Friday, 2 June 2017

The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is only a few days away so you might want to start looking out for a fitting gift for the most important whisky-loving man in your life. Let's have a look at The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Ideas.

I know from first hand experience that whisky shops with 1000+ bottles on the shelves can be quite daunting and overwhelming. But don't worry I'll give you a head start and some practical advice for the (near) perfect father's day gift.

Problem #1: You don't know what whisky to buy.

Take a look in his booze cabinet and note down the brands you see. Any knowledgeable staff member can help you pick a fitting bottle with this list. Be it whisky, rum, gin or beer. It can also give you a clue about his favourite style of whisky.

The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Ideas A list of dad's bottles will give a knowledgeable shop owner some insight.

Get his favourite brand

port charlotte 10yo second edition
Port Charlotte 10 year old Second Edition (Picture: The Whisky Exchange)

Bunnahabhain StiĆ¹readair

Bunnahabhain StiĆ¹readair (Picture: Cinoco)

kilkerran 12
Kilkerran 12 (Picture: The Whisky Exchange)

Go Independent!

If you notice he has a lot of (official) bottles from the same brand, you could look for a whisky of his favourite distillery from an independent bottler such as Douglas Laing or Malts of Scotland.

Official bottlings are whiskies marketed by the distillery itself (makes sense, no?). Independent bottlers buy casks from distilleries and let them mature in their own warehouses.  Pro tip: You recognize the indy bottlers by the details on the label. Independent bottlers must put the name of the distillery distinctively smaller than their own name.

Caol Ila
Caol Ila 12 year old (official bottling) - Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2004 - Douglas Laing Provenance Caol Ila 6 year old (Pictures: The Whisky Exchange)

Chapter 7 Secret Islay Malt
Chapter 7 Secret Islay Malt (Picture: Chapter 7)

Walk the Blended Path

Don't be tricked in the "malts are better than blends" stereotypes. Not even if the shop owner or the local know-it-all tells you single malts are superior. There are some suberb blended whiskies out there.
Remarkable regional malts
If your dad is a bearded hipster get him one of these Remarkable Regional Malts. (Pictures: The Whisky Exchange)
Angels Nectar Rich Peat
Angel's Nectar Rich Peat (Picture: The Whisky Exchange)

Problem #2: Your budget is really, really limited.

There's no point in denying it, if your budget is limited. Maybe you did spend way too much on that night out or there was an unforeseen expediture. Don't get yourself into trouble by buying something you cannot afford. Dads understand that kind of problems. It's the gesture that counts. And there are plenty of whisky-related items that are fairly affordable.

Whisky Accessories
Most whisky accessories won't break the bank.

Sample time!

Some specialist shops offer 3cl samples for a modest price. You could compile a gift pack with a few samples. Master of Malt offers tasting sets around themes such as Japanese whisky, unusual casks or Bourbon whiskeys.
Drinks by the dram sample box
Drinks By The Dram bourbon sample box (Picture: Master of Malt)

Small bottles

Lots of distilleries offer a 20cl or 35cl version of their core whiskies. Handy if you're on a budget or if you want to offer more than one whisky with the budget of an average bottle (let's say £50).

Bruichladdich offers plenty of 20cl bottles
Bruichladdich offers plenty of 20cl bottles (Picture: The Whisky Exchange)

Diageo Classic Malts
All of the Diageo Classic Malts (Lagavulin 16, Caol Ila 12, Oban 14, Dalwhinnie 15, Clynelish 14, Talisker 10, Glenkinchie 12, Cragganmore 12) exist in a 20cl size. (Picture: The Whisky Exchange)

Whisky Accessories

Look for small accessories such as fitting glasses, coasters or a branded water jug. Or why not a branded tie or a fancy t-shirt. Most of these accessories won't break the bank. But you can also find some luxury gems such as leather shoes with a small storage space for whisky or an engraved hip flask. (Yet, they don't really fit the "low-budget category)

X Flask hip flask
X Flask hip flask (Picture: X-Flasks)

Groom Room Malt n Myrtle whisky shaving soap (Picture: The Glentlemen's Groom Room)

Oliver Sweeney Talisker shoes
Oliver Sweeney Talisker shoes (Picture: British Footwear)


Nothing can beat a whisky-loving dad, except for a well-read whisky-loving dad. Go hunt online on amazon or raid your local bookstore.

Whisky - Aenas Macdonald
Whisky - Aenas Macdonald

A Table - Martine Nouet
A Table - Martine Nouet

Scotch Missed, The Lost Distilleries of Scotland - Brian Townsend
Scotch Missed, The Lost Distilleries of Scotland - Brian Townsend

Problem #3: It's almost Father's Day and you don't have anything...

Let's face it, it can happen to anyone: You wake up in the middle of the night realising you still need to find a present. And very few shops open their doors on Sunday...

The DIY blend

This is probably the most sneaky solution of The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Ideas guide. Grab a flashlight and get out at night to inspect his booze cabinet. Get a fancy empty bottle and make your own special blended 'Father's Day' whisky. If you have a good nose, make note of the whiskies with a grainy, fruity, spicy and peaty flavour profile. (The boxes or labels can give you a hint too). Fill up the bottle with equal measures of grainy and spicy whiskies. Add some fruity whisky and top it of with something smoky. Just remember that smoky whiskies are often way too dominant so go easy with the quantity.

Another safe way to create a DIY blend is to focus on different bottles of the same brand. Oh, and do not use your dad's 1950's Macallan or Karuizawa collection.

The DIY Father's Day blend
The sneakiest of gifts: a special blend of dad's whiskies

I hope The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Ideas gave you enough inspiration to go hunt. Let me know if you had to fall back to problem #3...

Photo credits: The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, Chapter 7, British Footwear, X-Flasks, The Gentlemen's Groom Room



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