Drinks

Your Dad's Liquor Cabinet Deserves a New Bottle or 2

What else are you going to get him for Father's Day?
Best Liquors for Father's Day
Photo: Amazon

If you're still considering neckties for Dad on Father's Day, do you even read the Internet? Neckties will always be a big no-no. Liquor on the other hand? Always a go. For their big day, plenty of dads just want a great drink. Whether your dad is a bourbon fan, a brandy drinker or a G&T sort of gent, these are the best bottles for gifting (and, if circumstances allow, for sipping right along with him).

For the Gin-and-Tonic Fan: Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

If your dad hasn’t changed his Tanqueray-and-tonic routine in a decade or few, offer him something different with this superpremium German gin. Created in the Black Forest, in the backwoods that inspired the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales, it has a whopping 47 botanicals—flavors from traditional juniper and citrus to oddball ingredients like bramble leaves and spruce shoots. While intricate and compelling, it’s still strong on the juniper, so it's perfectly at home with tonic and lime, or stirred into a martini. Approx. $45/375ml

For the Scotch Obsessive: Glen Grant 15

Some Scotches are all about the smoke; others embrace subtlety rather than raw power. Glen Grant falls in the latter category. The distillery's newly released 15-year whisky, distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2017, clocks in at 100 proof, giving it a little more heft, while still retaining the elegance the brand is known for: rich on the palate with notes of citrus and fruit. Sophisticated and, above all, enjoyable. Approx. $77/750ml

For the Brandy Aficionado: Hine Homage Cognac

There are few luxuries quite like a fine cognac, and Hine produces some of the best. The Homage was created as a tribute to Thomas Hine, founder of the brand; it combines more than 20 eaux-de-vie (the component grape brandies that makes up the spirit), some of them vintages from 1984, 1986 and 1987. So you know, long-aged spirits for your old man. All in, it's a bottle he'll prize for years to come. Approx. $120/750ml 

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For the Vodka Drinker: Nikka Coffey Still Vodka

Premium vodka doesn’t have to mean a flashy bottle or over-the-top branding. Made from corn and barley, this vodka, from esteemed Japanese whisky distiller Nikka, is distilled in a vintage Coffey still (the traditional continuous still that the brand uses for its grain whiskies), then filtered with white birch charcoal. The result has an unusual smoothness and body, ideal in cocktails of every persuasion. Approx. $45/750ml 

For the Irish-Lovin' Dad: Knappogue Castle 14 Year

With all due respect to Jameson, let’s up the ante for Father’s Day. Though Knappogue Castle’s entire line of single-malt Irish whiskeys is beautifully made (and if you’ve got deep pockets, by all means splash out on the 21 year), the 14-year-aged whiskey hits a real sweet spot. With single malts aged in both bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry casks, it’s bottled up at 92 proof and is all bright fruit on the nose, dried fruit and nut on the palate, with a lingering vanilla finish. Approx. $60/750ml

For the Equal Opportunity Whisk(e)y Drinker: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt 

Think Kentucky whiskey and, reasonably enough, you’ll think of bourbon. But despite bourbon’s extensive history in the state, it’s not the only whiskey with a Kentucky tradition. Malt whiskeys were produced in Kentucky even before Prohibition. Woodford Reserve’s just-released Kentucky Straight Malt, made from 51 percent malt, is aged in new charred oak barrels, making it friendly and familiar to bourbon drinkers. Sipped neat, it’s rich and chocolaty, with the oak prominent. Basically, it'll appease whiskey fans of every stripe. Approx. $35/750ml

Carey Jones is a New York-based food, travel and spirits writer. She is the coauthor of Be Your Own Bartender, to be released in November 2018, and the author of Brooklyn Bartender. Follow her on Twitter at @careyjones.

  • Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

     

    This gin has a a whopping 47 botanicals—flavors from traditional juniper and citrus to oddball ingredients like bramble leaves and spruce shoots.

  • Glen Grant 15

     

    Glen Grant's newly released bottle embraces subtlety rather than raw power.

    Photo: Wine Searcher

  • Hine Homage Cognac

     

    There's more than 20 separate brandies in this luxury cognac, including vintages from 1984, 1986 and 1987.

    Photo: The Whisky Exchange

  • Nikka Coffey Still Vodka

     

    An unusual smoothness makes this Japanese bottle ideal in cocktails of every persuasion.

    Photo: Nikka Distillery

  • Knappogue Castle 14 Year

     

    When it's time to upgrade from Jameson, turn to this single-malt Irish whiskey.

    Photo: Knappogue via Facebook

  • Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt 

     

    Sipped neat, Woodford's just-released malt is rich and chocolaty, with the oak prominent. Basically, it'll appease whiskey fans of every stripe.

    Photo: Reserve Bar

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