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Holiday Gift Guide 2019: The Best Holiday Spirits Releases

VS Angel Josephine Skriver celebrates ‘birthday week’ in bikini at Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas
March 5, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide 2019: The Best Holiday Spirits Releases

Getting in the holiday spirit with Hennessy Paradis Imperial

Hennessy Cognac

There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than with actual holiday spirit. And so, for any fans of adult beverages, this is a wonderful season to sip. Liquor brands indulge us with a litany of limited edition releases, many of which make ideal stocking stuffers. The ones that don’t…It’s not for lack of trying. They’re simply too large to fit in a sock. Thankfully there’s always wrapping paper. Ranging from pint-sized to outsized–spanning the cost of a tank of gas to that of a fine Italian sports car–here’s a list of special offerings that any alcohol aficionado will appreciate.

Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry ($14)

The Bristol Cream Solera Sherry

Harveys Sherry

Although this is the most popular time of year for liqueurs and egg nog, this product is a ‘cream’ in name only. In actuality, the ever-popular cream sherry category is named because its richness rivals what you’ve come to expect from dairy infused arrangements. This is a unique blend of Fino, Amontillado, Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso. It has also been the best-selling sherry in the world for more than half a century. Now the brand unveils new packaging with a logo that turns blue when the bottle reaches its ideal refrigerated temperature. It goes great with Oreos and peppermint bark.

Haus Aperitif ($35)

Haus Aperitif Holiday Box Designed by Jing Wei

Haus

The first fully direct-to-consumer spirits brand is dressing up for the season with this artfully rendered bottle of its flagship low-sugar aperitif. Delivered to your doorstep, the $35 bottle comes in one of two flavors: Bitter Clove and Citrus Flower. It arrives ready to give, boxed up in the artwork of Brooklyn-based illustrator Jing Wei. “This illustration evokes some of those warm and comforting feelings you get when you’re surrounded by your favorite people, consuming delicious things in a cozy space,” she says of the colorful presentation.

Woodford Reserve 2019 Holiday Bottle ($60)

2019 Holiday Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Woodford Reserve

When it opened in 1996, Woodford Reserve became one of the first Kentucky distilleries to feature its own visitor’s center. Today it’s standard practice in the industry, of course. Renowned local artist Suzanne Enriquez Dougherty was commissioned by the popular whiskey brand to capture the historic landmark on a series of limited edition holiday bottles. In lieu of a label is her delicate water-coloring depicting a snowy scene imbued with barrels and holiday cheer. Of course, it is what’s on the inside that counts. And here you’ll find more of the same celebrated Kentucky straight bourbon that made Woodford a household name more than two decades ago.

Hill Rock Pinot Noir Finish Bourbon ($105)

Pinot Noir Finished Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey

Hillrock Distillery

The first ever American whiskey to be aged according to the Old World Solera method comes from this impressive producer out of New York’s Hudson Valley. After initial maturation, this particular bottling is then finished in casks which once held pinot noir from Shea Vineyard in Oregon. The elegant addition introduces notes not typically found in traditional bourbon. Ripened cherry in the nose yields to candied almonds and caramelized confection in a lengthy finish. This 92.6-proof sipper is in supremely limited quantities. So if you see it on shelves snatch it, posthaste.

Widow Jane The Vaults Bourbon ($150)

Widow Jane The Vaults Aged 14 Years

Widow Jane

The first release from Widow Jane’s “The Vaults” series is a blend of 14-year-old bourbons from Tennessee and Indiana, hand-selected and blended by Head Distiller Lisa Wicker. There’s plenty of American whiskeys this age on the market today, but what marks this Brooklyn-based one as unique is its finish: an extended maturation in American oak casks that were pre-seasoned for nearly a decade. The unusual characteristics of the cooperage exert themselves in a liquid demonstrating all manner of worn leather, tobacco, and herbal earth. In the finish is a thoughtful combination of smoke and sweet. It’s a bourbon for scotch drinkers. And it won’t be around for long.

Wolves Whiskey “Winter Run” ($185)

Wolves Whiskey Winter Run

Wolves Whiskey

Wolves Whiskey is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between the design world and the distilled spirits space. Earlier this year, fashion impresarios James Bond and Jon Buscemi tapped 13th generation distiller MarkoKarakasevic to conceive a series of aged craft liquids. The latest release is a blend of distillates yielded from stout and pilsner beer, along with rye and malt–matured in a combination of French and new American oak. The result is a balanced drinking experience demonstrating notes of Christmas cake and honeysuckle, fading on the palate in a lingering melody of marmalade and marzipan. A total of 1,338 bottles hit shelves this week, just in time for gift-giving season.

Flaviar Whiskies Of The World Advent Calendar ($250)

Whiskies of the World Advent Calendar

Flaviar

The gift that keeps on giving…For 4 weeks, at least. This bestowal of booziness takes a decidedly adult spin on the classic children’s Christmas countdown toy. Hidden behind each door is a worthwhile whisky from all the major producing regions of the world. You get 2 oz. tasters from the usual suspects, such as Scotland, Kentucky and Ireland. But there’s also pleasant surprises from Spain, India, Japan, Taiwan–even Australia makes a cameo. Two dozen drams build in value and esteem as the month wears on. And the kit comes with a Glencairn glass in which to enjoy them all. Order it now and it arrives in time for a proper lead-up to the big day.

Absolut Elyx Deluxe Martini Kit ($279)

Deluxe Holiday Martini Kit

Absolut Elyx

The Elyx Boutique is an online shop offering all sorts of necessities for the home bar. In addition to the namesake vodka itself, you can snag signature copper vessels used to carry classic cocktails in individual and large format presentations. For the aspiring home bartender, a martini kit is an essential set of tools that can’t be overlooked. Elyx upgrades the standard jigger, strainer, spoon and shaker by cladding them all in copper. Their Deluxe Martini Gift Set also includes metallic coupes in which to serve and present the final product. Of course, you don’t have to stop at just martinis. These instruments can be used to arrange any tipple. Best of all, you get to sling them in style.

Hennessy LVMH Vintage Steamer Kit ($273,000)

Hennessy Paradis Imperial Trunk by Louis Vuitton

LVMH Hennessy

For the loves ones in your life that have been exceptionally nice this year, maybe you’d consider rewarding them with this quarter million dollar bar of incomparable esteem. Designed by renowned artist Arik Levy, the massive trunk–five feet in length–was purpose built to hold Hennessy’s highest-shelf spirit, Paradis Impérial. It marks the first commercial collaboration between the world’s top-selling cognac brand and its sister company, Louis Vuitton. Leather-lined doors embossed with LV’s signature monogram logo open to reveal a series of compartments fitting a total of four magnum bottles, along with bar accessories for up to 18 guests. At its foot rests the Nomad Case–a smaller removable trunk that can be used to take a single magnum on-the-go. This adjoining accessory, stunning in its own regard, can also be purchased individually. As can the Paradis Impérial, of course. The liquid’s all-new crystal decanter, unveiled earlier in the year, fetches $2500 for a 750ml bottle. If it’s the whole shebang that catches your eye, however, they are bespoke crafted. You’ll have to contact Hennessy directly to get the ball rolling on the most epic holiday gift of all time.

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