Who doesn’t want a bottle of something good to drink this holiday season? After the kind of year that we all endured in 2020, everybody deserves a present given in the form of beer, whiskey or wine.
Each holiday season, the editorial team behind Beverage Dynamics compiles a list of our favorite boozy gift ideas. These represent an array of products, from value-added seasonal releases (VAPs) to holiday-themed bottles to regular SKUs that simply caught our attention as worth wrapping up and handing to that special someone. Here’s what we like for 2020:
Russell’s Reserve 2003
From Wild Turkey Distillery, this bourbon was created by Master Distiller Eddie Russell. The 2003 edition is a limited release never to be repeated. Approximately 3,600 bottles will be available at select retailers in the U.S. for $250 per 750-ml. bottle.
The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old
The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old is a single malt whisky in which sherry-seasoned American oak adds vanilla to the spice of European oak, the company says, delivering a whisky with a sweeter, warmer taste and character. SRP: $135.
Benriach 21 Year
This Speyside single malt Scotch whisky matured for at least 21 years in a combination of four casks: bourbon, virgin oak, Pedro Ximenez sherry and red wine casks. Married together by Master Blender Rachel Barrie, the final expression has notes of vanilla, chocolate and red fruits, the company says, developing from BenRiach’s sweet barley and fruit-laden style. SRP: $174.99.
The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8
Matured for ten years in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at cask strength, 61%. Notes range from mocha, dark chocolate and caramel espresso to cherry cake layered with raisins and plum, the company reports. The palate also contains fruits, warm spices and dark chocolate. SRP: $95.
Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series
BBC’s Fusion Series #3 features 13-year-old sourced bourbon and selected three-year-old mash bills. Tasting notes include green apple with honey, roasted nuts and caramel, according to the company.
New Riff Private Barrel
New Riff’s new single barrel program offers the option of selecting a full, half or quarter barrel as an experiential gift through its onsite selection process or virtual tasting from home.
New Riff Private Barrel.Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition
The exclusive whiskey is Woodford Reserve Bourbon aged an additional three years in XO cognac casks from France. The spirit is bottled in a handmade crystal decanter that took five days to create in Baccarat, France, the company says. Woodford Baccarat is 90.4 proof and retails for $2,000 per 750-ml. bottle.
Roundstone Rye Sampler Pack
This sampler pack features three 200-ml. bottles of Catoctin Creek’s flagship product, Roundstone Rye, in 80 proof, 92 proof and cask proof. Each purchase also includes a free virtual tasting with Chief Distiller Becky Harris.
The new 1800 Cristalino aged in new American and French barrels for 16 months and finished in port wine casks. This is 1800 Añejo that went through a filtering process to leave a smoother, colorless tequila, the compoany says, with primary aromatic notes of balanced roasted wood, as well as tasting notes of caramel, honey, vanilla and porto wood.The 750-ml. cut-glass prism bottle is available for $65.
George Dickel Bottled in Bond 11-Year-Old
Named the best deal in whiskey in 2020 by Beverage Dynamics, this 11-year-old whisky was barreled in the fall of 2008. George Dickel Bottled in Bond has notes of pecan, maple syrup and dried apple, the company reports. It is 100 proof. The suggested retail price is $39.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel
Named the second-best deal in whiskey in 2020 by Beverage Dynamics, this latest line extension from the Elijah Craig family, Toasted Barrel adds an extra layer of sweet oak complexity to the traditional bourbon, the company says. The suggested retail price is $49.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
Belvedere Vodka Cutting Board and Tin Box
Two new add-ons are available from Belvedere this holiday season. One gift pack includes a maplewood cutting board, made with eco-friendly packaging, and a base made from recyclable materials. The other Tin Box features a brushed finish, embossed logo and leather-look handle.
NEFT Vodka Bottle
This vodka comes in a portable container that keeps NEFT cold for up to six hours. The barrels come in both black and white in three sizes for $31.95. NEFT’s packaging and distillery in Austria are designed to reduce the product’s carbon footprint.
Brockmans Gin Gift Pack
The new pack includes a 750-ml. bottle of Brockmans Gin, a cocktail recipe book and Spanish-style Copa Glass for $34.99.
Ole Smoky Holiday Flavors
Holiday flavors include Pumpkin Pie Moonshine, Pumpkin Spice Cream, Shine Nog and Peppermint Moonshine. Available nationwide at retail and in the company’s East Tennessee distilleries.
Hotel Tango Distillery Gift Pack
The Hotel Tango gift pack, inspired by military MREs (meals, ready-to-eat), is a collectable item that contains bourbon aged two years, with aromas of caramel and balanced by rye.
Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010
Champagne house Dom Pérignon has released their Vintage 2010. 2010 was a challenging year with extreme weather conditions from a rigorous winter to a very delayed dry spring. Due to these conditions, the Dom Pérignon is one of the few to launch a 2010 vintage. This vintage has aromas of tropical fruit, the company reports, followed by freshness. SRP: $188.
Fonseca BIN 27’s Holiday Tin
This holiday tin from Kobrand’s Fonseca BIN 27 is available for $20. The ruby-style Porto blended from reserve wines is aged four years in neutral wood vats before bottling.
