Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gifts for the Scotch Lover

With Christmas a mere couple of months away, it is not too early to start thinking what gift you want to get for the scotch lovers in your family.  With the many different options to choose from, you may be overwhelmed with the choices and become afraid to pick the "wrong gift".  Well, fret no more!  Here is a list of the top 5 holiday gifts for the scotch lover of your life. 

1) Whisky stones
 As previously discussed here, whisky stones are a great way to chill your scotch without the risk of diluting the drink.  These stones are simply cubes of flavorless, odorless, non-porous soapstone that can chill your liquor without diluting it or affecting its taste. 

These soapstone retains its temperature longer than ice, thus providing a more lasting chill.  What I especially like is that even though the chill from the whisky stones last longer, they do not chill your scotch so harshly that it becomes so cold that the flavor profile of the drink is sacrificed. 

The stones are softer than granite, and are not supposed to scratch your beloved tumbler, or your teeth when you are drinking, for that matter!

Whisky stones are sold by a company called Terforma.  They are available for purchase at Amazon by clicking here.  Prices are fair too, retailing for under $20 for a set of nine stones. 

2) Scotland Distilleries Map
If the scotch lover of your life is planning a pilgrimage to Scotland to visit the distilleries, or that he's simply interested in finding out where his favorite distillery is located, or maybe he's looking for a nice distillery map to frame up and hang on his bar room wall, then you should consider getting him this gift. 

 My favorite map is "The Malt Whisky Map of Scotland".  It is a full-color relief map of Scotland's whisky landscape with regional tasting notes, distillery profiles and an index of lost distilleries.   

3) The Glencairn Glass

This award-winning Glenacrin Glass is by far the best glass from which to drink scotch from.  The glass itself is very sturdy, and the tapering mouth concentrates aromas excellently and allows for ease of drinking not associated with traditional nosing glasses.  Its wide bowl allows for the fullest appreciation of the whisky's color, and the solid base is designed to be easy on the hand.
You can purchase the glass from Amazon by clicking here.  The average price appears to be approximately $12 - $13. 

The Glencarin site itself is very slick, and has a nice 30 second animated sequence on how to appreciate whisky.  You should check it out!

4) Decanter
Even though I personally don't use a decanter to store or serve my scotch, few can deny that a well-made, exquisite decanter can be very impressive to serve from when having a party or just entertaining a few guests.  It simply oozes class and sophistication, qualities which scotch embodies.  As an extra personal touch, you can consider an option to personalize your decanter with an engravement on the glass.

When shopping for a decanter, look for a great quality manufacturer who is using high-quality materials.  Shape doesn't really matter, it comes down to individual preferences.

5) Michael Jackson's Books
No, not the singer.  Michael Jackson is the world's bestselling writer on the subjects of whisky and beer, and is the most respected scotch writer in the business.  His book: "Whiskey: The Definitive World Guide ", is considered a must read for any scotch enthusiast. 

What is the local climate and geography of the distillery? What the kind of grain is used, and how is it prepared for fermenting? What is the shape of the still? What kind of oak is used for the cask, and how long is the whiskey aged? Jackson's collection of essays and photographs will teach newbies how to answer all of these questions, but it will gratify the most obsessive enthusiasts as well. Every step of the process gets its own explanation, and there are even essays on food pairings and cocktail recipes.

6) Whisky Flask
This one should need no explanation.  For the scotch lovers constantly on the go!  Click here to check out the selection.

7) Scotch-Theme Coasters

Every glass of scotch need a coaster to set down on so that the glass won't mar the furniture.  There are tons of designs out there catering to all the different preferences. 

This is it!  I hope that this list helps you get through your holiday shopping without breaking a sweat.  And if you are are scotch drinker and want to drop some hints your family members or friends, just send them the link to this page and cross your fingers!


  1. I couldn't disagree more on the whiskey stones. I don't want to get into the physics here, but basically the actual act of melting is part of how ice cubes cool a beverage. These stones will not be anything like as effective at transferring thermal energy away from the beverage as ice cubes are. The dilution is a small price to pay, and unless you're nursing a small measure of whisky for a long time the dilution will be negligible.

  2. Nice list! Also consider a handmade gift from:

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