From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Whether you’re looking for a Glenfiddich, a GlenDronach or a Glenmorangie, we’ve rounded up the best bottles from our favourite whiskymakers…

It’s a classic Christmas gift — but much can go wrong when you wrap up a bottle of whisky. Because these darkest, most decadent of spirits are highly subjective. Some people prefer them peaty. Others like them light. And there’s even a breed who’d rather a bourbon, or a rye. And that’s why it pays to do some research.

Thankfully, whisky is something of a speciality of ours over here at Gentleman’s Journal. And below, we’ve rounded up a bevvy of the best bottles to slip under the tree this Christmas. Most hail from Scotland, but there’s the odd whisky wild card in there. So, if in doubt, take your pick from these opulent options…

The GlenDronach 12 Year Old

First up, a choice bottle from The GlenDronach. We recently visited the Highland distillery, and learned both how the brand’s delectable bottlings are created — and how to enjoy the quartet of core whiskies. This entry expression, a sherried 12-year-old single malt, features suitably seasonal notes of caramelised sugar, marmalade and smoky toffee.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

The GlenDronach 12 Year Old

£47.95

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Glenmorangie ‘A Tale of The Forest’

Glemorangie is the gift that keeps on giving. Because, each and every year, the renowned whiskymaker dabbles and experiments its way to a bold new expression. This year, Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, has whipped up a whisky inspired by his morning woodland rambles. Expect forest-y flavours, including those of juniper, birch bark and heather blossom.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Glenmorangie ‘A Tale of The Forest’

£74.95

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Rabbit Hole ‘Boxergrail' Rye Whiskey

The sole non-scotch on this list, Rabbit Hole is Kentucky’s latest, most lively whiskey. A resplendent green-labelled rye that adds a dash of malted barley to its mash bill, ‘Boxergrail’ is ideal for winter drinking. It’s as unctuous a whiskey as you’ll sip this festive season, with a mouthfeel as creamy and warming as its spicy, caramel taste.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Rabbit Hole ‘Boxergrail' Rye Whiskey

£46.95

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Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask

Another whiskymaker we’ve come to know intimately and intoxicatingly over the last year is Aberlour. And this 14-year-old expression from the traditional brand shares the same Christmas-ready flavours as The GlenDronach above. Uncork that fetchingly blue-waxed bottle and you’ll sniff whiffs of cloves, cardamom, toffee, milk chocolate and orange zest.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask

£54.45

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Glen Scotia ‘Victoriana’ Whisky

Here’s one for the real whisky enthusiasts in your life. In a traditional green whisky bottle, Glen Scotia’s ‘Victoriana’ is a modern interpretation of a classic Victorian-style Campbeltown malt whisky. Matured in a combination of bourbon barrels and finished in Pedro Ximénez casks, it sings with authentic, aged flavours of crème brûlée, blackcurrants and dark chocolate.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Glen Scotia ‘Victoriana’ Whisky

£73.00

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The Glenlivet 18 Year Old

For a slightly higher price point, you want to stick with an established name. This way, you know that quality is guaranteed. And few whiskymakers guarantee fine flavours and luxurious finishes like The Glenlivet. This charmingly clear-bottled expression, 18-years-old and finished in sherry casks, won two golds at the International Wine and Spirits Competition — and boasts unusually sapid notes of spearmint, fennel and flower petals. 

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old

£99.99

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The Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

Finished in casks which previously held Caribbean rum, this 14-year-old whisky from The Balvenie is infused with extra sweetness and warmth — and additional tropical notes of mango, passion fruit and syrupy vanilla. It’s an exotic spin on Speyside spirits, but the flavours come second to the unctuous mouthfeel with this one. It’ll coat your mouth with its thick fruity character, and leave you with a lingering creamy finish.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

£66.95

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Bowmore 15 Year Old

Rich and peat-smoked, this burnt sienna scotch whisky is as classic as spirits come. Matured first in bourbon barrels then Oloroso casks, there’s no finer example of a sherry cask finish for any whisky aficionados in your life. It’s another bottle with multiple wins at global competitions, and that’s no wonder — brimming as it is with notes of cedar wood and rich treacle toffee flavours.

The Macallan Quest

With a flavourful nature as adventurous as its name, ‘Quest’ from The Macallan pays homage to the journey taken by the whiskymaker to source the best oak across over 20,000 miles. That means four different casks types, coming together in oaky harmony to awaken flavours of soft citrus fruits, baking spice and vanilla sweetness.

Glenfiddich ’Grand Cru’ 23 Year Old

In a sparkling experiment — which, truth be told, is not a new release this year, but one certainly still worth giving as a big ticket gift — Glenfiddich experimented with French oak casks used in Champagne to age this incredibly drinkable whisky with a palate that offers notes of creamy vanilla, brioche, pear sorbet and white grapes, complimented by aromas of freshly-baked bread and apple blossom.

From Campbeltown to Kentucky, these are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas

Glenfiddich ’Grand Cru’ 23 Year Old

£220.00

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Want more gift ideas? These are the champagnes we’re drinking this Christmas…

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