When the time comes to find the perfect Father’s Day gift, it’s not uncommon to hear the familiar refrain, “He’s just so hard to shop for.”
Allow us to make things simple. Dads—the ones who drink, anyway—love whiskey.
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That’s why selecting a fine bottle of the good stuff (whether that means a smoky single malt, a small-batch bourbons or a barrel-proof rye) will be sure to earn you plentiful thanks and more than one nod of approval. And best of all, whiskey is the rare gift that the recipient may be inclined to share with you. So if none of our other painstakingly selected gifts will do, below you’ll find 15 bottles that we think will make outstanding gifts for the whiskey—or whisky—loving dad in your life.
Shibui Pure Malt Japanese Whisky
It has long been a semi-guarded secret that many Japanese single malts are actually blends of Japanese and Scotch whiskies. This has only recently come to light, but Shibui, as part of an import company co-founded by sisters Lauren and Rachel Simmons along with Nicolas Pollacchi, has never made a secret of the practice, as their slogan plainly says, “We don’t distill. We discover.” The premise being that they take the best of pre-existing whiskies and combine them to produce the optimum results. In this case, their Pure Malt is blend of 100 percent malted barley—mostly from the Niigata Region of Japan—along with a smaller portion of whiskies from the Scottish Lowlands, all of which have been aged in ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry and mizunara casks. The result is a slightly hefty candied walnut, maple and marzipan countenance with a spicy finish.
Pendleton Director’s Reserve
This 20-year-old blended Canadian whisky is the official whisky of the Pendleton Round-Up rodeo. In fact, the very spirit of the American West is personified by this ultra-premium whisky’s distinctive bottle, which is wrapped in a leather sleeve with a tooled design by third-generation Pendleton saddlemaker Randy Severe. With warm notes of oak, cinnamon and orange zest, this whisky has been distilled from the finest Northern grains, aged in American oak barrels, and cut with the finest glacier-fed spring water from Oregon’s Mt. Hood. It is a fitting annual salute to the Pendleton Round-Up’s directors—and anyone else who enjoys a rewarding pour at the end of a hard day’s ride.
The Dalmore 18 Year Old
This Father’s Day, give the exceptional gift of The Dalmore. The 18 Year Old is a magnificent whisky that has been meticulously handcrafted by the company’s Master Distiller and his team of artisans. This whisky begins its maturation journey in American white oak ex-Bourbon Barrels and is further aged in rare 30-year-old Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks. The result is a whisky of unprecedented depth and finesse, a masterpiece in the making.
Johnnie Walker Year of the Tiger
Not since 2010 has the Chinese Year of the Tiger made its appearance. Prowling the Chinese Zodiac calendar from February 1, 2022, until January 31, 2023, this winged symbol of strength and courage high in the clouds above a booming metropolis is personified by Johnnie Walker’s latest Blue Label limited edition. With a striking blue and gold design by artist Shan Jiang, the bottle and box portend a celebratory whisky composed of single malts as old as sixty years, many of which are from no longer existing “ghost” distilleries. In fact, only one in 10,000 casks make the grade for this exceptional blended Scotch.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao
Everyone talks about sustainability, but Macallan has now dedicated a whisky to it. In fact, this is the first limited edition in an innovative new series of single malts that will see the brand progress towards even more sustainable packaging. In this case, the bottle labels and the recyclable and biodegradable presentation outer box are made from organic cacao shells, while the box ribbon is made from 81 percent virgin wood pulp. To create the whisky itself, Macallan whisky maker Polly Logan embarked to Girona, Spain, where she collaborated with renowned pastry chef Jordi Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, visiting his chocolate factory, Casa Cacao, while also working with chocolatier Damian Allsop. Combining European sherry and American oak casks, Logan created a whisky reminiscent of chocolate fondant, honey and oak, perfect for pairing with…chocolate.
Fuji Single Grain Whisky
One of the newest Japanese whiskies to be imported to the United States, this is also one of the few whiskies to use snowmelt from Mount Fuji as its water source, as the Fuji Gotemba distillery is located at the base of the mountain. The snowmelt’s 50-year journey from Mt. Fuji’s peak to an underground aquifer sourced by the distillery results in a uniquely soft and pristine water that forms the foundation for this distinctive whisky. A blend of three different grain whiskies, each individually distilled, using American, Canadian and Scottish methods results in a delicate combination of floral and fruity nuances.
Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years
This limited-edition Canadian rye whisky is the fifth and newest addition in Crown Royal’s multi-award-winning Noble Collection, in which the master blenders in the Gimli, Manitoba, distillery push the boundaries of the brand each year with a new and innovative release. This is, by far, their best effort to date. Composed of 90 percent rye, this elegant whisky, suitable for either sipping or mixing, has a bold and spicy rye aroma that is slightly softened by creamy vanilla, sweet caramel and hints of stone fruit, with cherries, cinnamon and anise coming out in the finish. The heavy, crystal-cut bottle and its iconic purple cloth pouch add to this whisky’s elegance.
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon
It seems that every bourbon Buffalo Trace Distillery puts out becomes collectible. Their twice-a-year Stagg Jr. is currently sold out (although a new 18th edition is coming before the end of this year), their recently released Experimental Collection Baijiu-style spirit is so limited the 375ml bottles can’t even be tracked down on e-commerce sites, and, of course, their Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old is legendary. But there are still a few gems from this distillery that can be found, one of which is Eagle Rare 10 Year Old. It’s a bargain if you can score a bottle, with its easy-sipping notes of candied almonds, orange peel and leather.
