Fresh Finds for the Fanatic: Gift Ideas for Enthusiasts


For many, the holiday season brings about a perennial problem: What do you get the guy who’s really into a thing, like coffee, vintage decor, cigars or shoes? To find a gift that meets his sky-high expectations, you almost have to be just as much of an expert as he is. Who has time for all that research? We do. The Man Crates team has a borderline unhealthy obsession for creating the best gifts for men, so we know the varying flavor implications of grilling meat with a smoker vs. a salt block. We know when to spell “whisky” without an “e.” And we know what gifts will thrill even the most discerning aficionado this year. They’re all right here in our gift guide for enthusiasts, organized by price range (three Cuban cigars = expensive, one = inexpensive).

Three Cigars

1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster – $138,000
Okay, so this one probably belongs in the the “20 Cigars” category, but maybe you just won the lottery. This classic racer, named for its top speed goal, which was pretty quick at the time, was completely restored in ‘07 and has a scant 40,000 miles on the odometer. No, the odometer wasn’t rolled back like Cameron’s dad’s Porsche. Park this in your car guy’s driveway for the holidays, and it’ll blow the giant red ribbon off any visions of a Lexus December to Remember that may have been dancing through his head.

Steampunk Industrial Lamp – $1,499.99
Some people treat lighting as a necessity for seeing things within a room. Others see it as an opportunity for expression. This handmade Steampunk Industrial Lamp is likely to ignite many a conversation about the Industrial Age and steam-powered machinery. With a rare antique 10-inch steam gauge, two brass oilers and a gear base fashioned from a 1930s antique tractor, this 35-pound lamp is sure it light up his life.

Dinner for Two at Masa, New York City – About $850
Sometimes an experience makes an unforgettable gift. Especially when that experience is dinner at the most expensive restaurant in America. Disclaimer: Probably best that he’s a fan of Japanese food. Chef Masa Takayama encourages guests to dress comfortably, as they are about to embark on a three-hour culinary thrill ride featuring course after course of fresh dishes. There’s no menu and no stress—until you get the check, of course.

Yama 25 Cup Cold Drip Coffee Maker – $450
Part coffee maker, part high school chemistry class, this towering glass structure slowly drips out precious, life-giving cold brew coffee—thanks to a combination of gravity, osmosis and magic. If you’ve got some ice, water, fresh coffee and time to kill…this is one seriously low-tech, high-flavor slow brew. But totally worth it to a true coffee drinker.

Two Cigars

Traditional Absinthe Fountain – $199.99
The craft cocktailer is no stranger to absinthe. It’s the mysterious, anise-flavored spirit that gives any drink just the right amount of intrigue. Traditionally, the absinthe fountain is brought to the table, where the imbiber can prepare it to his preference. With a mouth-blown glass bowl, four spouts and a handmade lid featuring a pineapple finial, this version replicates a vintage late-19th-century Belle epoque absinthe fountain. It’s a wonderful addition for the absinthe minded.

Whiskey Appreciation Crate – $149.99
This crate approaches whiskey less like a drink, and more like a ritual. It includes a monogrammed decanter, rocks glasses, burly slate coasters and even a whiskey journal for a man to keep his thoughts (also acceptable to just write “Scotch, scotch, scotch, I love scotch” over and over.)

Premium Cigar Humidor – $114.99
No self-respecting man would place the flame of a Bic on a hand-rolled Cuban, or cut a stogie with kitchen scissors. This setup is a classic, timeless ensemble that can impress his stogy crew for years to come. Note: Quotable “Scarface” dialogue not included.

Home Brewed Kit – $149.99
This is for the discerning sipper, and it’s got everything he’ll need to turn the garage into a brewery, like brewing pots, bubblers, sanitizers, tubing, bottle caps and even recipes. The ancient art of beer has never felt so fresh.

One Cigar

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – $24.95
Hardcore hikers, campers and outdoorsmen alike know that a quick sip from a stream can lead to a long, uncomfortable session in the latrine. But what if they could guzzle down that cold, crisp mountain water water completely free from worry about contamination. That would be sweet. And that’s exactly what the LifeStraw is designed to do.

Dogfish Head Beer for Breakfast Stout – $12
Move over Bloody Marys, now there’s something hoppier in the morning. Beer for Breakfast Stout is the perfect a.m. pour for the guy who doesn’t align his beer drinking with the hands of a clock. This brew has elements of all the breakfast classics, including Guatemalan Antigua cold press coffee, Maple syrup harvested from Western Massachusetts and applewood-smoked barley. He might just want to pour this stout right into his Wheaties.

Men and Style: Essays, Interviews, and Considerations – $27
If you know a man who prides himself on his appearance, this book makes a great gift. Or, it also works as a not-so-subtle hint for the slob who has no problem heading out in public with pizza stains on his sleeveless white tee. Men and Style profiles some of the most fashionable men in the world, providing depth to the clothing choices they make. You stylish sir will thank you for this handy guide to fashion dos and definitely don’ts.

Check out more gift guides for every guy.