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Finding the Perfect Father's Day Spirit Gift

Jack Bettridge
Posted: June 8, 2012

Open letter to my children:

I don’t expect a gift every year on the third Sunday in June just because it has been arbitrarily designated Father’s Day, and this is not a solicitation along those lines. However, I understand that you may be under a certain amount of societal pressure to buy for me, and if that is the case, allow me to offer some guidance.

Please, please don’t get me another tie that announces my hobbies or political affiliation. (I take care of that on a need to know basis.) Stay away from “World’s Best Dad” mugs. (As true as that may be it causes disputes at the office.) Forget powered appliances that replace anything—grinding pepper, stirring drinks—that I already do by hand. (I’m lazy enough as it is.)

So what does that leave? Spirits. I could always use another bottle of whisky, rum, brandy, gin, vodka, etc. Look in my liquor cabinet for suggestions. Don’t worry that I already have some. I’ll get to it eventually.

Your loving father

Fathers are easy to buy for. It doesn’t take much observation to know what Dad likes. He’s probably been ordering the same thing for years. It's safest to stick to that. You can stray from a parent's typical call, but beware consequences. A few years ago I sent my mother a bottle of 20-something Bowmore single-malt Scotch on Mother's Day. When next I talked to her, I asked how she liked and she said, "I'm really a blend drinker." A month later I visited, bringing special bottlings of Famous Grouse, her blend of choice. I wondered if I could get the Bowmore. She just released a Mona Lisa grin and allowed that she'd developed a taste for it in the meantime.

But even while cleaving to Dad's brand of choice you probably still want to give him something special—a taste that he’s never tried or only done so when splurging. Happily, this is easily done by extrapolating on what you already know.

If your father is a Dewar’s man—or Chivas guy or Jack Daniel’s dude or whatever—it doesn’t take much research to figure out you could give him the next best iteration—or even better—of the brand he’s already drinking. In the case of Dewar’s White Label this would mean getting him the 12-year-old, the 18-year-old or the hyperpremium Signature. Beyond the Chivas Regal 12-year-old are the 18-year-old Gold Signature and a 25-year-old taste.

As well as the its Old No. 7, Jack Daniels’s offers the Single-Barrel version, which is not only taken from the upper reaches of the warehouses, but boasts a heightened proof, and Gentleman Jack, which enjoys a second pass on its trademark charcoal filtration. Being able to explain the nuances heightens the gift-giving when you reluctantly hand it over.

For a larger investment, most spirits allow you to enhance the effect. Even Maker’s Mark, which famously resisted an up-pour since it became the first superpremium Bourbon in 1957, now has its Maker’s 46. Usually the nose-bleed tariffs are a reflection of extra age. For Bourbon, that means Pappy Van Winkle 23, but sadly to find it is akin to what its like to find a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll on Christmas Eve a few year’s back.

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