When you're looking for the perfect gift to give to a friend, family member, or another loved one, you might consider a nice bottle of bourbon as a gift. Giving bourbon as a gift can encourage celebration and allow the recipient to enjoy their favorite beverage...

when to give bourbon as a gift

For a Birthday

Birthdays often include gift-giving, especially if you're close with the person whose birthday you're celebrating. A birthday is a great time to give someone bourbon as a gift, particularly if that person enjoys the finer things in life. Before wrapping up and handing over a bottle, it's best to make sure they drink alcohol, as many people abstain from it for health, personal, or religious reasons. If you're confident that the person drinks, a bottle of bourbon can make an excellent birthday gift. 

For a Holiday

Giving bourbon as a gift for a holiday can show the recipient that you were thinking of them when shopping for their present. You might consider giving this gift to someone you know very well, such as a close friend or family member, or someone you don't know quite as well. Bourbon is a thoughtful gift option that the recipient can mix with other things to craft unique and delicious cocktails. People who drink at home often have liquor cabinets or in-home bars where they keep various types of alcohol to accommodate their guest's preferences.

As a Housewarming Gift

When you're visiting the new home of a friend or family member, you don't want to show up empty-handed. Bringing a bottle of bourbon as a gift is a great way to congratulate them on their new residence while providing something that they can enjoy right then as well as in the future.

When Visiting Their Home

If a friend or family member invites you to their home for any reason, it's polite to provide a token of your appreciation. A budget-friendly bottle of bourbon could be the perfect gift to give in this situation. They might open it and offer it to you while you're in their home, especially if they know you're a fan of the spirit as well.

How to Choose the Right Bottle of Bourbon

When you want to give bourbon as a gift, take some time to consider what type of bourbon the recipient would like to receive. Start by chatting with the person to find out what they like to drink and what they look for when choosing a cocktail. You could even plan a visit to a local bar and listen to their drink order to get an idea of what flavors they might prefer. With this information, you can compare different bourbon options and look at their mash bills, along with the aromas, palates, and finishes.

As you consider bourbon as a gift, it's helpful to set a budget. Depending on the level of your relationship with the recipient and the occasion, you might have a smaller budget or feel willing to spend more on this gift. Different bottle sizes can also ensure that you can fit the gift into your budget. You don't have to give the largest bottle available. A smaller bottle goes a long way, especially since many people only drink a few ounces at a time.

Certain factors in the distillation process play a role in the flavor of the bourbon. If you're giving a gift to someone who hasn't had a lot of this spirit in the past, you might want to choose something that's a little less potent or has a lower proof. Look for options with a 90 proof or lower, as these tend to taste a little less strong. A bourbon aficionado will probably appreciate a barrel-strength bottle with a higher proof. 

The storage mechanism and age impact the bourbon's flavor as well. For someone with a sweet tooth, bourbon stored and aged in a sherry cask might be a more appealing option. Dareringer is a good choice for this recipient, as it's straight bourbon whiskey with traces of caramel, cherry, and sherry aromas and flavors of dried fruit and vanilla. The finish is light with a touch of dryness.  

If you're shopping for bourbon as a gift for someone who likes fruit flavors, consider Cavehill. The mash bill of this bourbon is 70% corn, 10% malted wheat, 10% honey malted barley, and 10% malted barley. The result is a palate with creamy flavors of orange, mint, and honey, along with a touch of toasted grain. This spirit finishes with flavors of custard and vanilla, while the aroma includes fresh apples and spices. Cavehill is an excellent option for bourbon as a gift.

Heigold is worth considering for someone who's willing to try new flavors. You could easily give this bourbon as a gift. It contains 25% malted rye in its mash bill. The aroma is sweet with slightly toasted malt undertones, while the palate includes bursts of citrus matched with butterscotch. As the recipient finishes their sip, they'll note the comforting pepper and spice notes. The low-entry proof delivers extra flavor, so someone who receives this bourbon as a gift will certainly appreciate it. 

Bourbon vs. Whiskey 

When you start looking at bourbon options, you might wonder how it differs from whiskey. The two spirits have a lot in common, but not all whiskey is bourbon. In fact, to qualify as bourbon, a spirit must meet certain criteria. Bourbon must be made in the United States and contain at least 51% corn in its mash bill. It can't contain any additives other than water and must be distilled at no more than 160 proof. All bourbon ages and distills in a brand-new, charred oak barrel.

The bottling process also determines whether it's whiskey or bourbon. To be called bourbon, the spirit must be bottled at not less than 80 proof. Although many of the steps involved in distilling whiskey are similar, if the spirit doesn't meet these requirements, it's not considered bourbon.

At Rabbit Hole Distillery, we craft our bourbon in extremely small batches. Our distillers never harvest more than 15 barrels at a time, allowing us to maintain better control over the quality of each bottle. When you give a bottle of our bourbon as a gift, the recipient is sure to enjoy every sip.

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