The 9 best whiskies to buy dad (or yourself) for Father's Day
Newsflash, offspring of America: Father's Day rolls around once again this weekend, and if you don't have anything for the big man, you're going to need to figure it out and fast. Thankfully there's always one thing that's both a good gift and an easy gift, and that thing is, of course, whiskey. But don't worry, even if you haven't touched the stuff since college, we're here to help, offering up old favorites and new surprises that are sure to make dad a happy camper...as long as you're not actually camping, of course. That never seems to end well...
Basil Hayden’s Caribbean Reserve Rye
What is it? Blended whiskey with a touch of rum
How much does it cost? $44.99
Here’s one dad hasn’t seen before: A blend of Canadian and Kentucky ryes spiked with a touch of dark, syrupy Black Strap rum from famed bourbon house Basil Hayden’s. The result is a slow-burn summer sipper that’ll turn an afternoon of bass fishing into the deep-sea adventure he’s been talking about booking since you were watching Rugrats.
Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey
What is it? Old-school Tennessee whiskey
How much does it cost? $59.95
There’s no more ubiquitous dad drink on earth than a Jack & Coke, and thankfully for pops Tennessee whiskey is back in a big way thanks to Uncle Nearest 1856, named for the first-known African American master distiller Nathan “Nearest” Green, who is said to have pioneered the Lincoln County filtering process that makes ol’ No. 7 so distinct. This blend of 8-to-11-year-old whiskeys faithfully abides by the same charcoal filtering, but make sure dad leaves the coke in the fridge—Uncle Nearest's palate of warm home-baked cookies is sweet and smooth enough all on its own. Buy here
Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finish
What is it? Canadian whisky (yes, that's how they spell it)
How much does it cost? $59.99
There’s just something about that purple velour bag that says “you mean *this* much to me,” and this Father’s Day, Canadian whisky legend Crown Royal is rolling out the red carpet for the latest installment of its fittingly titled Noble Collection. Finished in French oak barrels for a richer, more viscous elixir, this is a Canadian whisky fit for kings, but if you can’t find one of those, dad will have to do.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011
What is it? Locavore Islay scotch whisky
How much does it cost? $69.99
You won’t find a purer distillation of Islay than Bruichladdich’s Islay Barley 2011, the latest in the tough-to-pronounce, easy-to-drink distillery’s long-running Islay Barley range, which sources grains exclusively from nearby farms off Scotland’s western coast. The 2011 vintage is a bright, unpeated single malt blooming with summery notes of green apple and coconut, before finishing with a salty maritime kick. If dad is looking for a little walk on the wild side, however, perhaps the Black Art 06.1 is more his speed.
Booker’s Shiny Barrel Batch
What is it? Small-batch Kentucky straight bourbon
How much does it cost? $79.99
At Booker’s, bourbon is a family affair. From Booker Noe’s inaugural hand-selected batch in 1992 to son Fred’s latest selection in 2019, the Shiny Barrel Batch, the Booker’s portfolio tells the story of father and son as much as whiskey. But make no mistake, the bourbon is pretty damn good as well, with the Shiny Barrel Batch—named for the barrels the rackhouse workers used to dust off and sneak tastes from—aged nearly 6-and-a-half years for mellowness and bottled at 124-proof for an authentic backbone.
Tyrconnell 16-Year-Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finish
What is it? Single-malt Irish whiskey with an Iberian flair
How much does it cost? $100
One of the most ambitious Irish whiskeys to ever hit the market, the Tyrconnell 16-Year-Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finish is aged almost as long as its name, finishing it’s lengthy slumber in Andalucian wine casks previously seasoned with alternating infusions of Oloroso sherry and Moscatel wine. The process, when combined with Tyrconnel’s stellar single-malt fluid, gives way to flavors of honeysuckle, champagne, and jasmine...but don't tell dad that. Just tell him it's good.
What is it? Smokey-as-hell single-malt Islay scotch whisky
How much does it cost? $124.99
If you want smoke, you got it. Laphroaig are one of the most legendary names in scotch, and the Lore perhaps their most definitive whiskey, embodying the iconic peat purveyors' unapologetic nature in a single bottle. The trademark flavor profile—typified by bold notes of sea salt and spicy chili—is the result of one of the most impressive cask arrays scotch has ever seen, ranging from virgin European oak to refill Laphroaig barrels, creating the most Laphroaig-y Laphroaig to ever come out of Laphroaig (try saying that five times fast.) Needless to say, if you’re bringing one bottle to the Father’s Day fireside, this is it.
Bushmills 21-Year-Old Single Malt
What is it? Single-malt Irish whiskey
How much does it cost? $249.99
The next best thing to scoring dad tickets to the Open Championship at Royal Portrush? A taste of it, which Bushmills’ annual 21-year-old single malt provides in spades. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 19 years before being married in ex-Madeira wine barrels for a nice little two-year honeymoon, the Bushmills 21-year-old is one of Northern Ireland’s most prized exports...besides Rory, of course.
BenRiach 25 Years Old
What is it? Very old Speyside single-malt scotch whiskey
How much does it cost? $299.00
25 years is a lot of years. Chances are the training wheels were still on your bike yet when BenRiach’s new 25-year-old soctch whisky first went into its American oak Bourbon hogsheads and French Burgundy barriques. Fast forward two-and-a-half decades, and now its a perfect gift for the man helped you get up on two wheels once and for all.