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Holiday Gift Guide for Craft Whiskies

Artisan Whiskies Sure to Please


Holiday Gift Guide for Craft Whiskies
Chip Tate,Balcones Distilling
Updated November 16, 2010

With the holiday season fast approaching, good quality whiskies always make a great gift for the the whiskey enthusiast in your life. With the rise of small batch, craft distilling, new whiskies are appearing all over the country. Some craft whiskies are quite good, some craft whiskies are mediocre and some are downright awful. Here are some recommendations for the top microdistilled whiskies to look for this holiday season. Any or all of these are guaranteed to please even the pickiest whiskey connoisseur.

  • Dry Fly makes two whiskies this holiday season. They offer a highly regarded Washington wheat whiskey as well as Washington state's first bourbon. Both are outstanding products and should be at the top of any serious whiskey drinkers must try list.
  • Stranahan's Colorado whiskey is an amazing whiskey distilled in Denver Colorado. Made from 100% barley and aged in new, charred American oak barrels, Stranahan's has carved out a unique, high-quality niche in the American craft whiskey movement.
  • Balcones Distilling in Waco Texas offers an delightful blue corn whiskey, Baby Blue as well as newer single malt offerings (untasted). Based on the quality of Baby Blue, the single malt whiskies from Balcones should be of excellent quality.
  • Templeton Rye was Al Capone's favorite whiskey during his days as mob kingpin. Now resurrected and distilled in Templeton Iowa, Templeton Rye is a high quality, flavorful rye whiskey that offers great value at its price point.
  • Finger Lakes Distilling in upstate New York offers both McKenzie bourbon and McKenzie Rye, two of the finest craft whiskies ever produced. Count yourself lucky if you receive a bottle of either of these whiskies this holiday season.
  • Clear Creek Distillery in Oregon produces McCarthy's Single Malt whisky, one of the finest examples of single malt whisky produced in America today.
  • Charbay Distilling in the Napa Valley of California makes some very high end craft whiskies. My personal favorite is Charbay Doubled and Twisted light whiskey.
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