Alright, so we’ve told you what we love for Christmas. Please consult our What whisky lovers want for Christmas blog for all the top tips. It’s very useful. But so is knowing what you shouldn’t get for the whisky lover. You’ve had the dos, here’s the don’ts.

Tl;dr the answer is whisky. Whisky lovers want whisky. 

Whisky being poured over a glass with whisky stones in it

Why, why, why, Delilah, are these in my stocking again?

What not to buy a whisky fan

First up is… The wrong whisky. Yeah, we know we just said we want whisky. But if somebody hates peated whisky, they simply won’t appreciate a nice bottle of Laphroaig, no matter how delicious we might think it is. Our aforementioned What whisky lovers want for Christmas blog will help here, as will our dedicated gift finder.

Then there’s whisky stones. Please stop. Nobody wants them. They’re not better than ice. They just take up room in a freezer drawer because we don’t have the heart to throw out a gift someone bought with love. But they add nothing. 

In fact, most whisky-based paraphernalia we could do without. Particularly the naff novelty crap. No, we don’t want whisky socks. Or cufflinks with tiny bottles on them. We also have enough coasters already. Apparently, there’s such thing as whisky lip balm. Bin.

T-shirts with punny slogans can absolutely get to fuck too. ‘Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my whisky’ kind of crap. Or t-shirts that say ‘malt whisky’ in the Walt Disney logo handwriting. Enough.

Or tea towels. Where the hell did all the tea towels come from? There is absolutely no value to me having a detailed map of Scotch whisky regions on a piece of cloth I’m going to use to mop up spilled tea. 

Now, a beautiful glass or a well-written book can make a great gift… accompaniment. But not instead of actual whisky. Do make sure there’s some of the good stuff there too. Basically, this sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look covers all the bases, you just need to substitute heroin for whisky. Which is not bad advice in general. 

Boozy chocolate is also a no-no. In the words of m’colleague Jess Williamson. “Why. Why do people do this? It’s the worst of both! It never tastes of whisky, it’s like chocolately ethanol.” You heard the lady. Act accordingly. 

This one might surprise you, but Cognac. Our supercomputer stats tell us that a lot of people out there search “Is Cognac whisky?” online. It’s ok if this is the first time you’re learning Cognac is brandy. Or that brandy is not whisky. Better to learn that now than after you’ve wrapped a bottle of Cognac under the tree for the whisky lover, right? We have a whole guides section for all this so you’re never confused again. If someone has specifically asked for Cognac, then that’s great, and we have a superb selection here. But just to make it very clear, it’s not whisky.

Finally, a dodgy cask. If you’re the kind of person who has serious bucks to spend and thinks that a really cool gift might be a whole barrel of whisky, then be warned. The world of cask investment is murkier than an abandoned pond full of Bovril. Proceed with caution. Like if you were drinking Bovril for the first time. These mini casks for at-home maturation are much more fun and are not going to compromise your retirement fund. Unless you age the cash under your mattress in it or something.