The holiday season will be here before you know it, and that means the mad scramble for gifts has begun. You’ve probably started a rough draft list of gift ideas for family, friends, and colleagues, but what about the one person at work you might feel the need to really impress? Indeed, the art of selecting the right gift for your boss is a delicate challenge. Hopefully, that person is not the type to fire you because of an underwhelming holiday gift (HR wouldn’t approve of that anyway). But an exceptional present might just give you the edge over Jared in Accounting to get into the boss’s good graces. A bottle of premium booze is always a great gift idea to consider. There are endless options to choose from, which is a good thing but can also mean you might need a little help sifting through categories and styles. Here are some worthy contenders in the world of Scotch whisky, tequila, vodka, and Canadian whisky, all of which would make a very spirited impression on the boss.
Johnnie Walker High Rye Blended Scotch Whisky
This new blend from Johnnie Walker is quite unlike anything else released so far from this venerable brand, and brings an altogether different flavor profile to the whisky. In addition to malt whiskies from distilleries like Cardhu, Clynelish, and Caol Ila, whisky with a mash bill of 60 percent rye is included in the blend, adding a layer of spice to the vanilla, honey, and subtle smoke notes. Tell your boss to try this on its own, and then whip up some Manhattans to see just how versatile this spirit is.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
If you are willing and able to spend some cash, Blue Label is about as good as it gets in the world of Johnnie Walker. This high-end bottle is a blend of whiskies from Speyside and Highland distilleries like Cardhu, Clynelish, and Benrinnes, and a few from Islay as well to bring a layer of smoke to the mix. The casks selected for this blend are rare and well aged, making this an incredibly decadent dram and a really impressive choice as a holiday gift.
Crown Royal 18 Year Old
This blended Canadian Whisky really takes the category to premium heights, with a luxurious spirit and beautiful packaging to match. It’s a blend of three of the distillery’s whiskies that were matured for 18 years in oak casks, rivaling the finest single malt you can find. But this has its own unique and distinctly Canadian palate, with notes of vanilla, stone fruit, and a whiff of oak picked up from nearly two decades of patient maturation. This is a bottle that will impress both experts and newbies to the Canadian whisky category.
Crown Royal Noble Collection Winter Wheat
Crown Royal’s annual Noble Collection highlights the meticulous skills of distilling and blending that go into making this storied Canadian whisky. For the sixth edition, an unusual mash bill of 51 percent red winter wheat, 39 percent corn, and 10 percent malted barley was used, and the liquid was aged in charred American oak barrels. The result is a slightly sweet whisky with notes of toasted nuts, toffee, and cinnamon, making this a lovely winter warmer and offering a singular snapshot of the expertise required to make Canadian blended whisky.
Ketel One Vodka
Vodka remains the most popular spirit out there, due to its versatility and clean palate. And a good vodka, like Ketel One, does indeed have its own character and flavor, with soft notes of citrus, vanilla, and crisp floral notes. This vodka is made from European wheat and is the perfect ingredient in so many classic cocktails, from a Martini to a Moscow Mule to a simple Vodka Tonic. If your boss is more of a clear spirits fan, pick up a bottle of Ketel One this holiday season.
Ketel One Botanical
As we’ve established, vodka does indeed have its own unique aromas and flavors. But Ketel One has taken this even further with its Botanical lineup, featuring three low-ABV, low-calorie spirits that are infused with natural flavors. You can choose from Peach and Orange Blossom, Cucumber and Mint, or Grapefruit and Rose, and each works wonderfully in cocktails from a simple Spritz to more complicated concoctions. If you want to splurge, consider getting all three to really impress your boss with the variety of flavors.
Tequila Don Julio Ultima Reserva
Tequila Don Julio is proud to honor its late founder’s life devoted to tequila making with the introduction of Tequila Don Julio Ultima Reserva, a special 36-month-aged luxury extra-añejo that preserves Don Julio González’s ultimate legacy — the final agave harvest planted by González and his family in 2006. The result is an exceptional spirit beautifully golden in color that begins with a nose of toasted oak and caramel, follows with hints of apricot and orange, and finishes with deliciously smooth honeyed agave that is best enjoyed neat.
Tequila Don Julio Reposado
If your boss is more of a cocktail fan, grab a bottle of Don Julio Reposado this holiday season. It’s aged for eight months in American oak barrels, giving it some nice vanilla and oak notes while still retaining the crisp, clean profile of the blanco. This is kind of the in-between expression of aged tequila, so it will work just as well in a Margarita or Paloma as it will in a tumbler on some ice. Your boss will no doubt be impressed that you decided to go one step beyond a blanco.
This article is sponsored by Diageo.