Father's Day Spirits Shopping Problems Solved!

Photo by Daniel Panev via flickr.com
Photo by Daniel Panev via flickr.com

Father’s Day can be a tough one to shop for. Your dad is probably at an age when he already knows what he likes (read: he can be a bit stubborn), and it’s challenging to find a unique gift that will surprise and satisfy him (read: you’ve never once seen him wear that expensive designer shirt you bought him.)

However, if your father likes to relax with a good drink, there are some thoughtful choices out there for most budgets and palates (and it matches with everything!). Presenting, the 2015 Alcohol Professor Father’s Day Spirits Gift Guide! Pick these for your dad, and hopefully he’ll invite you to sip along, now that you’re old enough for more than that little taste of his beer you weren’t supposed to tell Mom about.

courtesy For Whiskey Lovers
courtesy For Whiskey Lovers

The Whiskey Explorers is the first ever whiskey sampling club with blind tastings. That’s right - he doesn’t know what he’s drinking until he tastes the drams and compare notes online! Choose either a one time flight or an annual membership of four quarterly tastings. Each pack comes with four mini bottles (50 mL) of rare whiskies, which are only labeled with their corresponding code to play the game. Complete the steps to discover the whiskey in the bottle. An engraved Glencairn glass is sent upon joining the club, so he is sure to have the proper tools.

When ready to taste, users:

  • Go online and log in to start the game (tasters receive a unique code with membership.)
  • Taste the drams and take notes - color, aroma, weight, taste, finish, etc. Pay special attention to nuances like fruitiness, vanilla, smoke, phenols, oak influences, etc.
  • Rate the whiskey.
  • Guess the price.
  • Guess the brand (they give you options.)
  • Enter additional comments.

Once each dram is complete, the whiskey is revealed (ta-da!), with the option of purchasing a full bottle from select retailers. Scores are given for the effort, which can be shared with other online players.

courtesy Highland Park
courtesy Highland Park

It’s fun to play as a solo adventure, but it’s also an enjoyable bonding game for the two of you to play together, or purchase to taste separately and compare scores. Flight of four: $79.95, 12 month Voyager subscription: $189.95. Go here to see your options and order your first flight.

If this isn’t your thing, (or dad doesn’t like spending time on the Internet), of course there’s always good ol’ whisky and other spirits to enjoy the analog way!

The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Sherry Cask: Aged at least 15 years in ex-sherry barrels, each cask of this whisky is unique - just like your dad! This mature Scotch is round, rich and approachable - the ultimate, relaxing end-of-day dram. $99

Highland Park Odin: The latest in the Valhalla Collection from Orkney’s Highland Park Scotch pays homage to Odin, the King of Asgard! This 16 year old single malt is epic in its fierce balance of sweetness, malt, earth and smoke. It's a limited edition that also comes with an impressive viking-esque wooden scroll display case. $350

Cruzan_Single Barrel_Hi-Res
Cruzan_Single Barrel_Hi-Res

High West Son of Bourye: Maybe American whiskey is more your pappy’s thing? (Speaking of pappy, you’re not going to find any of that, so just stop trying.) There are plenty of bourbons and plenty of ryes out there to choose from, but very few combinations of the two. This blend mixes five year old American whiskeys for a bold combination of rich, smooth and spicy flavors. Plus the cute image of the father and child jackelopes on the label is perfect for the occasion. $45

Cruzan Single Barrel Rum: If you’re on a budget for gifts, this delicious rum delivers quite a lot of bang for buck. It’s a blend of rums from this St. Croix distillery averaging 12 years old, making it just the ticket for some fine sipping. Plus it’s only around $30, so you won’t freak out if dad just pours a bunch of Coke over it. Though if he does, that’ll be one of the best dang Rum and Cokes he ever made!

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado : While the brand is relatively new to the market, this is truly a family tequila, passed on through five generations, and now available in the U.S. as a 100% agave, pot-stilled spirit. It’s aged seven months in ex-bourbon barrels for just the right amount of oak influence without overpowering its true agave essence. It’s a terrific sipper to enjoy with your padre over some of your favorite family anecdotes. $60

Cheers to all the dads out there and Happy Father’s Day from Alcohol Professor!