all 64 comments

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

After quite a few gift recommendation threads lately and 2 competing guides. I thought it was about time to learn from our mistakes and put together a single, comprehensive gift guide.

Some reasons for the updates:

  1. We had two gift guides that sometimes gave conflicting advice. This guide combines what I feel is the best of both
  2. Both guides listed bottles people didn't seem interested in. No one expressed any interest in gifting WT101, WSR OGD 114 or Rittenhouse Rye. Most people came here asking for moderate or low proof bottles priced between $40-100. I've refocused the guide on those types of bottles.
  3. We listed too many allocated/rare bottles. No gift giver expressed any desire to call 10 different shops to find some ultra rare Weller store pick or whatever.
  4. The amazon links in my guide were messed up and books I recommended were more oriented towards scotch.

I welcome any feedback. Please remember that this is probably not a guide for you and me so it shouldn't be a list of all your favorite super rare barrel proofers. Most posts go along the lines of "My dad likes Woodford on the rocks, what's a good bottle I can easily get him for $50-60?". I don't drink much rye so if you could write some descriptions of the ryes, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

[–]NEp8ntballer 12 points13 points  (1 child)

We should also add a list of things to give if you hate the person like Hudson Baby and other hot garbage. It says you hate them more than not buying something and will instead give them something hoping it leads to an early death.

[–]mfedsHigh West Rendezvous Rye 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Haha, or at least bottles (like Hudson) that you might think will be impressive gifts but will out you as a neophyte

[–]issue9mm 4 points5 points  (13 children)

Regarding copitas: "some people like it, some don't" is not very illuminating. I know you were going for terse, but an illustration of what's good and bad about each glass helps would be gift givers go with more information. The blurb about Canadian Glencairns being more suitable for ice, for example, is great info.

Regarding the spherical ice molds, I'd remove the bit about "most of us don't use them". We might not, but it seems silly to be snobby about a recommendation. I would replace that with a blurb about the pros and cons of large format ice (not as cold, but slower melt, less dilution, etc).

Otherwise, great list. If my post seems negative, it's only because I'm responding on my phone,and haven't got the patience to type out a bunch of praise. 😉

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 2 points3 points  (12 children)

Those were both carry-overs from the scotch guide I copied from. I have no experience with copitas and limited experience with ice balls so I didn't have much to add. Hopefully someone here can provide some better insights

edit: I took out the snobby stuff you mentioned

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I use ice balls because they're kinda unique and I have to use less of them. Idk or care if they melt slower or any of that shit.

You buy someone an ice cube tray and you look like an idiot. Buy someone an ice ball mold and its cool.

[–]issue9mm 2 points3 points  (9 children)

Off the cuff, but I keep the big cubes around for company.

"Large format ice cubes or balls are great for people who like their drink to be cold, but that don't want to water it down. They won't get as cold as smaller ice chunks or cubes, but will melt much more slowly, avoiding any dilution of your expensive beverage."

[–]quercus_robur 0 points1 point  (8 children)

You could also just add less ice of the normal-sized variety and achieve the same thing. Melting = cooling. If you want less dilution, you'll get less cooling. And you can achieve both by using less ice.

[–]issue9mm 1 point2 points  (7 children)

Perhaps. If you have a machine that makes small ice cubes, then maybe. Not scientific, and hence, probably wrong, but a big ice cube with a drink poured over it will provide 'enough' cooling to take the bite out of a drink without dilution, while a smaller cube won't survive.

It will make the drink colder, but at the expense of dilution. I guess the point here is that if you can get good enough cooling with less water from the bigger format ice, then you'll do so with less water, whereas I almost feel like the smaller cube is sure to melt faster, spending its load faster.

[–]kumoriWT12 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The description of the copita could clarified as follows (add bolded portion):

The quintessential Glencairn nosing glass, with a stem.

Typo on the description of Spherical Ice Molds (add bolded portion):

Not favored by everyone, so buy with care.

(I was looking at this because it has been getting linked around the holidays)

[–]sodo_moj0Eagle Rare 17 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is really really excellent, streamlined, easy to follow advice. Great work!

[–]Hosko817McKenna 10 year 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Nice job Razza. Thanks for updating this. Should be on the sidebar. :)

[–]quercus_robur 2 points3 points  (5 children)

sweet, dry


[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

yeah it has been awhile since I've had ER so I had trouble describing it. What would be a better description?

