If you start doing a lot of tater things in whiskey, your normal friends will eventually have an occasion to buy you a gift and they will decide another bottle of bourbon would be perfect. They will then try to find that ‘perfect’ bottle. In the past, I’ve often been gifted either Basil Hayden’s or Blanton’s. Basil Hayden’s has very elaborate bottle packaging and Blanton’s has very pretty bottle. I’m pretty sure those shopping for me bought based on packaging. I prefer Blanton’s of the two, but I’m not going to complain about free Straight Bourbon.
Sometimes the person will turn to online bourbon groups for a bottle suggestion. This is a huge mistake. The online tater groups will likely suggest all kinds of bottles that are rarely available at retail. The gifter will venture to their local liquor store where they will become frustrated because nothing on their list is available. I witnessed this plenty of times in the bourbon aisle of my local store. Yes, the store salesman will take and place their name on the list for that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23. The Blanton’s I was gifted before is now on this hard to find list. Or the taters will suggest expensive shelf turds like Whistlepig Boss Hogg if the gifter’s budget allows it.
I recall the days 12 years ago where I could ask for BTAC bottles from relatives as Christmas presents and they could easily go buy these. Sadly, those days are long gone. The $100 price point is one that is often given as the gift amount. The $100 price point of bottles that are likely to still be on the shelf is also the home of some biggest tater bottles out there like Blood Oath or several of the Jefferson’s. I suspect those producers pick that price point for this reason.
I think it’s unrealistic to expect the occasional gift giver to venture into secondary markets. So, I’ll make some basic suggestions of good solid Straight Bourbons that are easy to find in most markets as of 2018.
$30 – Elijah Craig
$45 – Wild Turkey Rare Breed
$65 – Booker’s
There is really no need to spend any more than this. I know if I were gifted any of these bottles and I would be very happy. Now to post this to Facebook so all my friends see it.