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Scotch pairs beautifully with cheese when it’s a sweeter-style Scotch like Highland Park. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
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November 2010
Last Updated December 2010

Marketplace / Gift-Finder

Beer, Wine & Liquor Gift List 2010

Liquor Gifts For Those Who Have The Spirit

 

Liquor connoisseurs would be happy to receive anything on this liquor gift list. If the spirit doesn’t move you here, check out our recommendations from last year. And be sure you see our other 2010 Holiday Gift Lists.

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them.

     

The Bitter Truth:
Artisan Bitters

Bitters are the latest artisan item to join the cocktail circuit. Just as supermarket jam differs from “the real thing,” artisan bitters are designed to return to the real joy of bitters. The Bitter Truth’s celery bitters are the first celery bitters to be offered commercially in decades. Popular in the 19th century, it enriches cocktails with unusual, complex and delightful flavors. Give a bottle to your favorite cocktail-lover to enrich a Bloody Mary, Bullshot and Prairie Oyster; Gin & Tonics; Martinis; and savory Tequila cocktails. In addition to the dominant flavor of celery, you’ll find aromas and flavors of ginger, lemongrass and orange peel. For a more generous gift, select another flavor or two (see list at right).

  • The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters
    Or Other Flavor
    6.8-Ounce Bottle (200ml)
    $18.00

See where to buy online at The-Bitter-Truth.com

 


In addition to celery bitters, The Bitter
Truth makes aromatic bitters, chocolate bitters, creole bitters, grapefruit bitters, Jerry Thomas bitters (named after the
writer of the first cocktail manual) and orange bitters. Photo courtesy The Bitter Truth.

 

   

Haamonii:
Ultra Premium Shochu

 

One of our favorite discoveries of the year is shochu, the second-most-drunk spirit in the world. The “white liquor of Japan” will be a treat for vodka lovers. It’s smoother than most vodkas, and has half the proof (40 proof instead of 80 proof) and half the calories. That means you can drink more of it with less “impact.” Made in artisan batches in California, Haamonii shochu is available in traditional and lemon-infused. Read our review of Haamonii Shochu.

  • 750ml Bottle
    $27.99

Find out where to buy it at HaamoniSmooth.com

  Haamonii
Half the calories and alcohol of vodka, with all the flavor. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.
     

Highland Park:

18- And 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Highland Park Scotch is a revelation: a complex whiskey with layers of flavor and a sweetness that will attract people who don’t think they like Scotch (as well as all of the people who do). It’s our favorite Scotch of the year.

  • Highland Park 25-Year-Old
    Single-Malt Scotch

    750ml Bottle
    $245.99
  • Highland Park 18-Year-Old
    Single-Malt Scotch

    750ml Bottle
    $84.99

Available at retailers nationwide and online at ArgonautLiquor.com.

 

Highland Park 25 Year Old Scotch

Photo courtesy Highland Park.

     

Jaqk Cellars:

California Wines Made In The French Style


Jaqk Cellars is a new producer of fine wines, and believes that wine should be playful and well-made. Thus, the company has launched eight bottles, so nicely etched (no paper labels!) that they’re instant collectors’ bottles. Prices are in accord for what you’d pay for a good California wine; and, although we haven’t had all eight, the High Roller is worth the highest price, a rich Bordeaux-style Napa blend with black cherry flavors and aromas, aged in French Oak. Siblings include Black Clover Merlot, Bone Dance Merlot, Her Majesty Chardonnay, Charmed Sauvignon Blanc, High Roller Cabernet Sauvignon, Pearl Handle Chardonnay and Soldiers Of Fortune Syrah. Matching apparel—and decks of cards—are also available.

  • Wine
    750ml Bottle
    $19.00 To $67.00
  • Four-Bottle Gift Sets
    $109.00 To $154.00
  • All Eight Varieties Gift Set
    $311.00

Purchase online at JaqkCellars.com.

 

Jaqk Cellars

The high rollers and poker faces in your crowd will appreciate Jaqk Cellars’ suite of wines.

     

Napa Soap Co.:

Wine-Inspired Soaps


Don’t just drink your wine—bathe with it. These beautifully wrapped, wine-inspired soaps are available in Cabernet Soapignon, Mandarin Chardonnay, Soapignon Blanc, Tea-no Grigio and White Zinfandel. The fancifully-named soaps don’t smell exactly like wine (who’d want to wash with that?) but they do smell lovely. The handmade paper is so beautiful, the recipient may not want to unwrap them.

