Give the Gift of Cheers this Holiday Season

Lee Diaz, ReserveBar Single Barrel Curator


The holidays are an incredible time of connection and celebration, when we have a chance to express our gratitude and love for those closest to us in some of the craziest and most festive ways. However, whether you’re about to tackle another white elephant party or enjoy a decadent feast with family and friends, one of the hardest challenges to overcome can be “what should I bring?”

Each host has a style to how they approach food and drinks, especially during the holidays. I would like to introduce you to five releases that will satisfy those interests and delight those on your list with distinctive flair and flavors. Just keep in mind, as a gentle reminder: we’re already in the thick of the holiday season. While we know you’re busy, there is no time like right now to finish ordering these for your family, friends, or co-workers.


Image of the Appleton Estates range

Many of the best holiday celebrations feature some of the greatest cocktail creations. This is a perfect time to show off your at-home bartending skills - giving those around you the gift of sipping stellar cocktails with perfectly balanced flavors. Enter Appleton Estate. Under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Joy Spence, this over 250-year old rum tradition has been painstakingly developed leveraging Jamaica’s lush climate and its impact on the terroir to grow sugar cane distinctive for the region. The result of this work is a series of releases that can each be sipped neat or on a rock. 

This is absolutely the case in Appleton Estate 8YO Reserve Casks Rum, which boasts of flavors like oaky honey, subtle vanilla, and a hint of hazelnut and spiced orange. This release is incredible for exhibiting your mixology skills for your holiday guests. Try mixing the Kingston Negroni, a beautiful rum-forward riff on a fan favorite. Winter also happens to boast some of the best tiki parties – if you want to get classic tropical, try your hand at the Mai Tai


Image of the Bisquit & Dubouché

Founded nearly 200 years ago by two fearless Frenchmen – Alexandre Bisquit and Adrien Dubouché – Bisquit & Dubouché was built on a revolutionary vision: to buck long-held tradition and embrace an innovative method to distillation that relies on intuition over conventional techniques. Today, production continues in the Cognac region of France leveraging the same groundbreaking processes that the brand was founded in – by extending the extraction process during two rounds of distillation, more of the ‘heart’ cut of the distillate is generated, which is rich in desirable esters and resulting flavors. 

For those on your list with the most discerning of palates, Bisquit & Dubouche Cognac VSOP will be a perfectly unexpected gift. This beautifully complex pour boasts of ripe fruits, deep florals and honey. Baking spices such as cinnamon and clove are joined by citrus and mango on the finish. 


An image of the Russell's Reserve Single Barrel

For the bourbon collector on your list, you truly cannot go wrong with anything Wild Turkey Distilling Co., especially Russell’s Reserve. Naturally you’ll want to take things up a notch for the holidays, and you need to look no further than Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon. Russell’s offers a blend of old and new, an infusion of timeless traditions with modern and fresh thinking. With best-in-class quality guaranteed, each bottle of Russell's Reserve is a celebration of the past, crafted specifically with today's bourbon drinker in mind. 

At 110-proof, each single barrel has its own unique personality, adding spicy, bold flavors to the rich, signature toffee and vanilla notes. This makes it a perfect neat pour that offers enough complexity to explore with a rock. As the base in a high-proof cocktail, this single barrel would also make for a perfect flavorful Manhattan.


The Lallier R.018

Holiday celebrations really only begin in November, and somehow last through January, and if you’re really lucky until mid-February with Valentine’s Day. Through all of these celebrations, you absolutely cannot go wrong with champagne. Why not give a champagne that expresses a level of care and distinction that most seem to miss with haphazard selections? The Réflexion series from Champagne Lallier celebrates the voice and virtue of each year. 

Champagne Lallier R.018 delivers the balanced result of the 2018 harvest, which is at least 60% of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend. It displays a dryness matched with fruity intensity, with a wonderful depth and clean finish. While perfect for your next holiday celebration, this truly is made for the champagne connoisseur. Consider this as a perfect gift to introduce a new discovery for the champagne lover in your life.


The Espolón range

While there are so many wonderful tequilas that make for incredible gifts, let me introduce you to just one more – in fact, it’s one of my personal favorites for a few reasons. It’s made of 100% Blue Weber agave, every release is full of flavor, and it’s a spirits gift that won’t break the bank. Espolón Tequila Añejo greets you with plenty of style on the bottle, and welcomes you into a tasting experience unlike others within the bottle. 

Aged for at least 12-months in American white oak casks and then finished in heavily charred Wild Turkey bourbon barrels, this pour is full of color and body. From the distillate, you’ll taste notes of cooked agave and citrus while the influence of two-barrel aging imbues this spirit with notes of caramel, dried fruit and vanilla with a finish that introduces nuances of chocolate with a velvety mouthfeel. Even at 80-proof, Espolón Añejo is still a perfect base for a quality cocktail – surprise your holiday guests with an Añejo Old Fashioned.


Image of Grand Marnier

Are you looking for a gift that will take the attention of any holiday gathering? Look no further than the Grand Marnier Grande Cuvée Révélation. Grand Marnier seems to have made it a tradition of consistently challenging common conventions and feelings about liqueurs with increasingly unique and finely crafted releases.

The Grande Cuvée Révélation is no different – within this beautiful vessel is a magnificent blend of XXO cognac and a dash of orange essence. But what exactly does XXO mean? It represents an extremely high cognac content of 68 eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne aged for at least 14 years (specifically it means that the cognac inside is “extra extra old”). 

This bottle will deserve a top shelf placement in even the most sophisticated collector’s bar. The refined design represents Grand Marnier’s story in a refined way. The glass stopper recreates the iconic ribbon that dips into the liquid creating an elegant showpiece. The liquid inside will shine with a nose of deep orange and aged wood notes of cognac. On the palate, you’ll discover pipe tobacco and wood tannin balanced with dark fruit and subtle orange that lingers into a finish of vanilla. 

Whether you are looking for a treasured gift for your favorite person or a bottle that is sure to delight the guests of any holiday festivities, rest assured that this list has something to help clear your wishlist. We hope that these releases make your spirits a little brighter this season. Cheers!

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