Spirits make great holiday gifts and you don’t have to spend a fortune on them. With the economy being what it is, getting amazing bang for your holiday buck is extremely important, so we decided to assemble a group of spirits which look much more expensive than they really are. Beyond affordable, we sought out a group of spirits that we loved at prices which we simply couldn’t resist.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ($40) tops our list of spirits which look expensive but aren’t. Priced at $40, this bourbon comes in under that big $50 price threshold that many people have for gifts. Its special bottle immediately sets it apart as something special and the fact that it’s been aged for twelve years absolutely makes a statement. We love this bourbon not because it looks expensive, but because it’s an amazing spirit. It’s the perfect alignment of an amazing spirit in a beautiful package at the perfect price. This is the kind of gift that you want to pick up for yourself when you’re buying for other people, as the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is in limited supply, so once it’s gone this year, it’s gone.
Patron XO Cafe Coffee Liqueur ($25) – When we found out that Patron XO Cafe coffee liqueur is only $25, our jaw dropped. Patron has spent a lot of money establishing themselves as the top brand in the premium tequila space. Giving Patron as a gift means something specific. Their entry level silver tequila is easily $50. The Patron XO Cafe Coffee Liqueur is made from the very same tequila that Patron puts in that $50 bottle and no one would ever guess that it sells at half the price. The coffee flavor is strong and bold, and the tequila gives it just the right sweetness to make it taste just right. Cold from the freezer or over ice, Patron XO Cafe is superb, and at this price it’s another gift where you’ll want to buy one for yourself when you get one for those on your list.
Maker’s 46 ($35) – Priced on average just $10 more than the regular Maker’s Mark, Maker’s 46 simply looks like a premium product. Maker’s has always hand dipped their bottles in their signature red wax, which is a nice touch, and here with the nice sleek bottle they’ve added a nice wax stamp seal to the front of the bottle. Standing the classic Maker’s Mark bottle side by side with Maker’s 46, you’d never guess that only $10 divides them. As much as we love the bottle for Maker’s 46, we really love what’s inside. Maker’s Mark is an incredibly popular brand of bourbon, and Maker’s 46 is a significant upgrade to an already great product. Giving Maker’s 46 to someone who likes the original Maker’s is definitely a WOW experience, and with initial shortages in availability, this product probably isn’t already in their liquor cabinet. Maker’s 46 is a perfectly priced gift that will really make an impact.
Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight 10 year old Bourbon Whiskey – ($25) – Every time we pick up a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 year Single Barrel Bourbon we feel like we’re taking advantage of someone. How in the world can such great 10 year old single barrel whiskey cost so little?! Eagle Rare is one of those great whiskeys that has a great deal of complexity and yet is very smooth and easy to drink. Eagle Rare captures everything we love about great bourbon and delivers it in a way that is simply delicious. Eagle Rare flies under the radar screen of many bourbon drinkers, and by giving this as a gift you’re not only giving a great bottle of bourbon, you’re giving the gift of exposing someone to a phenomenal and affordable spirit that they’ll be able to enjoy for years.
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum ($17 for 750ml, $30 1.75 L) – There are many great rums on the market but few have the panache at this price of The Kraken. Dark, sweet, spicy and with a nice kick, The Kraken is a very flavorful and enjoyable rum. While there are plenty of amazing rums on the market, there’s just something about The Kraken that screams “cool”. We’re not usually ones to geek out over the look of a brand, but The Kraken has simply nailed it. It’s high impact with a taste that even non-rum drinkers would enjoy. The 1.75 litre version at $30 is also a great gift – who wouldn’t want a big ol’ jug of tasty rum!
It’s almost unfathomable to us that you could pick up every single spirit on this list for under $150 total, proof that great spirits don’t have to cost a lot of money even if they look like they should.Holiday Gift Guide - Spirits That Look Expensive But Aren't by Geoff Kleinman