The Bourbon Whiskey Gift Guide

Give the Gift of America's Native Spirit

A bottle of whiskey is the perfect gift for many occasions, particularly if a whiskey lover is on your list. Whether it be for Christmas, Father's Day, birthdays, or for big life events like a promotion or retirement, a great whiskey is a perfect gift for the men of your life. It is also very easy and requires a quick trip to your local liquor store, so it is the perfect last-minute idea.

Below are some of our favorite bourbon whiskies that are perfect for giving as gifts and many of these...MORE brands have specialty bottlings that are the perfect upgrade to make the gift just a little more special.

  • 01 of 07
    Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
    A fantastic bourbon, Bulleit is a perfect example of Kentucky whiskey at its finest. Photo Courtesy: © Bulleit Bourbon

    At 17%, Bulleit has the highest proportion of rye in its mashbill of any bourbon currently produced. This results in a spiciness that marries well with the subtle vanilla tones of this bourbon.

    An excellent choice any time of year, if your whiskey lover prefers rye whiskey, this is a great bourbon to give him. The brand also produces a 10-year-old bourbon as well as a rye whiskey and all are excellent options.

  • 02 of 07
    Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky
    That familiar dripping red wax signifies that you have a bottle of Maker's Mark in front of you. Norio.NAKAYAMA/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Almost the polar opposite of Bulleit, Maker's Mark is a sweeter wheated bourbon and it is perfect for cocktails. Smooth, elegant and easy drinking, Makers Mark is sure to please even the most discerning whiskey drinker's palate.

    Look for the new Makers Mark 46 for a pleasant surprise.

  • 03 of 07
    Jim Beam Black Label Bourbon Whiskey
    You may recognize Jim Beam's White Label, but give yourself a treat and get a taste of the older Black Label. Photo Courtesy: © Jim Beam Bourbon

    While the standard Jim Beam white label is a great deal at 4 years old, for a few dollars more you can pick up the highly regarded Black Label which is aged for 8 years.

    This is one of the great values in American bourbon today and for under $30 you'll be giving the whiskey enthusiast a bourbon that tastes like it costs a lot more than it does. A particularly good choice during tough economic times, Jim Beam Black Label proves that exceptional quality doesn't have to break the bank.

  • 04 of 07
    Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    Always a favorite for cocktails, Wild Turkey 101 is a flavor powerhouse that will not get lost in the drink. Photo Courtesy: © Wild Turkey Bourbon

    My personal choice for making a Mint Julep, Wild Turkey 101 is perfect for the bourbon lover who enjoys a nice, spicy bourbon. At 101 proof, it can handle being served on the rocks without getting too watered down.

    If he deserves a particularly special gift this year, pair a bottle of the Wild Turkey 101 with Russell's Reserve Rye Whiskey (also made by Wild Turkey) for a potent one-two punch.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Four Roses Yellow Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    Yellow Label is just the beginning of the great bourbons produced by Four Roses. Photo Courtesy: © Four Roses Bourbon

    Four Roses offers a sweeter flavor profile than Wild Turkey, with big vanilla and caramel tones. This is also a distiller that produces a great line of ever-changing limited edition bottles.

    Look for their Single Barrel or Small Batch marques for a sure hit on the whiskey lover's wishlist. If you are looking to splurge a bit, Four Roses Mariage Collection is one of the great bourbons available although a bit pricey.

  • 06 of 07
    Old Forester Signature Bourbon Whiskey
    A fantastic bourbon to mix into any cocktail, Old Forester Signature has a great flavor so it doesn't get lost in drinks and it comes at an affordable price. Photo Courtesy: Brown-Forman

    One of the great underappreciated names in American bourbon. At less than $20, you are giving a stellar and versatile bourbon without breaking the bank. Nice rye notes and a big wood influence offer a complex flavor rarely seen at this price.

    Look for Old Forester's annual Birthday Bourbon release, it is never a disappointment and always a new experience.

  • 07 of 07
    Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
    A wonderful small batch bourbon, give Elijah Craig a taste for true whiskey style. Photo Courtesy: Heaven Hill Brands

    Elijah Craig offers both 12 year and 18 year bottlings. Either choice is a can't miss and both are very reasonably priced for their age and quality.

    If your whiskey enthusiast is a big fan of Heaven Hill's bourbons, why not get him something truly memorable like Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary?

Originally Published: June 12, 2010 - Edited by Colleen Graham