What To Give Outside the Bottle For the Bourbon Lover

 photo by Maggie Kimberl

photo by Maggie Kimberl

Books, experiences, edibles, accessories and barware and more to please any bourbon geek!

It seems like a no-brainer: bourbon lovers should get bourbon at the holidays, right? There’s a gift guide for that (you can read it here), but sometimes it makes more sense to give beyond the bottle, and fortunately there are plenty of options. From experience gifts to books to specialty food items and more, there’s something for everyone at every price point. The bourbon lover can literally wear their love of bourbon on their sleeve—or on their head or their feet or even around their neck. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if you feel anything has been left off, please feel free to comment below! Happy holidays and a bourbon-y New Year!

Books

Eat Your Bourbon - This book by Bourbon Barrel Foods Founder Matt Jamie details all the different ways in which you can cook and bake with bourbon.

Bourbon Badass - Whisky Chicks Founder Linda Ruffenach’s lessons for becoming a true Bourbon Badass.

Bourbon Justice - A great gift for the history buff written by Louisville attorney Brian Haara. (Read my review here.)

Bourbon & Bullets - A history of military service in the bourbon industry by John Tramazzo. (See my review here.)

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage - Michael Veach’s definitive work on the history of the bourbon industry in Kentucky.

Whiskey Women - Fred Minnick’s classic history of women’s integral contributions to the world’s whiskey industries. (More about it here.)

Barrel Strength Bourbon - Bourbon Women’s Carla Carlton outlines what is behind the explosive growth of bourbon (See my review here).

Experience Gifts

Bourbon and Beyond - It’s a great mix of rock and roll and America’s Native Spirit. (See my review here.)

The Bourbon Classic - Think of it as a sort of Comic Con for whiskey nerds. There are classes, panels, food, and tastings galore, all in one place. (Or for a simpler event check out Top Shelf with the full Pappy lineup and a James Beard Award winning chef.)

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair - The Golden Ticket holders get the first crack at exclusive events all across bourbon country, but even individual event tickets can be a lot of fun.

The New Orleans Bourbon Festival - What do bourbon and New Orleans have in common? You won’t know unless you go!

Whisky Live - With events across the globe, this can be part of a destination trip or a local night out in Washington, DC, New York, or Chicago.

Whiskey On Ice - A great whiskey festival with a huge turnout—it may be the only way to keep warm in Minnesota in the spring!

Mint Julep Tours - Whether you go for an elevated behind the scenes outing to a distillery or two or a bourbon-themed progressive dinner, there is something for everyone.

Derby Museum Legends Series - Hosted by Bourbon Authority Fred Minnick, the 2019 lineup includes such greats as the Michter’s team, Kentucky Owl Founder Dixon Deadmon, and more.

Bourbon Salons at Oxmoor Farm - Topics for this classical Salon-style tasting and conversation range from bourbon in food to Repeal Day, and the tasting includes a vintage pour from the Estate’s collection.

Eat Your Bourbon!

Art Eatables Bourbon Truffles - These truffles are handmade by an expert chocolatier who pairs each whiskey with the right combination of chocolates. Try the Bourbon Country ($30) collection if you’ve never had them before, or try the 12 Days of Bourbon ($42.50) collection if you’re looking for something rare.

Bourbon Barrel Foods - The soy sauce ($8-45) brewed in used bourbon barrels put them on the map, but since then they have added all manner of bourbon barrel smoked spices and foods ($4-40), including my house favorite bourbon smoked cacao nibs ($3-18).

Shuckman’s Fish Co - Whether you are looking for salmon smoked with used Pappy barrels ($79.95 for a sampler)(Kosher certified) for your holiday spread of a gift of Kentucky Spoonfish caviar, this centenarian family business has you covered.

Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake - Be the life of the party with this chocolate and caramel confection ($29.99) baked with three kinds of Kentucky bourbon!

