Bourbon Bill’s Christmas Gift Guide

I know my blogging has been sporadic lately (VERY sporadic), but the Christmas Season seemed like a good time to get back online and share some gift giving ideas for bourbon and bar lovers alike. Keep an eye out for Black Friday sales at your favorite local liquor and beverage store!

Naturally, as someone who works in packaging, my bourbon choices for this year’s gift guide include bourbon bottles with good packaging. I also made sure to include some splurges and some steals (Santa Hint: Airplane bottles are ALWAYS a great steal for stockings).


  1. Larceny is a favorite that we keep stocked on our bar. The price point is great at under $30. Every bourbon fan needs a bottle.
  2. Blade and Bow was a favorite from our recent trip to the Bourbon Trail. The packaging can’t be beat either – perfect for a Christmas gift.
  3. If you can get your hands on a bottle of Stagg Jr., you will make a bourbon lover’s Christmas! If you can get your hands on two bottles – send me one! In all seriousness, finding a bottle of Stagg Jr. generally requires making good friends at your favorite liquor store (or if you live in a regulated state, visiting stores often). In Virginia, a bottle goes for about $53, if you can find one. The bourbon is some of the best, and the bottle is so perfect for Christmas.
  4. I have my eye on this “Mint Condition” bow tie from A Taste of Kentucky’s website. Perfect for a Kentucky Derby!
  5. No bar can have too many fun glasses to sip bourbon out of. I have the Dorset Crystal Double Old-Fashioned Glasses from Williams-Sonoma and really like them.
  6. Porch Parties is one of Lynn’s favorite cocktail books for entertaining. Lots of great drink and appetizer recipes. We should all throw more impromptu porch parties these days!

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out past gift guides here, here, and here.

While waiting for Santa: Woodford Reserve

Our final bourbon gift suggestion this week is a trusty standby, Woodford Reserve! A great bourbon to sip by the fire on Christmas Eve, drink on the rocks with guests, or gift to family and friends you love!


I’m a big fan of Woodford Reserve. It’s smooth enough to sip, but also at a price point that you can justify using it to mix a great Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or other bourbon drink. I keep it in a decanter for serving as our “house bourbon.”

You can find Woodford Reserve for about $25 from Hi-Time Wine (For $20 you can buy a nice 375mL stocking stuffer of Woodford) and is also readily available at most liquor stores.

It’s a little cold for Souther California and has been raining so I plan on drinking this by the fire on Christmas Eve!

In their stockings: Maker’s 46

Our second Christmas gift bourbon suggestion this week is Maker’s 46! I’m really into this bourbon right now.


Unlike it’s more popular sibling Maker’s Mark, Maker’s 46 is aged a little longer making it a little smoother. French oak staves are also added toward the end of the aging process, adding some extra flavor to the bourbon. With the extra aging and the extra oak, a really tasty bourbon is created.

So why does this make a good Christmas gift (or stocking stuffer if it will fit!)? It retails for only about $10 more than Maker’s Mark, and is well under $50 at about $35 from Total Wine. Total Wine also sells a 375mL bottle for about $25, which would definitely fit in a stocking! More importantly, your friends and loved ones very likely have had Maker’s Mark many times. But Maker’s 46, the likelihood goes down a lot. This Christmas, introduce them to another Maker’s product, and a really good one at that!

(Here’s a picture of my Maker’s 46 bottle decked out in the little sweater I got at the Maker’s Mark Holiday Red Line event!)


Under the Christmas Tree: Angel’s Envy

The rest of this week we are going to feature a bourbon each day that would make a great Christmas gift. Today, that bourbon is Angel’s Envy!


Angel’s Envy is a really nice bourbon to sip, but it also makes a great Christmas gift because of its bottle and name. The bottle features Angel wings on the back, and the bourbon has Angel in the name – perfect for Christmas (Kudos to my wife, who picked this one for that reason!). At about $45, it is a great price point for a thoughtful gift.

One of my very first bourbon review blog posts was about Angel’s Envy. I’m definitely a fan. I first tried Angel’s Envy when it came out in 2010 and regularly keep a bottle around. It is one of the bourbons I like to keep around to sip and to introduce to friends who are new to bourbons and want to try something a little different.

Happy shopping!

Last minute gift ideas!

Well, Christmas is just 6 days away, and I am about 90% finished with Christmas shopping and have just a few little things to pick up. Below are some last minute Christmas gift ideas (including stocking stuffers) – most of which you can find in stores across the country and others from websites that are still guaranteeing Christmas delivery. One of my favorite traditions is going to the mall on Christmas Eve with my daughter to pick up one last little gift for Lynn. My daughter won’t be home for Christmas this year, but I may just have to go anyway and pick up something from the list below!


1. I think the little bottle of Blanton’s bourbon (375mL) is so fun, and it fits perfectly in a stocking! Plus, it still comes with a full size horse topper. You should be able to find the small bottle at any quality liquor store.

2. Crystal double old fashioned glasses are great for any spirits fan – male, female, young, old, or in between! I’m partial to these from Williams-Sonoma. You can also easily find crystal glasses from any department store like Macy’s, Dillards, Bloomingdales and Saks.

3. An ice scoop makes a great stocking stuffer. My family is partial to this one from Crate & Barrel. It looks nice but can be used for any occasion.

4. For a true bourbon aficionado, Glencairn whiskey tasting glasses are a must-have. They’re very reasonably priced for being made out of crystal. A lot of distilleries sell custom ones with their name on them if you have a favorite. I got mine from Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Orange County, California, and you can also order them online.

5. If you’re looking for a really impressive gift, a crystal decanter is sure to wow. My daughter has this one from Tiffany’s, which she and her husband received as a wedding gift. I’m always eyeing it at their house. They have also picked up some vintage decanters over the years – your local antique store may have some nice ones in stock.

6. These glasses from Fishs Eddy are hilarious and make a great fun gift for anyone with a sense of humor on your list. Fishs Eddy has all sorts of clever (and slightly off color) gifts.

7. George T. Stagg bourbon makes a perfect Christmas gift, both because it is a very high-quality bourbon for $80 (if you can find it), but also because of its wintry/forestry look with the antlers on the bottle.