When you’re wondering what to get someone for the holidays, look to their hobbies. Since you’re friends with cool people, they’re into whiskey. Use that as a jumping-point for your shopping, and you’re sure to channel the “spirit” of the season for every level of fan.
For the Novice Drinker
A learn-it-all book
Start with the basics about bourbon — seriously, it even answers the question “what is bourbon?” — and go from there with professor Dr. Tim Berra’s Bourbon: What the Educated Drinker Should Know. Learn the history, science, and cultural significance of America’s native spirit within 224 pages of informative and entertaining prose. $28
A whiskey newbie likely isn’t pouring their drinks straight up, so make sure they’re equipped to mix the perfect cocktails with the correct tools. This Art Deco-inspired 5-piece barware set is functional and fun to display, in either stainless steel or an antique gold finish. Be ready for whatever cocktail is required with a 1- and 2-ounce jigger measure, a strainer, spoon, and bottle opener, all balanced on a sleek holder. $28 (ice bucket, shaker, and pitcher sold separately)
A set of proper glasses
Don’t risk your pal pouring whiskey into the wrong glass (and then thinking that’s okay going forward). The Glencairn crystal is hailed as “the official whiskey glass” and can be found at every distillery in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and many in the U.S., including Lux Row (in fact, you can buy Lux Row-branded Glencairn glasses in our gift shop). The tapered mouth captures the spirit’s all-important bouquet, while the wide bowl allows for the fullest appreciation of the color. $18
For the Intermediate Drinker
Whiskey water dropper
To really bring out the nuanced flavors of whiskey, experts say adding just a tiny bit of water to your glass will do the trick. These hand-crafted diluting droppers allow for an exact controlled amount, releasing one drop of water at time. After all, no one wants a watered-down glass of whiskey. Choose from the Whisky Pot Still, an Angel, or a Scottish Thistle topper for $36. Or splurge and get the portable option that comes with a tweed carrying case for $75.
Bar backpack kit
Forget a picnic basket — a bar backpack is really what everyone wants to take along with them on a day out. This insulated carrier holds three bottles of spirits and comes with six cocktail picks, a strainer, tongs, a cocktail spoon with hammer, a muddler, one double-sided jigger, a waiter-style corkscrew, a two-piece shaker, a fork-tipped serrated paring knife, a bottle/can opener, and an acacia cutting board. There are also zippered front pockets for business cards and a mobile phone. Because why wouldn’t it? $180
Pocket-size whiskey journal
Help them remember if they’re an Ezra Brooks fan or a true Rebel with this tiny but indispensable reminder that tracks tasting notes. Thinner than an iPhone, the 33 Whiskeys journal includes a flavor wheel and easy boxes to check, and is made of 100 percent recycled paper sourced from the Pacific Northwest. The coolest part though? Each edition is printed with ink that contains a small amount of whiskey. $5
Renowned mixologist Charles Joly created an entire line of barware exclusively for West Elm, taking his many years of expertise and boiling them down into easily obtainable products. His walnut and glass cloche comes with a handheld smoker so you can easily infuse any whiskey or bourbon with the delicious flavor of a campfire — even in your kitchen. $220
For the Aficionado
The Schott Zweisel Tritan Crystal Pure Whiskey Crystal Decanter is lead-free and as strong as it is stunning. It’s dishwasher-safe and resists chipping, scratching, and breaking, yet looks elegant and delicate on the bar. It’s also handmade in the Czech Republic, so the gift comes with a European pedigree that will inspire admiration for years to come. $130
Cigar case and whiskey glass set
If the bourbon lover if your life is also a cigar fan, then this gift set packs a one-two punch. It includes a twisted rocks glass and an easy-to-carry leather cigar case that can hold up to three cigars. Both come engraved with the initial of your choice. A matching cigar cutter and flip-top lighter are also included. $70
Lux Row Double Barrel Bourbon
For the bourbon aficionado in your life, may we recommend the limited-edition Lux Row Distillers Double Barrel Bourbon, which is a blend of two 12-year single barrels. Produced in honor of the distillery’s grand opening in 2018, the bourbon is available exclusively in our gift shop. So, yes, you will need to come see us to grab a bottle. But the fun there is that you get a little something for yourself — a trip to the distillery where you can arrange for a tour or a tasting for yourself — as well as a gift for that someone special. That’s what’s known as a win-win.
A whiskey vault
True collectors need a place to store their treasures. Enter this nearly indestructible storage container. Individually numbered and built to order out of exotic wood, each vault features a bullet-proof window, solid steel plate construction, three 25mm door-locking bolts, a tri-spoke handle machined from aircraft aluminum, and a UL-certified La Gard electronic lock system. You’ll need to rob a bank to buy one. But at least the whiskey will be protected. From $6,000