Wine & Spirits

By Kendria Smith

Flowers, candy, and champagne. They are the traditional trifecta of Valentine’s Day gift giving we’ve all become accustomed to. But what if there’s something more—something completely unconventional, yet remarkably refined? A gift that is not only pleasing to the palette but contains some of the best bouquets you can bottle. For those who aspire to give above and beyond the status quo, welcome to the wonderful world of whisky!, an online store and community providing consumers with full access to all things whisky, now offers the Whisky Explorer Valentine’s Day Gift Set. For $95 plus shipping, this tasting kit includes:

• One tasting flight of (5) 30mL bottles of hand-picked whiskies
•A Glencairn Nosing and Tasting Crystal Glass
•Two bars of artisanal chocolate by Mast Brothers Chocolate of Brooklyn, NY
•A copy of the best-selling book, 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, signed by author and ForScotchLovers managing editor Ian Buxton

When it comes to whisky tasting, there is no correct method, so even a novice can have fun with a flight. On first glance, you will notice how the whisky in each bottle of the gift set differs in color, ranging from light hues of gold to dark amber. As the bottles are opened, you experience a distinct difference in the nose. Some aromas are robust, rich, and smoky, and others more subtle, fruity and clean. Now for the best part: swirl it around your glass, take a sip and let it sit a little on your tongue a minute to absorb the flavors. Picking out the intricacies in taste—warm, smooth, and mellow with hints of orange, vanilla and toffee—is all a part of the fun. The process is only enhanced when paired with the artisanal dark chocolate or enjoyed on its own with the simplicity of good conversation and great company.

Once this tasting whets your appetite, there’s only one thing left to do. Join the Whisky Explorers Club, which offers three levels of membership providing access to limited-production distributors from all over the world. Along with your shipments, you’ll receive a discount on tickets to events around the country and a wealth of information from the knowledgeable Scotch Whisky Lovers Community.

Valentine’s Day may only come once a year, but fortunately for all, premium whisky is more than just a beverage. It is an experience that can be celebrated all year, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the gift of great taste.
A little trivia for your next party: In the United States and Ireland, it’s spelled Whiskey, while in Scotland and Canada, it’s spelled Whisky.

For more information, visit –

Originally published February 2012
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