The dark, dusty saloons of the Old West where whiskey was gulped down for fortitude as much as for fun—this was a time and place for true lovers of the storied American spirit. But as you may have noticed, whiskey is making a helluva comeback. And although your obsessed friend or family member may not enjoy the mental, physical and spiritual satiation our ancestors found in this woodsy amber beverage, they can still get pretty gassed about a whiskey-themed gift. Try the following.
The Greenhead Decanter, $19.95: Booze-filled hand grenades sound like something your great-grandfather kept in his WWI foxhole. But this grenade decanter is a wholly original concept. It’s made of heavy-duty glass, holds 17 ounces, and you can pull out its natural cork-stopper with your teeth before you get, uh, blasted.
American Oak Infusion Spiral, 6 for $24.96: Go top-shelf for half-price with this DIY whiskey-aging implement. American White Oak is cut into a spiral to maximize end-grain exposure and minimize aging time, then toasted in a convection oven and run through a charring machine. Place it in any .750mL bottle and over the course of two weeks it imparts oak color, flavor, smoothness and aroma to your young whiskey.
1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die, $27.11, hardcover: From small-batch specialties to well-regarded factory-churned brands, 1001 bets it can learn you a thing or two about Scotch, bourbon and rye on each and every page. Bet you can’t taste them all. Challenge accepted?
Whiskey Wedge, $16.95: Who wants watered-down whiskey? The WW chills your beverage artfully and efficiently by forming one giant, angular, in-glass ice “cube” to keep spirits cold and your spirit merry. The package comes with one glass and one silicone form. And damn, it just looks cool, doesn't it?
Roller Rock Whiskey Glass, $19.95 + $7.95 for personal engraving: Another fine spirit dilution-fighting device, the Roller Rock is a specially shaped glass that guides the ice ball (easily made with an included mold) around the bottom of it. It cools your drink quickly, yet melts slowly as you sip, contemplating life—preferably in a rocking chair next to a crackling fire.
Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup, $35 for 450 mL: Noble Tonic 01 (left) is a medium amber-grade maple syrup from old-fashioned sugar shacks in the maple orchards of Quebec, Canada. The twist is an aging process that takes place in charred American oak barrels with a dash of raw Tuthilltown distillery bourbon. Your pancakes will be so pumped.