The amount of time left to shop for the holidays is short, and your list is long. What to do? Knock it all out with one true Texas brand: Balcones Distilling. The grain-to-glass whiskey makers have a wide array of bottles, each of which is sure to fit someone on your nice list.
Who you're buying for: Your best friend
What they'll love: Baby Blue
Why it's perfect: You've dropped all artifice with each other, and when you get together it's to just kick back, relax, and have a good time. Balcones Baby Blue was the first Texas whiskey on the market following Prohibition, making it a true Texas original. There's always time to share a glass or two with your best bud, letting the notes of melted butter, kettle corn, vanilla, and toffee melt away your holiday stress.
Who you're buying for: Your boss
What they'll love: Texas Single Malt
Why it's perfect: You're out to impress, and this iconic bottle won't let you down. It was the first American-made whiskey to win top honors in the U.K.'s global blind Best in Glass awards, and has won more total awards than anyone can count. Silky and full on the palate, this complex whiskey features notes of lightly toasted bread with fresh butter and marmalade. It's what you reach for when only the best will do.
Who you're buying for: The cocktail enthusiast
What they'll love: Texas Rye 100
Why it's perfect: That one friend who's really into craft cocktails will swoon on this new take on an old classic. Its notes of buttery toffee, creamy chocolate, and peanut butter go unbelievably well in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
Who you're buying for: The bourbon enthusiast
What they'll love: True Blue 100
Why it's perfect: Surprise them with a bourbon that's not really a bourbon after all. True Blue 100 is made from 100 percent roasted blue corn but is not technically a bourbon because Balcones ages it in pre-used barrels (strictly speaking, bourbon must be aged in new barrels). This gives the whiskey a deeper, richer character than most bourbons. With its finish of lingering dried cherries and blackberries, followed by toasty bitter chocolate with pleasant oak tannins, they'll wonder why they haven't tried this sooner.
Who you're buying for: The hostess with the mostess
What they'll love: Rumble
Why it's perfect: Rumble defies definition. Made from Texas wildflower honey, Mission figs, and turbinado sugar, it isn't technically a whiskey. But its sweet and delicious flavors of honeysuckle, cinnamon, and vanilla work great as a base for inventive, Pinterest-worthy cocktails.
Who you're buying for: The rugged Texan
What they'll love: Brimstone
Why it's perfect: If this person's ideal winter activity is getting cozy around a campfire (or a fireplace), they'll appreciate this one-of-a-kind whiskey that's been smoked with sun-baked Texas scrub oak. Aromas of masa, wood smoke, and powdered sugar are backed by stone fruit, peppery spice, and mint. Bold yet balanced, they'll remember this gift forever.
To pick up a bottle, you can find Balcones at most major liquor stores, including Total Wine & More, Spec's, Goody Goody, and Pogo's. See the Balcones Distilling website for more details.