It’s the holiday giving season and we’re rounding up our favorite craft distillery bottles and gifts for the craft spirits enthusiast on your list! Ready for the best part? They’re almost all available to order online! Ok, ok…the best part is how damn delicious they all are, but the incredible craft spirits made all over this country are often hard to get your hands on if you don’t live near the distillery. But not these! So whip yourself up a nice hot buttered rum, put on your cozies, and get that holiday shopping done from the comfort of your couch!
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The Best Whiskey Club (& Other Spirits!) For Explorers
Have a whiskey or craft spirits lover on your life who’s always looking for new bottles and sips to explore? Well look no further, a membership to Flaviar is the perfect gift! While there are a ton of craft spirits clubs out there these days, this has been our all-time favorite for a while.
Why is that? Because it’s so freakin’ fun and cool and their spirits collection is amazing! Each quarter, members get to choose from a collection of curated and themed spirits tasting boxes which have 3 samples.
In addition to that, they also get to choose a full-size bottle to receive that quarter. Which means if they loved a sample the previous quarter they can grab a full bottle as part of their membership next time around. Genius! Try before you buy and explore the world of craft spirits from the comfort of home. Grab your Flaviar gift here.
To be fair, I’m calling this the “best craft whiskey club” simply because their whiskey collection is deep and wide. More so than the other spirits. So if someone on your list doesn’t like whiskey I probably wouldn’t go here…but as long as whiskey is a favorite within their craft spirits rotation, this is perfect. But I’ve had amazing gin club samples, rum club samples, vodka club samples and more from Flaviar…so they are much more than a whiskey club. Just a bit heavier on the whiskey, which is personally just fine by me!
Our Favorite Craft Distillery Bottles of Whiskey To Gift
Speaking of whiskey, rather go full bottle than a tasting club? We have you covered with two of our absolute favorites these days…
Balcones Distilling: Craft Bourbon & Rye Whiskey
If you’re not familiar with Balcones Distilling, you are in for a treat! Distilling since 2009, they’re a true grain-to-glass distillery with a focus on sourcing great, sometimes unique ingredients and distilling in copper pot stills to ensure every spirit they produce is rich, complex, and the flavor of the source ingredient shines through. Their Baby Blue whiskey, which is crafted from roasted heirloom blue corn, from has long been a favorite of mine. It was the first Texas whiskey on the market since prohibition (how’s that for a fun story behind your gift?!) and has an unmistakeable nutinness that I think makes the absolute perfect Manhattans. But lucky for all of us, there are also two newer releases just in time for the holiday season!
First up is the Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon. This really showcases the rich style of their spirits. Full mouth-filling flavor that really hangs on and keeps giving! Carmelized corn and graham cracker on the nose, but when you take a sip it’s remniscent of pecan pie with a dollop of fresh cream on it. Delicious! You can grab a bottle of their Bourbon online here.
Next we have their Texas Rye. I’m a rye lover through and through, but my first sip of this rye challenged what I’ve come to expect from rye. The distillers built the base of the rye like a stout mash with a chocolate roast and a crystal roast. Resulting in hints of baker’s chocolate, tobacco, cracked black peppercorn, and green chiles. Spicy, complex, and just perfect to warm you up all winter long. Ready to gift it? Grab a bottle here.
For those true explorers on your list, don’t miss their special release Rumble, which is a Texas wildflower honey, turbinado sugar, and mission fig spirit. A little taste of Christmas in a bottle! Order that, and some of their other special releases here.
Charbay Distillery: The Best Gifts for Craft Beer Lovers
Charbay is an incredible 13 generation family distillery dating back over 350 years and going all the way back to Serbia. They are masters at what they do and truly put the art in artisan with every single bottle they release to the world. What I love about Charbay is that they make spirits that they love, not what they think others want or will be popular based on current trends. Lucky for us, they have great taste!
All of their beer whiskeys are to die for, but this Double & Twisted is literally my all-time favorite whiskey and has been since I first tasted it. It’s rich, chocolatey, has a hint of hops and freshness and goes down smooth. Watch our video all about it here!
Their R5 Whiskey is also a fan-favorite, distilled from Bear Republic’s Racer 5 beer (here’s another video with Charbay & Bear Republic). And their current release of R5 Whiskey, Charbay donates a portion of proceeds to California wildfire survivors so your gift comes with a feel-good story, supporting a worthy cause close to the Charbay family’s heart as well.
Move Over Whiskey…Craft Rum For All!
If you think rum is just for sticky, sweet tropical drinks or the ubiquitous rum & coke, it’s time to give craft rum a try! Aged craft rum, in particular, is worthy of the most discerning whiskey palate. These days I honestly find myself reaching for it as a nightcap more often than anything else. Just imagine how great of a gift it is to open up someone’s eyes and tastebuds to a whole category of spirits they may be wrongly ignoring!
