There have been some great whiskeys released this year, for both the whiskey novice and expert. Unfortunately, many of the new releases are either extremely pricey, extremely hard to find or both. I've tried to offer some more reasonable choices here along with a few splurges.
William Larue Weller. The annual fall release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (consisting of George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare 17 year old and William Larue Weller Bourbons as well as Sazerac 18 year old and Thomas H. Handy rye whiskeys) is always a cause for celebration among Bourbon lovers. This year, the best reviewed of the bunch has been the Weller, a barrel strength, wheated Bourbon. My review will come later, but I can attest that this is a phenomenal whiskey, and many people who have tasted it have uttered the words "best ever." If you can still find it, it should be in the $90 range.
Jefferson Presidential Select. I reviewed this 17 year old wheater last week. It will cost you in the neighborhood of $90, but for the real Bourbon geek in your life, a sip of potion from the defunct Stitzel-Weller distillery is worth its weight in gold.
Bernheim Wheat Whiskey. While Dr. Whisky disagrees, I very much enjoyed Bernheim Straight Wheat Whiskey, a novel whiskey which comes at a reasonable price, around $40.
Wild Turkey American Spirit. This limited release Bourbon is still on shelves but probably won't be available much longer. It goes for around $70 and gives you some solid Turkey heft and complexity.
Bruichladdich Octomore. For the peat lover in your life, take a trip to Wine & Liquor Depot in Van Nuys, which still has a few bottles of Bruichladdich's über-smoky Octomore. It goes for around $120.
Ardbeg. A bit cheaper but still smokin' is the new Ardbeg Corryvreckan which runs $75 to $80. I haven't tried this one yet, but an Ardbeg new release is a pretty safe bet. Corryvreckan will be replacing Ardbeg's Airigh Nam Beist, which will be gradually disappearing from shelves, so if you're a fan of "the Beast," you may want to pick up a bottle to put away. It's still around and runs around the same price.
Suntory Hibiki. The Suntory Company is smiling on the US and sending us two new releases, the vintage 1984 Yamazaki and the 12 year old version of their popular blend Hibiki. I tasted both of these whiskies at WhiskyLive and enjoyed them both. The more expensive and more remarkable 1984 isn't available yet and will probably be quite pricey. The Hibiki has started popping up; it is a very smooth and drinkable blend that would make the perfect gift for the Scotch drinker in your life. The going price on the Hibiki seems to be around $50.
For more budget-friendly whiskey gifts, see my list of great whiskey for under $20.