Meiomi 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2019 Meiomi Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% ABV, aged six months in French and American oak, to bring out its fruit flavors and subtle baking spice aromas. The final regional tallies for this California red were 56% Monterey County fruit, 23% Sonoma and 21% Santa Barbara. The suggested retail price is $24.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
Moet & Chandon Specially Yours
Moet & Chandon’s flagship cuvees are available in six collectible gift boxes that keep the Champagne cool for up to two hours. Each box features an adjective designed to describe the recipient, and can also be personalized with an individual’s name. Suggested retail price for the Imperial Brut is $49.99, and $59.99 for the Imperial Rosé.
Champagne Henriot Gift Pack
The Champagne Henriot luminous gift pack includes a bottle of the Chardonnay-driven Blanc de Blancs and two Champagne flutes for $65.
Mionetto Gift Packs
Mionetto is offering a number of gift options this holiday season, including: Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut in a Chiller Gift Box for $14 Rose in a Chiller Gift Box for $14 Mini party six-pack for $30 “Tis the Season to Pop, Clink, Fizz” Mini Holiday 12-pack for $60.
Cos d’Estournel – Michel Reybier 20th Anniversary Case
Bordeaux winery, Cos d’Estournel, has released 100 cases of its new Michel Reybier 20th Anniversary Case to honor the 20-year tenure of the winery’s owner, Michel Reybier. The 12-bottle case includes two of the six best vintages released under his direction, the winery says, and an invitation for four guests to visit the winery for an extravagant lunch. SRP: $4390, at millesima.com.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Tape
The Clicquot Tape Collection contains six different designs to house the brand’s Yellow Label Cuvee with isothermal functionality, which keeps the bottle cool for up to 90 minutes. Suggested retail price is $50.
Santa Margherita Tins
These tins are available with each Santa Margherita varietal — Pinot Grigio for $24.99, Chiantia Classico Riserva for $24.99, Prosecco Superiore DOCG for $27.99 and Sparkling Rosé for $29.99.
St Clair Twin Pack
These special ceramic bottles pay tribute to the people who lived in the Mimbres region 1,000 years ago, whose geometrically decorated pottery is part of New Mexico’s rich history. Available for $42.99.
Freixenet Gift Bag & Holiday Sleeve
The Cordon Negro Brut Cava Limited Edition Holiday Sleeve with Gift Bag is available for $15.
Segura Vidas Gift Bag
Reserva Heredad Cava with Gift Bag, available for $30.
Champagne Alfred Gratien Gift Boxes
Classic Brut in a gift box for $50, and Classic Rose in a gift box for $65.
Oremus Luxury Legends Set
This three-bottle case features Hungarian wines spanning four decades. It includes a 1972 wine matured for 22 years in cask, as well as wines from 2000 and 2013 aged 30 months in wood.
Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee VAP
This pack contains a 750-ml. bottle of Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee and an enamel-coated steel cup to mix up some cold brew coffee cocktails at home this holiday season. SRP: $19.99.
Pratt Standard Syrups
Pratt’s line of cocktail syrups includes a number of winter and holiday options. Cranberry Orange Syrup is inspired by Thanksgiving dinner and uses real cranberry juice. Pratt’s Classic Cocktail Set includes grenadine, tonic syrup and simple syrup.
Merry Irish Cream Gift Sets
These holiday gift sets from Merrys include a 750-ml. bottle of Irish Cream or White Chocolate Liqueur, along with two branded glasses, for a suggested price of $14.99.
1796 Virtual Speakeasy
Consumers can sign up for the ‘1796 Virtual Speakeasy’, purchase a bottle of Santa Teresa 1796 and enjoy a virtual cocktail class with dates ranging from November through January. Participating mixologists/bars include: Meaghan Dorman (The Raines Law Room), Ireen Ha (Dante), Samantha Casuga (Dead Rabbit), Derek Stillman (The Sylvester), Chris Rolon (Vista), Shauna O’Neil (Sweet Liberty), Niko Novick (The Nomad Hotel), Yael Vengroff (Spare Room) and Gianna Johns (Harvard & Stone).
Aberfeldy Golden Hot Chocolate Gift Set
Aberfeldy has partnered with Miami’s Exquisito Chocolates to develop a limited-edition hot chocolate mix that creates a boozy, honeyed take on the classic hot coco. Includes a 750-ml. bottle of Aberfeldy 12 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a 6.8-oz. bag of Limited Edition Aberfeldy Golden Hot Chocolate Mix, six Aberfeldy-infused marshmallows, 4g of edible gold glitter, two Aberfeldy mugs, two Aberfeldy gold drink stirrers and an Aberfeldy Golden Hot Chocolate recipe card. Available for purchase on ReserveBar for $45.
Heineken Holiday Bottles
Heineken has created “unlimited” different bottles using technology that incorporates a smart algorithm and high-speed digital printing. Each bottle features a design from millions of festive patterns, meaning no two bottles will be alike. Price varies by location.
The Blue Label Candle
Johnnie Walker and Brooklyn-based perfume house D.S. & DURGA have created this candle the burns with the scent of the single malt Scotch: notes of North Sea air, barley, oak casks, reindeer moss and peated whisky. SRP: $70.
Jeremy Nedelka is content director for Beverage Dynamics. Reach him at [email protected]. Read his recent piece, America’s Fastest-Growing Spirits Brands.
Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece, Why RTDs Will Boom in 2021 and Beyond.The post The Best Alcohol Gifts for 2020 first appeared on Beverage Dynamics.
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Author: Jeremy Nedelka and Kyle Swartz