Alibi V.25 No.48 • Dec 1-7, 2016 

Gift Guide

Of Gifts, Giggle Water and the Good Stuff

A boozy gift guide

“Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!”

In the words of author and sociocultural commentator Warren Ellis, “Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!” And that's the joy of hooch, isn't it? It's wonderful and terrible, and therefore the best holiday gift. Honestly, after dealing with family for the entirety of the holidays, your friends and other giftees deserve to feel horrible and sexy. As such, it was our duty and honor to drive around Albuquerque to our favorite liquor stores asking for their holiday gift recommendations. There were no category restrictions—scotch, sherry, wine, beer, whatever—and no price limits (because we like to dream of the good stuff even if we'll never taste it). So, if you have a reveler on your list who likes to indulge in the sauce, take a look at what Burque has to offer.

Quarters

4516 Wyoming NE
Recommended by: Anthony

Valenciso Rosé
Walt Blue Jay Pinot Noir
1) Valenciso Rosé 2015: This pink beauty is a great host gift to bring to holiday dinners. It's made from 100 percent Tempranillo grapes from old vines in La Rioja Alta, Spain. Dry with big flavor, it goes well with turkey or ham. ($26.99, 14% ABV)

2) Walt Blue Jay Pinot Noir 2014: You just can't go wrong with a good pinot. Be the toast of your next holiday dinner by waxing poetic about the complex flavors of blueberry, briar fruit and black tea. Per the wine manager at Quarters, its “an awesome bottle that goes well with ham, turkey and stuffing.” ($38.99, 14.9% ABV)

Jubilation Wine & Spirits

3512 Lomas NE
Recommended by: Juan

Lagavulin 16-year Scotch Whisky
Bodegas Barco de Piedra
1) Lagavulin 16-year Scotch Whisky: With the price tag on this bottle, it's a good thing the holidays only happen once a year. But it's totally worth it. If you're going to bother with scotch, it might as well be top quality. Juan described it as “peaty, a little bit of iodine at the end and a fair amount of heat. Drink it neat.” ($112.99, 43% ABV)

2) Bodegas Barco de Piedra 2013: Made from 100 percent Tempranillo grapes grown in Ribera del Duero, look for notes of raspberry, violet, rose petal, blueberry and minerals. But that doesn't mean you need to get too fancy with a food pairing. Juan said, “This Spanish wine goes great with a big, juicy burger.” ($17.99, 13.5% ABV)

Kelly Liquors

2270 Wyoming NE
Recommended by: Tyrone

Crown Royal Vanilla Whisky
1) Crown Royal Vanilla Whisky: So you've got that one person on your holiday gift list who isn't a drink snob and just wants something tasty and fun. Purchase this eminently affordable vanilla booze. It “goes well with Coke or Dr. Pepper or just on the rocks.” ($19.99. 35% ABV)

D'Ussé VSOP Cognac
2) D'Ussé VSOP Cognac: Show a friend, family member or boss some serious love with this hefty and beautiful bottle and a snifter to make sure they drink it right. They'd better, considering it was aged for four-and-a-half years in the cellars of the Château de Cognac in Cognac, France. Your giftee will certainly enjoy the bouquet of wood, cinnamon and flowers, as well as the flavors of spices, almond, honey and dried fruit. ($49.99, 40% ABV)

Stone Face Package Liquor

8201 San Pedro NE
Recommended by: Trent

Maker's 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky
1) Maker's 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky: For an extra special gift for the whisky lover in your life, grab a bottle of Maker's 46. It's only made in winter and is aged longer than the average bottle of Maker’s with French oak staves. This process creates a more complex flavor with less bitterness. Its flavor profile is spicy and sweet with notes of vanilla and oak—perfect for making an Old Fashioned. ($35.99, 47% ABV)

Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Series No.3
2) Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Series No.3: This perfect gift bottle was created in honor of one of the seven men who've served as Master Distiller for Jack Daniel's: Lemuel “Lem” Tolley. According to Trent, “It's the formula that Jack used from 1941-1964, and it's going to taste a lot like what people expect the Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select to taste like, but this is going to be closer to that corn mash style they used back then—you can really taste the corn mash.” ($33.99, 43% ABV)

Editor's Choice

Alvear Pedro Ximenez 1927
1) Alvear Pedro Ximenez 1927: We know what you're thinking, “Sherry? That's for old ladies, right?” Wrong! This little bottle contains pure, divine ambrosia. It is honey and sunshine and everything rich, sweet and warm in the world. Or to quote the pros, it “boasts a dark amber color as well as an extraordinary nose of crème brûlée, liquefied nuts, marmalade, and maple syrup. Huge and viscous … it is a profound effort …” ($32.99 at Jubilation, 16% ABV)

Angel's Envy Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
2) Angel's Envy Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: Now this is a real treat for anyone who enjoys high-quality, small-batch bourbon. This creation by Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson is finished in ruby port wine casks. It's rich and complex with notes of vanilla, honey, fruit and maple. We like two fingers of this firewater neat or on the rocks. ($75 at Stone Face, 43.3% ABV)

Corona

Honorable Mention

Recommended by: Random “Skateboarder and Rapper” Guy at Stone Face

“Just get a 24-oz. of Corona for each of your friends. They'll love it. This truly is the best gift you could ever get them. Just think about it: Wouldn't you want one of these? [Holds up bottle.] If you don't write about this, you'll regret it, 'cause this is good stuff.” Okay, why not? If your friends turn up their noses at a free Corona, well, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life anyway. But we're sure they’ll enjoy this Mexican lager boasting a “fruity-honey” aroma “with a touch of malt.” ($2.99, 4.5% ABV)