What we love about their rum, no matter which bottle we’re sipping, is their complexity. They use Georgia blackstrap molasses and have even found local CA sugar cane to make a rare American-made agricole rum. Since they take such care with the ingredients, they also take care not to over filter to keep in as much flavor as possible. And for those already on the aged rum train but still turning their nose up at white rum? Wright & Brown’s white rum is the rum to change your mind!
Their unique hogo style rum is a rare treat (and unfortunately only available in the Bay Area currently) for any rum enthusist looking for those high esther, somewhat funkier flavor.
The Craft Gin & Craft Vodka For The Clear Spirit Lovers On Your List
Not too many brown spirits lovers on your list this year? Send ’em on over to The Crafty Cask and we’ll give ’em a talking to! But until we help them learn and experiment to find brown spirits they love, we have you covered!
Young & Yonder’s H.O.B.S. Gin & Vodkas
Husband and wife, Josh & Sarah, lead up this hobby-turned-career craft distillery and we absolutely adore them, and their craft spirits! H.O.B.S Gin stands for Harbor Of Broken Souls, in a nod to gin’s longstanding connection to the naval history around the world. We love the subtle hints of lavender, citrus, and a touch of black pepper in this not-too-juniper forward gin. They also make incredible craft vodka…and we especially love their lime vodka. It’s so fresh and delicious we often find ourselves sipping it straight.
A Few Special Craft Spirits Bottles
All right, admittedly these last two are a little harder to find online, but if you truly have craft spirits enthusiasts on your list they’re just too special to not tell you about. Sometimes the perfect gift is worth the hunt, right?!
Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur
This one has a special place in my heart because it’s one of the very first truly unique craft spirits I discovered as part of my work for The Crafty Cask. Now, I know…sweet potato liqueur sound super sweet but I promise you, it’s not! It drinks more like a whiskey than a liqueur and it only has 3% residual sugar (whereas most liqueurs are closer to 15-20%). And this craft distillery stems from a 5-generation family farm…check out our video where we show you around and taste through all of their spirits here. Get ready to start salivating!
Charbay’s ’83 Brandy
I’m not going to lie…this one is a splurge. It’s a really special bottle. And if you think brandy is just for grandma, it’s time you give it another try. This particular bottle is so special though because it is the first spirit Charbay distilled – way back in 1983. And get this—they didn’t release it until 2010. Which means 27 years of aging.
I feel so fortunate to have this special bottle…and it will make that lucky person on your list feel incredibly special too.
Don’t worry though…if you can’t find these in time for the holiday season you can shop a full collection of great craft brandies, liqueurs, and spirits here.
One More Craft Spirits Club For The Win!
There are just too many awesome craft spirits and other booze clubs out there these days, so we have to share one more of our favorites to wrap up our craft spirits gift guide round-up. A lot of the full bottles in this article are available to purchase online here, as well as quite a few of our other favorites.
Shots Box Craft Spirits Tasting Club
This one is great for the home mixologist on your list since this craft spirits club offers a huge variety every single month. Here’s how it works…each month you get 10 sampler size bottles of craft spirits sent directly to their door.
Shots Box lets you try all different types of craft spirits & liqueurs each month and then go back to buy full size bottles when you find one you love. Grab your Shots Box membership here.
Last But Not Least, Help Them Build Out Their Home Bar
Speaking of home mixologists, now that we have those stellar craft spirits and can start making cocktails like we’re Don Draper, we can’t be serving them out of boring ‘ol water glasses. So let’s get that barware up to spec this holiday season! We’ve curated our favorite decanters, glassware, bar tools, and more here for you to get all of your home bar shopping done in one fell swoop. There are decanters, glasses, mixers, and more. Including that fun globe decanter in the photo at the beginning of this article—it’s pretty much Suzanne’s favorite and has Charbay’s Double & Twisted Whiskey in it pretty much at all times!
There You Have it! Our Favorite Craft Distillery Bottles & Gifts for 2019
At The Crafty Cask we believe strongly that we vote with our dollars and we’re excited to spread some holiday cheer by supporting all of these artisans and entrepreneurs in the world of craft spirits. Looking for craft wine, beer or cider gifts? Make sure to check out our other gift guide for some of great gift ideas in those areas as well. And next week we’ll be sharing a super fun Sake club that we love too!
And remember…when you’re getting a little family-ed out this holiday season (it’s ok, it happens to the best of us!) go visit some local breweries, cider houses or distilleries! And, of course, let us know if you find some that we should check out.
Drink craft, drink local, drink the world…and may you get gifts as good as you give 😉
Have a wonderful holiday season!