Sean Murphy takes a look at some of the best whisky gifts to treat friends, family or yourself to this Christmas.

Want to get an amazing gift for that person in your life who loves whisky but aren’t really sure where to start?

Then why not let us take away some of the hassle with our easy to follow whisky gift guide that should hopefully provide some inspiration.

A membership for the The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The perfect gift for…. those who like to try some truly unique whiskies

Picture: SWMS

Why spend £100 or so on a bottle when you can give the gift of a membership to one of the world’s most respected whisky societies?

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club that bottles the world’s widest selection of single cask, single malt whisky (as well as other spirits as part of their new spirits range) for its members.

The club, which was started by a group of friends in Edinburgh in 1983, specialises in single cask whisky and takes a unique approach to whisky by celebrating the flavours in the bottle through 12 unique flavour profiles.

This year, the Society are offering a range of membership packages meaning you’ll have the perfect present to place under the Christmas tree in the form of either a bottle, a welcome pack containing three 10cl sample bottles or a a Taster Pack containing five 25ml samples of Society whiskies depending on which package you choose from the following:

· Pioneer (£130): the most popular option – core annual membership PLUS a beautiful welcome pack containing three 10cl sample bottles, a £15 e-voucher, SMWS journal and club lapel badge

· Champion (£110): core annual membership PLUS a specially selected bottle of the moment

· Explorer (£90): core annual membership PLUS a Taster Pack containing five 25ml samples of Society whiskies from its 12 flavour profiles

· High Flyer (£80): core annual membership PLUS a three-dram tasting flight for one person at the Society’s Kaleidoscope bars in London or Edinburgh

· Sharer (£125): core annual membership PLUS two tasting vouchers (each worth £35) redeemable at any of the Society’s partner bars and events around the UK, and its Kaleidoscope bars in London and Edinburgh

A membership grants those who join exclusive access to the Society’s monthly releases of single cask, single malt whisky, as well as special grain whiskies, bourbons and even rums.

Best of all, these whiskies are all taken from unique casks, which provides access to flavours you wouldn’t be able to get access to, even from some of the distillery bottlings.

In addition to receiving award-winning members’ magazine, ‘Unfiltered’, members can also attend special tasting events and gain access to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s beautiful private Members’ Rooms in Edinburgh and London.

Whisky Blender – Blend your own whisky

The perfect gift for… those who like the personal touch

Ok, so this one is a bit of a cheat as Mark Connelly already included this in the excellent gift guide we published last year but we couldn’t resist adding it as it is such a unique concept.

Choose your flavours and accurately measure how much you want to add. Picture: Whisky Blend

Choose your flavours and accurately measure how much you want to add. Picture: Whisky Blend

Choose from a range of flavours including soft and fruity, smoky fruit cake and taste of the sea, select how much you you want to add and in what ratio, create your own brand for the label (and your own name as the blender) then marvel as your own bottle of blended whisky appears on the screen before you ready to be shipped to the lucky recipient.

Whisky blend

The finished whisky is filled into a decanter bottle, labelled by hand and comes with a blending certificate.

Tickets to spend Burns Night at the spiritual home of whisky

The perfect gift for… those who want to enjoy a special night out

Whisky gifts

Picture: Lindores Abbey

Lindores Abbey, described as the spiritual home of whisky, is opening its doors this festive season with a series of exciting events.

If you are stuck for ideas on how you can surprise your favourite whisky fan this Christmas, this maybe the present for you. Give them the chance to be one of the first groups of people to visit the newly-built distillery and visitor centre in Fife.

Opened in October, Lindores Abbey Distillery has been built to preserve the ruins of the Abbey in Newburgh, Fife, which was established in 1191 by Tironensian monks and in 1494 was the site of the first recorded distillation of Scotch whisky.

The final offering in a series of traditional Scottish events, January 27th will see a Burns Night celebration within the distillery grounds, with plenty of traditional toasts and tastes as the national bard is celebrated at the spiritual home of our national drink.

With a piper, ceilidh band and, of course, plenty of haggis, the team at Lindores say this is an evening not to be missed as our national bard is celebrated at the spiritual home of our national drink.

Tickets cost £50 per person.

The miniature whisky and chocolate hamper from Whiski Rooms

The perfect gift for… those wanting a great gift for under the tree

Should you be looking for a complete gift to place under the tree then this bespoke gift hamper from Whiski Rooms might be more your thing.

Priced at £48, the hamper pairs 4 choice whiskies with some delightful chocolates.

• READ MORE: The best food and drink advent calendars we’ve seen for 2017

Ian Buxton 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Tasting Set

The perfect gift for those… who like to try a little bit of everything

Christmas gifts

Picture: Master of Malt

Looking for a gift for someone who’s curious to try a range of different whiskies but don’t want to break the bank? Then this cracking little tasting set from Drinks by the Dram is the perfect answer.

Priced at £79.95, the tasting set comes with Ian’s excellent book, as well as 10 whiskies which explore the diverse range of flavours not just from whiskies from around the world but also from across Scotland and the main whisky regions – this tasting set is a wonderful little glimpses into the provenance of a huge selection of whiskies.

Other sets within the taster range include The World Whiskies Awards 2017 Scotch Whisky Winners, The Islands and Regions of Scotland, Irish and Japanese whiskies and are not just restricted to whisky, you can also get gins, rums and other spirits from around the globe.

Perfect Measure whisky baubles from The Whisky Exchange

The perfect gift for those… who love Christmas

Whisky gifts

Picture: The Whisky Exchange

This new range of Perfect Measure baubles from The Whisky Exchange, which feature 3cl bottles of your favourite spirit, as well as rum and gin, are perfect for people who would love to mix their love of Christmas with their love of whisky.

Costing £27.95 for a pack of three, you can choose from Scottish whiskies or whiskies from around the world depending on your chosen giftee’s tastes.

• READ MORE: Christmas gift guide: the best Scottish gin present ideas

Specialist whisky glasses

The perfect gift for those… looking to enjoy whisky in the right way

Christmas gifts

Picture: Norlan\Wikimedia

Much like an artist using the right brush or sports person needing the right equipment, using the right whisky glass can make a big difference for your enjoyment of whisky.

We’ve picked two of the most popular for gifting ideas but a little research will show there are more out there designed to cater for any person’s individual needs.

First up is the Glencairn which is the traditional whisky fan’s go to glassware and is generally accepted as the industry standard, however there are plenty of versions available meaning you can choose one to fit your price range if the original seems a tad expensive.

The challenger to the crown is the Norlan whisky glass, this futuristic piece of kit combines science, design and the vast experience of master distiller Jim McEwan to create a glass that will totally enhance the way you drink whisky – plus it just looks really cool. Value-wise it’s a tad more expensive than most of the other glassware out there but is a great gift for that whisky fan who likes to be on the cutting edge of whisky drinking.

Lost Distillery Company’s Christmas Pudding blended malt whisky

The perfect gift for those… looking for the perfect Christmas themed dram

Independent Scotch whisky producer, The Lost Distillery Company, has unveiled this limited edition Jericho Christmas Pudding blended malt whisky for the festive season.

The new Christmas-themed whisky is part of the Jericho range, styled on the lost distillery in Nether Jericho, Aberdeenshire which closed in 1913 due to its isolated location.

The whisky is described as having “hints of orange zest, rich marzipan, spice and dried fruits” and the “comforting flavours of the much-loved Christmas pudding in each scrumptious sip” – making it the perfect dram to accompany any Christmas Dinner.

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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