  • Napa Soap Co. Wine Soaps
    0.5 Pounds Bar
    $8.95

Buy online at NapaSoap.com

 

Wine-inspired soaps from Napa Soap Co. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

     

Oxley:

Classic English Dry Gin


To mix a handsome Gin & Tonic, try Oxley Dry Gin. The bottle is stunning, with a metal “cup” at the bottom and a leather wrap at the top. It’s so attractive, since we finished the gin, we’ve been using it as a water bottle for the table. A great gift for people who like a good G&T and appreciate beauty.

The nose yields lemon zest and juniper, with citrus and almond on the palate. The finish is dry. Something of interest to gin connoisseurs is the cold distillation, something we haven’t come across before. You can read more about it on the company’s website, but essentially, “During other distillation methods botanicals are exposed to temperatures of 80°C or greater. Cold Distillation, by contrast leaves the structure of the botanical molecules unchanged.” We’ve never had a problem with the fine gins we drink, but as the saying goes, “it’s something new.”

  • 750ml Bottle
    $49.99

Available at retailers nationwide and online at FineWineHouse.com.

 

Oxley Dry Gin

Photo courtesy Oxley.

 

     

St. Germain:

Elderflower Liqueur


St. Germain is perhaps our favorite liqueur of the century. This splendid libation may be made from Alpine elderflowers, but this is no old-fashioned drink from The Sound Of Music. To us it tastes like lychee, and makes simply superb sipping by itself. But pour it over fruit and sorbet, make cocktails (it’s terrific with sparkling wine) or just enjoy looking at the beautiful bottle—as handsome as a piece of Baccarat crystal. Read our full review.

  • 750ml Bottle
    $31.99

Available at retailers nationwide or at

TheCellarOnline.com.

 

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Photo courtesy St. Germain.

 

   

 

Rémy Martin:
1738 Accord Royal Cognac

In 1738, King Louis XV of France granted Rémy Martin a warrant to expand his vineyard. To commemorate the event, the Cognac-maker recently released a new expression, 1738 Accord Royal. The mellow richness yields a complex layering of candied orange, cinnamon, clove and limousin oak. Some tasters also noted brioche, chocolate and prune flavors. It’s sure to be welcomed by the Cognac lovers in your life. The box is accented with copper-color metallics, evoking the amber-copper liquid inside.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    $49.95

Available at retailers nationwide or online at ShoppersWines.com.

 


Photo courtesy Rémy Martin.

   

 

Sam Adams:
Infinium Ale

It looks like a bottle of Champagne; but it’s a special sparkling ale from Boston Brewing Company, makers of Sam Adams beers. It has been created in partnership with Weihenstephan Brewery of Bavaria, Germany, the oldest surviving brewery in the world (since 760 C.E.). It’s made with the thousand-year-old brewing technique called Reinheitsgebot (“The German Beer Purity Law”), which requires that beer be made with only malt, hops, water and yeast. Pop the cork and you’ll find a deep golden, full-bodied ale. Fruity on the nose, Infinium is mellow, round and malty on the palate. The ale has fine bubbles which have led to the company calling it a “Champagne-like beer.” Infinium contains 10.3% alcohol by volume, twice the amount of an average beer. It’s a special treat for beer lovers.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    $19.99

Available at retailers nationwide.

 


Infinium. Photo courtesy Boston Brewing Company. A Wakefield Research survey shows that more than 60% of men would prefer to toast the New Year with beer rather than Champagne.

 

   

Ultimat Vodka:
From The Birthplace Of Vodka

From the makers of Patron tequila, it may not be the “ultimate” (avoid hyperbole whenever possible) vodka, but Ultimat Vodka from Poland, the birthplace of vodka, is something different. Vodka is typically distilled from either grain (wheat or rye), potatoes or other member of the vegetable family, such as grapes. Ultimat Vodka is distilled from the three most popular ingredients, wheat plus rye plus potatoes. Wheat creates a light, smooth texture; rye adds complexity  in the form of spiciness (the flavor is nicely peppery); potato adds richness and body. There are three flavors—plain, black cherry and chocolate vanilla—bottled in a handsome handcrafted, reusable decanter. See the history of vodka.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    $60.00
    (We found it for $34.95 at the
    retailer below)

Available at retailers nationwide or online at NapaCabs.com.

 


Photo courtesy Ultimat Vodka.

 

   

 




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