Graduation is an import time in a person’s life. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It’s important that a graduation gift matches the mood of this time. If gifting a bottle of whiskey, you will want something that a twenty-something year old can taste and enjoy, yet not be too intimidated by a high price tag enjoy. We frown on bottles collecting dust simply because they too expensive to enjoy and seem intimidating to open and share.

We recommend that just giving a bottle of whiskey for a life event never be the only gift. You need to gift something that will be around long after the last drop of whiskey was enjoyed. That’s not to say a bottle of whiskey is inappropriate at all. On the contrary, it’s encouraged. But let’s make sure that we get the right gift package put together to suit the timing and the milestone event. Whether that means bundling with other whiskey related items or something unrelated to whiskey all together, we offer up our suggestions on what gift you can give for a college graduation bellow .

We area assuming you have a close relationship with your graduate. Odds are if you are reading this article, the person you have in mind is important to you, so we will approach from this standpoint.

Building the gift package for a graduate.

We will start off with the lasting piece of the gift package. This is the item that will last long after the last drop. In choosing these gifts, keep in mind the theme of the event. We are categorizing the theme as the beginning adulthood, but your thoughts on this may vary from graduate to graduate. The short list below fits with the mood of the occasion and will allow the person to think of you several years after that important day in his or her life.

1. Personalized Stationary Stationary – This is a great gift for any graduate. As with the bottle selection, be sure to get enough so that they are used often. You don’t want your graduate to hoard these waiting for the right time to use them. Thank you cards and handwritten notes have fallen out of popularity, but they are still a great way to communicate and often leave a last impression.
2. Cast Iron Skillet Lodge Skillet – this is often over looked but can be one of the best gifts a person will ever receive
3. WalletWallet – it’s a gift – not the most memorable on this list, but could be nice. Tip: never gift a wallet without some cash already in it.
4. Nice Work bag – Most offices offer some kind of work laptop bag or backpack to new employees. They also offer the same bag to the summer interns – don’t let your graduate look like an intern. Get them a nice leather work bag that will make them look professional from day one and will last for years. This a great gift for any graduate that has already excepted a position.
5. Whisky stones / bar set – See our post on these here
6. Job Hunting Supplies: nice résumé paper, a portfolio, and a nice pen. These are all items that should be in every job hunters arsenal for travel along on interview day, but are often overlooked.
7. Defining Decade Why your 20s matter book – This book should be handed out with every college graduate’s diploma. It is a quick read that allows graduates to really focus on what matters transitioning into full time adulthood.
8. Business Card Holder – A cool little add on for any graduate moving into the professional world.
9. Cash/Check – Cash is King! Every graduate will have expenses – cash will help. Enough said.

The above list also works well for a high school graduate heading to college for an undergraduate degree in business. If you are looking for a high school graduate gift – please observe the legal drinking age and ignore the whiskey bottles below.

Now for the important stuff. Which bottle is right for a graduate? We have listed a few of our top picks below with a note about each.

The Macallan 12 – The Macallan 12 is easy to enjoy for even the most novice of whiskey drinkers. This low peat single malt is aged in Sherry casks which grants it a dried fruit, spice, and nut flavor. Macallen 12 is aged for twelve years and is perfect gift for the occasion. Should be gifted by: Parents, Uncles, Older Cousins.

The Glenlivet 12 – This is one of the most popular malts in the world and is considered the Speyside Benchmark. It boasts hints of fruit, toffee, and mild spice for a very mellow and drinkable whiskey. It’s lower price means it’s the perfect add on if you are gifting cash or another more expensive item in addition to the whiskey bottle. Should be gifted by: Parents, Uncles, Older Cousins.

Yamazaki 12 – Japanese whiskeys have become increasingly popular, but can often be intimidating to break into. This one is smooth and delicate with all the qualities of the above, but stands out in a bar full of college spirts. Should be gifted by: Uncles, Older Cousins, The Cool Uncle, The Backpacker, Family Friends, World Travelers.

Basil Hayden’s – A classic American bourbon, Basil Haydens is a mellow, lighter bodied bourbon aged for 8 years. Tastes of honey, pepper, and tea, this bourbon is considered a standard bottle on all bourbon collectors bars across the country. The American heritage mixed with the bottle’s presentation and packaging make it an excellent gift for the American college graduate. Should be gifted by: Parents, Uncles, Older Cousins, Grandparents, Siblings.

Henry McKenna – This single barrel bourbon is often overlooked as it sits on the lower shelves in the liquor store, but make no mistake as it can stand tall with all of the other bottles on this list. This is a Bottled-in-Bond Single Barrel Bourbon, indicating it meets exacting U.S. government standards for age and proof. This is another great bottle as an add on gift for those gifting cash or another gift. Should be gifted by: Uncles, Older Cousins, Grandparents, Family Friends.

Jack Daniels – This is an age old classic. Its notes of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch are recognized by all. Those gifting beware, there is a strong change its cracked and consumed in quick sips before the nights end. This is a great gift for a peer or close drinking buddy. Should be gifted by: Siblings, Friends, Cousins, Neighbors.

These recommendations make great gifts and we hope you find this list helpful in planning your special gift. Think we should add something? Let us know in the comments below.