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Bartenders Tell Us The One Whiskey They’d Give To Their Whiskey-Loving Celebrity Crush

Since life in quarantine is starting to feel like some sort of surreal science fiction movie, it’s time to let our brains run wild a little. Explore the furthest reaches of our minds. Or maybe just think about what we’d do if we were lucky enough to meet our one celebrity crush. (Let’s keep it PGish by limiting this to things we could do so while observing proper social distancing.)

Would we gush? Quote a favorite movie line or song lyric? Try to act casual and start some small talk? Or would we give a gift? Something to say, “Thanks for the music or TV or films or self-punishing performance art.”

If so, what would the gift be? You can’t go wrong with whiskey, right? But which one? To answer that question, we reached out to a handful of our favorite bartenders to find out their whiskeys of choice for giving hypothetical celebrity crushes who also hypothetically love the brown stuff.

Eagle Rare 17 Year-Old Bourbon

Matt Shields, bartender at The Bay Restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

This is a tough one to start out with but, I think Eagle Rare 17 is a whiskey that any enthusiast/ crush of mine would be delighted to receive as a gift. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. All you need is one bottle, two glasses.

Ardbeg Uigeadail Scotch

Jessi Lorraine, bartender at Elda in San Francisco

Pretty much any whisk(e)y will do. But my go-to would be Ardbeg Uigeadail. Something about the way Uigadail combines peat and sherry makes me nostalgic for campfires, card games, and great times with great people.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon

Amanda Carto, bartender at Nickel City in Austin, Texas

I’ve always been partial to Maker’s Mark Cask Strength bourbon. It’s a wheated bourbon with a high corn ratio in their mash bill, which carries through in its taste and in the smooth finish. It’s a great sipping bourbon neat or on the rocks, and holds up well in a cocktail without being overshadowed.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bourbon

Blake Jones, bartender and director of beverage at The Kennedy in Pensacola, Florida

If I had to pick, I would probably pick something from Wild Turkey. Probably either the Master’s Keep or perhaps a Private Barrel of Russell’s Reserve. Something about this brand just speaks love to me. Seeing the passion the brand has for making whiskey is inspiring and I think it makes a great gift to someone I care about.

Kings County Distillery & Brooklyn Grange Honey Whiskey

Gabriela Dimovska, general manager at V DTLA in Los Angeles

I would gift her (because we all know my Queen B crush surpasses all of my other celebrity crushes in life) a bottle of Kings County Distillery & Brooklyn Grange Honey Whiskey, because we also all know where honey comes from.

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

Danielle Becker, bartender at the Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, Colorado

Smooth Ambler Contradiction. In addition to one of the coolest labels around, what you get inside the bottle is so different and divine. It’s a blend of multiple bourbons that all age nicely together. The combination of sweet wheat and spicy rye make for something so different and delicious that you don’t get to try all that often.

Oban Distillers Edition Single Malt Scotch

Freddy Concepcion Ucan Tuz, bartender at JW Marriot in Cancun, Mexico

Oban’s Distillers Edition Single Malt. Because it is a whisky that is finished in a Sherry fino cask, which gives it a soft, luscious and full-bodied feel with hints of fresh honey and florals. A spectacular whisky with great price value.

Talisker 10-Year-Old Scotch

Wesley MacDonald, owner of Caña Bar and Kitchen in Curaçao

Talisker 10 Year. It’s an outstanding classic, bold, smoky with a maritime character. If she enjoys this, the crush is justified, if not time to look for another.

Hudson Single Barrel Four Grain Bourbon

David Powell, brand ambassador for Hudson Whiskey

I’d send Jhene Aiko this Single Barrel Hudson Four Grain Bourbon bottle that I’ve been stashing away since I found it upstate a couple of months back. It’s from our 2017 Single Barrel releases, which is the same year that her album ‘Trip’ came out, which happens to be one of my favorite albums of hers. Jhene, if you somehow happen upon this interview, just know my offer stands.