So it’s come to this. You procrastinated on buying your dad a Father’s Day gift, and now you’re scrambling. Whiskey to the rescue! What dad wouldn’t love a nice bottle of whiskey for Father’s Day? It’s delicious. (And if your dad’s not into whiskey, it’s infinitely re-giftable.)
The only problem is picking the right bottle. Staring at a liquor store’s whiskey selection can be a daunting task, and if you give up and just pick the coolest-looking bottle, you might not end up with the tastiest booze. Since we started our “In the Spirit” column in the print version of mental_floss—seriously, why haven’t you subscribed yet?—we’ve been getting questions about our favorite types of hooch, and we’re always up to talking about drinks. If you’re in dire straits and need a hand picking a Father’s Day bottle, here are a few things we’ve enjoyed in the last few weeks.
1. Canadian Whiskey: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel
Scotch and bourbon drinkers love to dismiss Canadian whiskey as bland, and with good reason—a lot of it is bland compared to its more aggressive international peers. Not this one. It takes the creamy mouthfeel that Canadian whiskey is known for but kicks it up with spicy pear flavors and a wallop of cinnamon.
2. Single Malt Scotch: The Macallan 12
Buying single malts as gifts is a tricky business. The category encompasses a wide array of flavors, many of which are incredibly polarizing. (In the case of a smoky Islay like Laphroaig, one could argue whether it is delicious or that it tastes like a Band-Aid that survived a fire. Both positions are defensible.) So if you’re flying blind, we recommend nabbing a bottle of the Macallan 12 year old. Maturation in European sherry casks gives it a rich, complex flavor, but it steers well clear of the aggressive smoky or peaty tastes that can be off-putting. And if you really like your dad, upgrade to its older brother, the Macallan 18-year-old, which is pricy but lovely.
3. Tennessee Whiskey: George Dickel Barrel Select
George Dickel doesn’t get the same hype as its black-labeled Tennessee neighbor, but it’s every bit as good. Like many Dickel products, their premium bottling smells a bit like vitamins, but it also packs in a lot of fruity notes of apricot and sweet cherry.
4. Bourbon: Bulleit 10
Bulleit’s standard offering is a terrific bourbon, and its relatively new 10-year-old version amps up its rye spiciness and oaky flavors while still leaving room for a nice plum flavor to shine through. Plus, if your dad is into Westerns, the cowboy-inspired bottle looks like it would feel at home in a 19th-century saloon.
5. Irish Whiskey: Redbreast 12-Year-Old Cask Strength
Like their Canadian counterparts, Irish whiskeys can be on the subtle side—but not the cask-strength version of Redbreast’s 12-year-old single pot still whiskey. At over 117 proof, it slams your tongue with a fair amount of alcohol, but in the most delightful way possible. The potency makes it feel almost chewy in your mouth, and there’s an onslaught of apple and caramel flavors. Before I tried this one, I thought I didn’t like Irish whiskey. Turns out I was just drinking the wrong ones. Your dad will probably agree.
What did we miss? What whiskey are you buying your dad for his big day? Tell us in the comments!