Speaking as something of a whisky fan myself, I can pretty well guarantee that a nice bottle of single malt (Scottish of course) is a gift that will be gratefully received by any whisky lover. Not exactly one of life’s more puzzling conundrums is it? Whisky lovers love whisky – you can see the logic.
However, if you want to bestow a gift in non-liquid form to the whisky buff in your life, maybe to provide a longer lasting memory, then you have plenty of alternative options. Let’s have a look at some alternative gift ideas for whisky lovers.
Strictly speaking, unlike wine, there’s no real need to decant whisky. The taste of a good whisky won’t be altered by transferring it from the bottle to a decanter, albeit some people do say that the first glass from a bottle can taste a little different from the remainder.
However, a whisky decanter is a nice, classy touch, and any whisky lover would be pleased to receive one – even if only for novelty value. There are any number of different designs to choose from. Personally speaking, I prefer a decanter which has fairly minimal decoration and which shows off the depth of color of the whisky inside.
You can choose a decanter on its own or go for a decanter plus glass set. It’s up to you.
These are proving to be really popular these days. Of course, you wouldn’t normally add ice to a really good whisky anyway, but if your whisky buff wants to enjoy their favorite tipple when the weather is warm, but doesn’t want to dilute their drink with horrible, melty ice cubes, then whisky stones might not be a bad choice.
There are a variety on the market. The most popular ones are one inch square soapstone cubes – but granite and stainless steel are also available. The soapstone ones are actually softer than glass – so you won’t run the risk of scratching or damaging your whisky lover’s crystal glassware.
You simply put the whisky stones into the freezer for 3 or 4 hours before use. Then just add them to your drink as you would with ice cubes – three one inch cubes per drink should be enough. The stones cubes won’t absorb any taste or odor from whatever drinks you put them in – just give them a quick rinse under running water when you’re done and then pop them back in the freezer for the next time.
One thing that’s worth pointing out, these won’t cool your drink down as much as ice would – but that’s no bad thing. Making your whisky too cool will kill both the aroma and the flavor. These stones will cool a drink, to a reasonable temperature, and there will be no problem with diluting the whisky as the ice melts.
They are available in sets of 9 and upwards and some gift sets, which include whisky glasses, are also available on the market. Most of these whisky stones come in a nice gift box and have a small bag to help keep the rocks together in the freezer.
It’s hard to believe that until fairly recently, there was no “official” whisky glass. Strictly speaking, there still isn’t an official glass for whisky, but the Glencairn whisky glass has pretty well been adopted as the de facto standard worldwide when it comes to whisky drinking.
It’s specially shaped to channel the fumes from the whisky towards the taster’s nose. This helps to enhance the bouquet, the savoring of which is the first step to enjoying a fine whisky – and especially a new one that you may not have tried before.
You can get some of these glasses with a “watch glass”, which is just a flat glass disk that you place over the mouth of the glass after giving the whisky a bit of a swirl. Come back in a few minutes, remove the glass disk and have a good sniff at the whisky.
If you, or your lucky whisky loving gift recipient, haven’t tried these glasses before, you’ll be amazed at just how they seem to amplify the aroma of the whisky. It’s a gift that will be well received.
Obviously no self respecting whisky lover will go far without some whisky about their person. A whisky flask is the ideal thing for this.
Don’t worry if they already have one, a back up (or two) can come in very handy. As with glasses and decanters, they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Some of them even come with their own little shot glasses – how cool is that?
The one on the right has its own telescopic shot “glass” which screws/unscrews into a special central compartment. Pretty nifty!
Regardless of how manfully they struggle, there will be a limit on just how much your favorite whisky lover can drink. There will be times when, for medical reason, they are forced to stop drinking whisky and choose other drinks – such as tea, coffee or soda.
During these “rest periods”, they may well enjoy reading about the different types of whisky available to them when they are fully rested and recovered. It will also provide some background information and allow them to select their next whisky.
And of course, apart from drinking whisky, talking about whisky is another favorite pastime of the true whisky devotee. Such reading material will arm them with an appropriate level of “interesting” facts about whisky which they can share with their appreciative audience.