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Nib Brittle - A great option for those on your list with nut allergies - the cacao nibs in this brittle ($19.50) are aged in used Pappy barrels.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee - This is the only bourbon barrel aged coffee with the @LouGirl502 stamp of approval! My personal favorite is the classic Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee ($5.50-19), but there are also Bourbon Ball, Caramelled Barrel Aged, Bourbon Cinnamon, and more.

Louisville Beer Syrup - This is a favorite for bourbon cocktails, made from a bourbon barrel stout ($18.99).

Apparel and Accessories

Bourbon and Cigars Tie ($85) - Who doesn’t love a good bourbon and a fine cigar?

Bourbon AF Hooded Sweatshirt ($44.99) - For the simple bourbon lover on your list who wants everyone to know they are Bourbon AF.

Vintage Whiskey Label Cufflinks ($56) - A one of a kind gift for that one of a kind person on your list - they aren’t making vintage whiskey labels anymore!

USA Bourbon Drinking Team T-shirt ($25) - For the person who wants to show their Team Bourbon spirit.

Bourbon Badass Trucker Hat ($24.95) - Never again does anyone have to wonder. Your gift recipient is a Bourbon Badass and it says right there on the hat!

Bourbon Decanter Tag Style Necklace ($15) - An elegant and understated way to show someone you love their bourbon obsession.


 courtesy of Drunkwood, who also make this bourbon barrel shelf

courtesy of Drunkwood, who also make this bourbon barrel shelf

Made From Former Bourbon Barrels

Barrel Stave Handle Knife ($185) - This isn’t just any knife, it’s a high quality handmade knife with a handle made of used Pappy barrels.

Mini Bourbon Barrel ($55-78) - Mini barrels made from reclaimed bourbon barrels are great for making barrel aged cocktails, plus they are customizable!

Bourbon Stave Christmas Tree ($90) - It’s the perfect decoration from which to hang all those distillery ornaments.

Barrel Hoop Light Fixtures ($295.99) - A great statement piece for the home bourbon bar.


Bar Accessories

Personalized Glencairn Glass ($19.95) - It may be too late to order them directly from Glencairn, but there are plenty of folks who are willing to personalize Glencairn glasses for the ultimate home bar!

The Lewis Ice Bag ($10) - This is a necessity for Mint Juleps and any other cocktails that require crushed ice.

Mint Julep Tea Towel ($12) - Because it has the recipe for a Mint Julep printed right on the towel!

Barnwood Bourbon Bottle Holder ($125-175) - A great way to display those brag-worthy unicorn bourbon bottles above the home bar!

Drink More Bourbon Y’all Leather Coasters ($35.99) - Those rocks pours shouldn’t leave a water ring on the coffee table.

Woodford Reserve Bitters ($25) - Bitters are like the spice cabinet for cocktails, and this collection contains a wide variety of flavor profiles.

 photo by Maggie Kimberl

photo by Maggie Kimberl

Miscellaneous

Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars ($130-450) - For the bourbon and cigar lover who has everything—just don’t forget to put them in the humidor until gift time.

Bourbon Bottle Desk Lamp ($129-149) - Bring a warm glow to any study with a choice of bourbon bottles.

Classic Bourbon Cocktails Print ($25) - Made in Kentucky by a Kentucky Artist, Rachael Sinclair.

Angel’s Share Glass Ornament ($24.99) - A beautiful addition to any bourbon ornament collection.

Kentucky Double Ashtray and Rocks Coaster ($199.99) - A great bourbon holder with built-in ashtray for a bourbon on the rocks and a cigar.

Stocking Stuffers

Maker’s Mark Pen ($9.99)

Bourbon Barrel Foods Mini Spices ($15)

Muth’s Candy Since 1921 Bourbon Barrel Bourbon Balls ($13.50-50)

Art eatables Single Flavor Bourbon Truffle ($10-13)

Kentucky Shaped Ice Cube Mold ($10)

Glencairn Lapel Pin ($9)

Bourbon for President Button ($3.00)

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