Aside from the whiskey gift recommendations I made last week, I sampled a number of wonderful non-whiskey spirits this year that have great gift potential.
Germain-Robin XO Alambic Brandy
One of the best spirits I had all year, whiskey included, was the Germain-Robin XO. Made with pinot noir grapes, this bold, complex brandy is as good or better than any Cognac on the market. It is one of those spirits with such complexity and richness that it keeps drawing you back. It's hard to keep a bottle around for long. ($100-$115).
Carpano Antica Forumula Vermouth
Evincing a full and herbal flavor, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth will punch up your Manhattan, but it's good enough to just sip straight. ($30)
Genevieve Genever Gin
I called it a gin for whiskey drinkers, but Anchor Distillery's Genevieve Genever Gin would also be a great gift of cocktail lovers who want something new to experiment with. It has fast become one of my favorite cocktail spirits. ($30)