Keep Dad Drinking (Well) on Father’s Day: A Gift Guide
A Dozen Ways to Get Dad Drunk for Father’s Day
Father’s Day is fast-approaching, sending sons and daughters scrambling to the interwebs to find something good to gift the old man. Man Talk Food is here to the rescue, with a complete Father’s Day gift guide, to keep dad drinking (well) this year.
Whiskey For the Win
Just get dad what he really wants this year, for a change. Whiskey. The Water of Life. It never fails. Here are some new releases he won’t have had yet:
Bowmore 18 Year Old
While age statements continue to get removed by brands, and as a result, the talking-point from most is that age never mattered much to begin with, an 18 year old Scotch still signifies something special. My rule is — if the whisky is old enough to vote, then it’s old enough to gift, too.
Bowmore’s 18, bottled at 43% ABV, is a signature expression from the brand and its balance between a peaty profile, and darker, richer and sweeter flavor notes. Works for peat lovers, but won’t scare away the uninitiated, either.
It’s also a bargain, available online in the $125 range, whereas some 18 year olds will cost you an extra hundo on top of that.
Booker’s Rye “Big Time Batch”
The Booker’s brand has released its first-ever rye whiskey, joining the ever-expanding category. Booker’s Rye is bottled at a mammoth 136.2 proof, and is just over 13 years old.
Dubbed the Big Time Batch, it has the big, bold profile to match, and is said to consist of some of the final barrels that master distiller Booker Noe laid down. This release, and the one below, were both unveiled by current master distiller Fred Noe as tributes to his father with a shared tagline of:
“Carefully crafted, patiently aged, first of their kind.”
It’s a limited edition release, and it won’t last long. Nab it when you see it. Suggested pricing is $299.99.
Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition
As mentioned above, Fred Noe crafted the release with his father, the late Jim Beam master distiller, in mind. Knob Creek was also one of the first labels under Fred Noe’s watchful eye, so it’s a special one for him.
Man Talk Food’s tasting notes: This is a smooth beauty, with vanilla and brown sugar on the nose backed up with baking spices. Dry oak on the palate with more sweetness, and a rich vanilla along the finish. Dark chocolate and rye spice come out with ice. Full tasting notes on Distiller.com.
Pricing is $129.99.
The Glenlivet Pullman Train Collection
Story goes that Bill Smith Grant of the Pullman Company of luxury rail travel fame introduced 2-ounce minis of the Glenlivet as the only Scotch available on his rail cars. It helped to establish the Glenlivet across the United States. Each of the three whiskies in this collection is inspired by the Pullman company: Pullman Club Car, Pullman Twentieth Century Limited, and Pullman Water Level Route, and they’re all cask strength, single cask whiskies, made with a a nod to “rarity, purity, and uniqueness.”
Pullman Club Car was aged in an ex-sherry butt for 18 years and has 618 bottles in its release; Pullman Twentieth Century Limited was aged in European oak butt for 14 years and has 588 bottles; and Pullman Water Level Route was aged in an American oak hogshead for 14 years, with only 321 bottles.
The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition Pullman Train Collection will be priced at $349.99/bottle.
Compass Box Enlightenment & The Circus
Still in the midst of an ongoing fight for Scotch transparency, Compass Box has unveiled two releases for June, Enlightenment and The Circus.
Enlightenment is in fact named in homage to that quest for improved regulations to allow for Scotch transparency. It’s a blended malt offered at 46% ABV. A bit less than 6,000 bottles are in the release, with U.S. availability beginning on June 1st, priced at $85.
They’d like to tell you how old all the component whiskies are, but they can’t. What they can reveal is that the whisky comes from the Clynelish, Glentauchers, Balblair and Mortlach distilleries.
The Circus is a smaller release, with just under 2,500 bottles available. It is a blend of blends, including two blended Scotches and one blended grain, and a smaller amount of single malt from Glen Ord, all sherry cask aged. Quite the circus indeed. It’s also a follow-up to a previous, smaller release, The General.
It will be priced in the U.S. at $275 and is bottled at 49%.
Laphroaig Lore was crafted from a wide and diverse selection of different casks. It’s made to represent the passing down of skills, experience and tradition in the more than 200 years that the Islay distillery has been open.
Man Talk Food’s tasting notes: At Laphroaig they say “opinions welcome”, to which I reply – Laphroaig Lore is like being tumbled by a crashing wave as a rush of saltwater flies up your nose… and wanting to do it all again. Find big seashell and iodine, backed up by saltwater and peat, with underlying sweetness to tie it all together and keep it smooth sipping.
Bottled at 48% ABV, it’s a no age statement release and is priced at $124.99.
Ardbeg Dark Cove
Ardbeg Dark Cove is billed as “the darkest Ardbeg ever,” with ties to a “dark past” and “the untamed spirit of Islay.” For Ardbeg fans, it’ll be a treat, with a hefty influence from the sherry casks partially used in its maturation.
Man Talk Food’s tasting notes: Dark Cove displays much richer and deeper flavors compared to the typical Ardbeg profile. This is a big, meaty one — literally, with plenty of charred barbecue meat in there, along with peat and salt and seashell. Also a rich sweetness with toffee and chocolate, as well as the raisins and candied fruits you’d expect with its sherry cask aging.
Bottled at 46.5%, this is a no age statement, limited edition release.
While all the above were new releases from world-famous brands, here’s something entirely new: Kikori. It’s a Japanese whisky from Los Angeles-based founder Ann Soh Wood, and as opposed to the Japanese malts which have taken the world by storm Kikori is distilled from rice.
The rice is grown in the volcanic soil of Kumamoto, located on the southernmost of Japan’s main islands. It’s then steamed, fermented, and distilled, before being aged in a mix of barrels including American oak, French Limousin oak and ex-sherry casks for between three and 10 years.
Kikori has a light coloration and a delicate, clean flavor profile to match, made to either be enjoyed on its own or with cocktails, and is priced at $49.99.
Is Dad more of a cocktail connoisseur?
Few Breakfast Gin
Man Talk Food’s tasting notes: Floral, fruity nose, with lavender, lemon and grapefruit. Bright and citrusy. Definitely pick up on an Earl Grey flavor. Smooth, somewhat velvety on the mouthfeel, with a distinct sweetness, and even a hint of black pepper on the finish. Good enough to drink on its own, and would work wonders in cocktails — but I suggest treading lightly. It’s so delicate, I wouldn’t want to overpower its profile.
FEW Breakfast Gin is available for $39.99 and is bottled at 84 proof.
Try it in the Madteani, a libation from Sara McDaniel of Chicago’s MAD Social:
- 3 oz. Few Breakfast Gin
- .5 oz. Brewed Earl Grey tea
- .5 oz. Honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part water)
- 3 dashes Bar Keep Lavender Bitters
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a Martini or coupe glass. Garnish with an edible flower.
Cocktail & Sons loves to recreate vintage syrup recipes, and the latest offering is their Fassionola, with strawberries, tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple, and hibiscus flowers. The New Orleans based company worked up this recipe in homage to the ingredient which was a crucial component to the original, world famous Hurricane cocktail from Pat O’Brien’s in the city.
It’s a seasonal release, so it’s only available until June 30th, making it even better for the holiday. Find it at their online store.
The syrup works great in tiki cocktails, and as a replacement for grenadine, even in classic libations such as the Jack Rose. Here’s another way you can put it to use, with the Gypsy Rose:
- 1.5 oz. Bourbon
- .75 oz. Cocktail & Sons Fassionola
- .5 oz. Fresh lime juice
- 2 dashes Orange bitters
- Orange twist granish
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Now go get dad drunk for Father’s Day.