Bartenders Name The Whiskeys They Give Instead Of Roses On Valentine’s Day

When it comes to traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, there are few presents more expected than chocolate. Roses come in a close second. Whiskey probably isn’t in the top ten.

What this article presupposes is… maybe it should be?

To help you have more fun this weekend than chocolates and flowers can provide, we asked a handful of bartenders to tell us the best whiskeys to give to your Valentine. Check their answers below!

Chivas Regal Mizunara Cask Blended Scotch

Chivas Regal

Pablo Guerrero, food and beverage manager at Azabu in Miami

Chivas Regal Mizunara Cask is the way to go. The special Japanese wood gives this whiskey depth, creamy and smooth texture. Great for a cold winter day for lovers.

Average Price: $49.99

Journeyman Last Feather Rye


Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis

If you want to swap a box of chocolates for whiskey, Journeyman’s Last Feather Rye is the move. Distilled from the chocolate rye strain, this is unlike its more bright and spicy counterparts. It’s rich and woody on the nose, while the palate is dominated by cocoa nib and cherry.

The finish has some heat — perfect to send the right message to your Valentine on a special night.

Average Price: $49.99

Rabbit Hole Founder’s Collection Boxergrail Rye

Rabbit Hole

Jane Danger, national mixologist for Pernod-Ricard USA

Rabbit Hole’s Founder’s Collection Boxergrail is a great option with its high proof, enticing nuances, and rich texture. It is the perfect indulgence for all whiskey lovers this Valentine’s Day. The experience begins with citrus and spice heightened by bright floral notes and develops to a creamy, vanilla finish with a hint of nuttiness.

I recommend serving neat or over ice as this whiskey really sings on its own.

Average Price: $179.99

Aberlour 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch


Charles Hardwick, former bartender at The Aviary in New York City

Aberlour 12 Year. It has great notes of dried fruit and heather, so delicate and complex and versatile. It’s a truly sexy whisky to share with that special someone.

Average Price: $49.99

Woodford Reserve Five Wood Bourbon

Woodford Reserve

Denise Padin’ Cuevas, bartender at Siro Urban Italian Kitchen in Orlando

Woodford Reserve Five Wood. This bottle is finished in sherry and port barrels giving the bourbon a rich taste of dark cherries, dry fruit, and caramel-coated nuts. It is a great gift for someone who wants the flavors of a box of chocolates.

Average Price: $49.99

Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Edition 07.1


Daniel Burns, bartender at Elixir in San Francisco

Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Edition 07.1. It’s got the coolest packaging of any whisky I’ve ever seen. It’s also got the coolest story. Bruichladdich refuses to divulge exactly what goes into this blended malt each year, but you know it’s going to be old and delicious.

Much like true love, there is an element of mystery and much to discover. Year after year Black Art surprises and impresses us, and if you wanted to send a message on Valentine’s Day, I’d suppose you couldn’t do any better than that.

Average Price: $380

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Bourbon

Wild Turkey

Chris Zulueta, bartender at Sylvain in New Orleans

I’d go with Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. It’s a single barrel selection carefully watched under the longest-tenured master distiller (Jimmy Russel) at over 60 years. It has such great depth of those sweet nutty warm esters. It is also such an easy spirit to drink neat even at a 100+ proof, a true testament to his tenure.

Average Price: $57.99

Knob Creek Straight Rye

Knob Creek

Israel Meléndez Ayala, bartender in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The perfect gift for Valentine’s Day would be Knob Creek Stright Rye with vanilla and nuances in the nose perfect for a hot toddy if it’s cold. In warm weather, as in Puerto Rico, it goes well in a lion’s tail cocktail that matches well with the allspice dram liquor.

Average Price: $36.99

Westward Oregon Stout Cask Whiskey


Aaron Polsky, founder of LiveWire Drinks in Los Angeles

Westward Oregon Stout Cask—the notes that the stout cask layers over the single malt really give it some dark chocolate overtones — just like your Valentine might be expecting — and it’s a very gift-worthy bottle.

Average Price: $97.99

WhistlePig 12-Year-Old World Rye


Isaac Rice, lead bartender at Urban Farmer in Philadelphia

If your love loves whiskey, go for WhistlePig 12 Year Old World Rye. It’s dessert in a glass. They take their signature rye whiskey and finish it in in port, Sauternes, and Madeira casks separately and blend them together to create an extremely unique flavor profile. It’s very rich with dark fruit from the port, butterscotch and honey from the Sauternes, and roasted nuts and toffee from the Madeira, all interwoven in a spicy rye.

It’s also great paired with chocolate.

Average Price: $104

Slane Irish Whiskey


Gabriel Benavides, bartender at Bar Abi Maria in Miami

Slane is such an amazing Irish Whiskey to give. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it leads me to enjoy Slane with chocolate due to the vanilla and butterscotch notes from the three cask styles used in the whiskey. Slane pairs so well with chocolate which is why I’d give your Valentine a bottle of Slane instead of chocolate this year.

Average Price: $29.99

Angel’s Envy Bourbon


Benjamin Pozar, bartender at Fogo de Chao in Philadelphia

My love likes bourbon. Angel’s Envy would be a go-to for us. It’s finished in port wine casks to give it a unique, sweet, caramel flavor. It’s a worthy alternative to chocolate.

Average Price: $52.99