Chuck Cowdery, a great America whiskey historian and the self-publisher of the Bourbon Country Reader (remarkable in its own right as a snail-mailed, paper newsletter in this day and age), has posted a great recommendation for those looking to give a whiskey gift (he posted it in the context of Mothers and Fathers days), to have as a good start at American whiskey starter collection, or those interested in learning more about the American whiskey industry—that is, bourbon, Tennessee, and rye whiskey, which focused on the political economy and material production process behind our whiskeys:
Micro-distilleries aside, every drop of American whiskey (bourbon, Tennessee and rye) is made by eight companies at 13 distilleries. The gift? A sampler of one bottle from each, either the eight or the 13.
I particularly like the distillery-based suggestion:
One from each of the 13 distilleries: Maker’s Mark (Maker’s Mark), Knob Creek (Jim Beam Clermont), Bookers (Beam Booker Noe), Woodford Reserve (Woodford Reserve), Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (Brown-Forman), Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (Jack Daniel’s), George Dickel No. 12 (George Dickel), Bulleit Rye (MGP), Evan Williams Single Barrel (Heaven Hill), Four Roses Single Barrel (Four Roses), Buffalo Trace (Buffalo Trace), Ridgemont Reserve 1792 (Barton 1792), Rare Breed (Wild Turkey).