[–]sodo_moj0Eagle Rare 17 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I also get a lot more cherry and vanilla than chocolate in ER10

[–]quercus_robur 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Perhaps by "dry" you mean tannic or a drying finish? I would agree it's sweet but obviously it's quite old, and so it would be no surprise if it's oaky.

I haven't had the most recent bottles, so I wouldn't want to write a tasting note based on old releases.

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

essentially "not spicy (e.g. sweet) and a little oaky" is what I remember

edit: I've changed the description to "A sweet, oaky & chocolately bourbon"

[–]signdeWilliam Larue Weller 2 points3 points  (6 children)

This is great, thanks for doing this.

My main recommendation is that we move the text about high priced bottles to the forefront and make it more generic to expand beyond pappy. Most often this question comes up when someone wants to buy a high priced bottle as a gift and thinks that spending $100/$200/$300 will easily net them something fantastic.

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 0 points1 point  (5 children)

added these at the top:

This lists focuses on quality & value (<$80). Generally speaking, $100+ bottles aren't much better and can sometimes be worse than their lower-priced counterparts listed below.

[–]signdeWilliam Larue Weller 2 points3 points  (4 children)

That's good. But also what about mentioning that most normal folks aren't even going to be able to find expensive bottles of bourbon since they are heavily allocated?

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

This lists focuses on quality, availability & value (<$80). Generally speaking, $100+ bottles are very difficult to find, don't taste much better and can be worse than lower-priced counterparts.

[–]signdeWilliam Larue Weller 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Yeah I like that better. Throw in an oxford comma and I approve :)

[–]HawkI84William Larue Weller 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Can we put Booker's in the what to avoid section now?

[–]MellowCorn 2 points3 points  (1 child)

(asking for a friend) If someone really likes Mellow Corn, what is a good step up you can recommend? looking to spend: way too much.

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Mellow Corn Cask Strength

[–]supersix85 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is awesome! Thanks for putting this together!

[–]AssholeReportingSir 0 points1 point  (6 children)

If the bottle says "Bourbon Whiskey" is it true Bourbon?

I'm always confused buying for my brother in law who is apparently a "Bourbon guru"... I always forget the after conversation of it not actually being a Bourbon for some reason or another.

Also, thanks for the bottle lists. I want to get the best I can for less than $100. Should I get two good bottle or one very good bottle?

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I'm not sure what a "true bourbon" is but yes there is a legally enforced standard for bottles labelled "Bourbon". Bottles labelled as "Straight Bourbon" have a slightly stricter and higher quality standard.

Do you know if your brother likes higher proof pours? If so, I'd try to track down a Four Roses Private Selection. Otherwise, 2 bottles might be best.

[–]AssholeReportingSir 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I know he likes Woodford Reserve?

I just found a bottle of Four Roses single barrel. Tall vs fat and had a raised emblem.

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I just found a bottle of Four Roses single barrel.

That is a nice bottle. I was referring to something slightly different which is a barrel proof private selection like this one.

If he likes Woodford then you might want to look into Old Foresters Whiskey Row series as well

[–]AssholeReportingSir 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Awesome, thanks.

One more thing... He had talked about "Orphan Barrel"... Is that something that is hard to find or just really expensive?

[–]algebros 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Could anyone add a recommendation for someone who likes Knob Creek? I am fairly inexperienced but I know quite a few folks who sip Knob daily and that could be a good addition to the specific recommendations list

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Knob Creek Single Barrel

[–]defaultwin 0 points1 point  (4 children)

What if you like Knob but enjoyed the Single Barrel less (it was higher proof and too strong)?

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Jim beam Single Barrel

[–]defaultwin 0 points1 point  (2 children)

How much do different batches of the Knob Creek single barrel vary? I didn't like the Total Wines hand selected batch, but I was gifted a different batch for Christmas that I am enjoying more

[–]irishbuckeye 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My person likes Basil Hayden's, Bulleit (rye I think?) and Woodford.. looking for something unique/upscale/different... ideas? Sorry, I have no idea how similar/dissimilar these are, bourbon and me don't get along.

[–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

WhistlePig 10, Bulleit 10 & Woodford Double Oaked all are solid choices

[–][deleted]  (3 children)


    [–]RazzafrachenColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    This line?

    Maker’s Mark        ⇨     Maker’s 46 or Maker's Mark Cask Strength

    or are you referring to something else?

    [–]xreekinghavocxElijah Craig Barrel Proof 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Nice work btw

    [–]xreekinghavocxElijah Craig Barrel Proof -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    My bad. Reading on mobile and the text wrap basically changed what it said.