countdown to Christmas has never been so tasty. This year, the whisky advent calendar originator Drinks by The Dram has upped its game, with a craft producer’s version of its popular package. It features miniature bottles from whisky distilleries across the globe, including Scotland’s Highland Park, Finland’s Kyrö, and Ireland’s Redbreast. A brilliant romp through the world of craft whisky.
Bob’s Winter Bitters (10cl)
The Old Fashioned is one of the most versatile whiskey cocktails. Traditionally a mix of sugar, Angostura bitters and bourbon, this drink can be given a Christmas twist by switching up the usual white sugar for a darker muscovado (which dissolves more easily, too) and swapping the Angostura for Bob’s Winter Bitters. These bitters bring Christmas spices to a classic cold-weather cocktail. Pair with a brilliant bourbon, and you have an excellent winter warmer.
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’s great for gifting.
From £7, glencairn.co.uk
Ice ball moulds set, John Lewis
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.
A full-size bottle of whisky makes for a great one-off gift (see below) but you can also reward a loved one with a range of different drams across the year. OurWhisky is a subscription club open to all, from beginners to enthusiasts. Every month, subscribers receive a pair of 50ml whisky samples in the post, designed to be enjoyed during a live-streamed, interactive tasting hosted by the whisky makers themselves.
£168 for a year, ourwhisky.com
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2023
There are a number of great whisky books on the market, but the one essential read that will add to the shelf of any enthusiast is the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2023. The adult equivalent of The Beano Annual, each yearly edition comes packed with the latest information from the world of whisky, with articles, interviews and distillery profiles. Once they’ve read one edition, it’ll become an annual fixture.
Double 6oz Leather Hip Flask, Aspinal of London
A hip flask is a brilliant piece of kit that allows drinkers to dram wherever they are, from a forest walk to a ferry crossing. Choosing which particular whisky you put into it is the challenge, however. However, the good people at Aspinal of London have designed a cute little number that combines two small flasks in one, allowing the owner to take a couple of options with them when they’re on the go.
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 the ‘must visit’ whisky experience of the moment is the brilliant new 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
DRAM OF WHISKY SCENTED CANDLE, NOBLE ISLE
The aroma of whisky is a key element to the overall experience, and the folk at luxury British brand Noble Isle have created an homage to the scent of the spirit, with its Dram of Whisky candle. With a 45-hour burn time and triple-wick design, whisky lovers should have more than enough moments to relax and enjoy this alongside their chosen Christmas malt.
The Whisky Collector’s Hamper, Fortnum & Mason
The masters of the hamper, London’s Fortnum & Mason has turned its hand to whisky this 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 its annual Christmas bottling, A Good Old-Fashioned Christmas Whisky. This year, it’s a blended Scotch woven together from hogsheads and sherry butts of Glen Elgin, Linkwood, Blair Athol, Strathclyde and Cameronbridge. Rich, spicy and fruity, it’s fair to say this is Christmas in a glass.
Club Oenologique magazine
We couldn’t go without mentioning a subscription to our flagship quarterly 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 all four issues of the magazine throughout the year and at a preferential rate.
From £14 for a single issue, click here