Courage & Conviction American Single Malt Whisky
The phrase, “Have the courage of your convictions” originated in France but it was also a favorite saying of the late Dr. George G. Moore, who founded the Virginia Distillery Company that produces this craft spirit. Consequently, it became the name of Dr. Moore’s original whisky, which he purposely spelled without an “e,” as a tribute to the Scottish style of whisky making. Still family owned, individual bottlings taken from the trio of casks used in the creation of the flagship single malt whiskey—bourbon, sherry and red wine—are available, but we favor the original whisky, which is composed of spirits aged in 50 percent ex-bourbon casks, 25 percent sherry casks and 25 percent red wine casks. This double copper pot-distilled spirit is bursting with spicy notes of fruit, cocoa, caramel and butterscotch, with a smooth and creamy finish. Befitting its name, each bottle comes with a magnetically held Courage & Conviction medal that may be removed and carried as an inspirational pocket piece.
The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
This non-age statement single malt has been selectively finished in some barrels that had previously held Caribbean rum. And befitting an 80-proof whisky that comes from the tallest stills in Scotland, it is pleasantly light in texture and taste. Perhaps subliminally prompted by this whisky’s name, it evokes the distinctive aromas of pineapples and bananas. Those same essences continue into the first sip, followed by mandarin oranges, vanilla and honeydew lemons. Indeed, a Scottish Mai Tai immediately comes to mind. In fact, Glenlivet’s master distiller, Alan Winchester said, “By bringing rum barrels and Scotch together for the first time in our history, we have brought some bold and tropical Caribbean flavors to our traditional Speyside style.”
Michter’s 10 Year Old Single Barrel Rye
Just like Christmas, this is a whiskey that comes just once each year, mainly because of the rarity of the barrels used. After all, each barrel only yields from 150 to 200 bottles (depending upon the “angel’s share” of evaporation), and in the case of a single-barrel rye, each barrel’s spirit will have some very subtle—but often perceptible—differences in flavors. It should be noted that many of the rye whiskeys in this offering are much older than the age statement on the label. And thanks to the fact that the barrels were toasted and then charred, this particular release is rich with notes of vanilla, toffee and spicy pepper.
Blanton’s Gold Single Barrel Bourbon
Blanton’s—the original single barrel bourbon—was launched in 1984 and has been an award-winning favorite of bourbon connoisseurs ever since. But this year, for the first time, Blanton’s Gold Single Barrel Bourbon will be available in the United States in very limited numbers. Made from the same mash bill as the 93-proof version, this newest iteration is bottled at 103 proof to accent the hearty flavors of buttery apricots, honey and vanilla. To further differentiate this whiskey, the bottle’s distinctive “horse and jockey” stopper is gold in color and is available in eight different running poses. Each of the bottles also bear a single letter that when collected together, spell out the Blanton’s name. Needless to say, some dealers will be charging a premium for this hard-to-find bourbon, a practice that the distillery does not condone.
Although still triple copper pot-distilled by one of Kentucky’s oldest and smallest distilleries, Woodford doesn’t stop there with this bottle. This unique limited-edition variation has been given an extra three years of aging—over and above its average seven years of barrel maturation—in XO Cognac barrels, producing a unique balance of crisp American and French oak notes, resulting in a complex fruit character, with subtle spiciness and a touch of caramel and sweet, moist cedar in the finish. To showcase this French-American link, this 90.4-proof bourbon has been bottled in an elegant Baccarat crystal decanter engraved in gold with the Woodford and Baccarat logos and presented in a Baccarat red box with a crystal stopper featuring Woodford Reserve’s initials.
Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba Whisky
When Aberlour A’Bunadh, a non-chill filtered cask strength single malt made exclusively from first-fill sherry butts was introduced to the United States in the 1990s, it didn’t take long for word of mouth to spread (prior to that, it had only been available at the distillery). Still, it has always been a whisky flying a bit under the radar. But now, representing a unique variation of A’Bunadh, the new A’Bunadh Alba offers a completely different taste profile. Although it remains at cask strength, it has been matured only in first fill American white oak barrels, resulting in vanilla-soaked notes of sweet apples and tart citrus, with none of the resiny thickness associated with A’Bunadh. (Fittingly, Alba means “white” in Gaelic.). Destined exclusively for the United States, Alba will become a regular line extension of Aberlour.
Canadian Club 42 Year Old
In case you missed out on the Canadian Club 41-Year-Old when it was introduced last year—rejoice! This year the Canadian Club 42 Year Old makes its appearance, the second offering in the CC Chronicles series and, of course, another year older and noticeably deeper in flavor. It is, in fact, Canadian Club’s oldest expression to date. As a nod to this whisky’s historic past, Canadian Club 42 Year Old was created to honor the dockworkers of the 1930s, who ensured that only quality whisky was being delivered during a time when counterfeited hooch was rampant during Prohibition (which by this time, had ended in Canada). Having been aged for more than four decades in American oak barrels, this smoothly blended whisky showcases its robust rye, along with notes of malted barley, brown sugar and baking spices. It’s a perfect cold-weather sip to be shared with friends.
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