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Holiday Gift Bag: Bourbon

With another Thanksgiving in the books and Black Friday behind us, the reality of holiday shopping is top of mind for the rest of the holiday season. So, what to get the bourbon lover on your list? Stores are often already sold out of the most sought-after items and those that are usually available are becoming harder to find with each passing day. But never fear, we’re here to help!

The Impossibles

Let’s get this out of the way early—finding a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, Elijah Craig 23 Year, Elmer T. Lee, or the like will be nearly impossible. You’ll have to get lucky, stand in a long line, or pay an exorbitant amount of money on the secondary market. And anyway, who wants to bank on getting lucky when it comes to someone’s gift?  So, plan the bourbon gift first, then if you get lucky, you can always gift the impossible bourbon and keep the other for yourself.

Affordable but Impressive

The next thing to consider is how much you’re willing to spend. It’s a good idea to come up with a price range before going shopping. Once you’ve got that in mind, it’s time to start thinking about the person you’re buying for.

Let’s start with buying bourbon for a self-proclaimed bourbon aficionado. They know bourbon and they know what’s available. So, the right choice could go a long way. There are few off the radar items like Old Bardstown Bottled-in-Bond (100 Proof) that make the cut. It’s affordable at around $20, plus it’s only available in Kentucky!  Made by the good folks at the Willett Distillery, it’s a bonded or bottled-in-bond bourbon, which most true aficionados respect.  Another choice would be Heaven Hill Green Label 6 Years Old.  It’s only around $14 a bottle, or $25 for the 1.75L bottle and aficionados love it.

Barrel Picks

True bourbon aficionados love barrel picks. Every Liquor Barn-Party Mart store has a special area where we keep our selected single barrels. You’re sure to find some gems there, like Maker’s Mark Private Select.  The packaging is great—and it tastes great too. There’s plenty more to choose from as well: Russell’s Reserve, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, Knob Creek Single Barrel, New Riff Single Barrel, Four Roses, and many more. If you’re not sure where to find them, just ask an associate and they can help.

The Best of the Rest

So, what’s left?  Plenty! A couple of standard bourbons would be Angel’s Envy or Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. These two bottles have great packaging and the bourbon is worthy too, so they are always great as a gift.  For an extra treat, grab a bottle of the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and a bag of chocolate covered pecans—a match made in heaven! There’s also Old Forester 1920, Blade & Bow, and anything Four Roses is always a good idea. Specifically, the Four Roses Small Batch Select released this past spring has received glowing reviews, tastes great, and is readily available here in Kentucky. Another great choice is Evan Williams Single Barrel. It’s an easy-to-find single barrel bourbon at an affordable price.

Oh, and don’t forget, Liquor Barn-Party Mart engraves bottles too.  It’s a thoughtful touch that will definitely make your gift all that much more personal. So now that you know the basics, get out there and go for it. You can do it, just don’t wait too long!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Brad Williams
Bourbon Master
Vice President – Purchasing and Product Development

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