Father’s Day is that one time of the year you can make up for being a complete pain in the arse to your Dad. How you ask? Why, the answer is simple: whisky.
Now some dads prefer wine (don’t worry we’ve got a guide for that too), but for many there’s nothing like a sumptuous bottle of whiskey straight from the dram.
Understanding that not everyone has £150 to splash out on a gift, I’ve teamed up with whisky lover and The Independents Lifestyle Editor, Dave Maclean, to put together a comprehensive Father’s Day Guide across all price spectrums.
No matter what your budget, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s say thanks to Dad, the right way.
The Affordable Collection (£15-£30)
The Glenmorangie Discover Set - £30
When you’re on a budget you need to be realistic, great whisky often comes with a price tag, but the good news is that not all great whisky has to come in the size of a full bottle.
Understanding peoples love of exploration, LVMH released their bespoke Glenmorangie gift set, giving you a sublime taste of The Original, La Santa, Nectar d’Or and Quinta Ruban.
A perfect idea for those who want great quality for great value. Buy it from Clos19.
Drinks by the Dram Scottish Whisky Selection - £24.95
Who wants just one whisky when you can have five? If your Dad continually boasts about being into his Scottish whisky, look no further.
This delicious set of five contains a variety of flavour profiles from peaty, smoky Islay to the fruity, malty Highlands; the soft, floral Lowlands; and the honeyed, often Sherried Speyside.
The range itself includes Glenfarclas (15-Year-Old), Lagavulin (16-Year-Old), Talisker (10-Year-Old), Dalwhinnie (15-Year-Old) and Auchentoshan (12-Year-Old). Put simply, this great selection gives you the best of some of Scotland’s most renowned distilleries and allows Dad to tempt his palate with multiple experiences in one.
Buy it from Master of Malt.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Manhattan 36% ABV - £39.99
If you’re looking for something a little quirky, here’s your pick of the bunch. It may sound a little odd, but this Peanut Butter & Jelly Manhattan isn’t half bad.
It’s perfect for those with a sense of humour who can polish off a Manhattan with ease. Bourbon is infused with a variety of interesting blended ingredients, including raspberry jam syrup and Himalayan rock salt. To top things off a raspberry scented wax closure seals the bottle, you know, just because.
Buy it now from Firebox.
Mid-Range Wonders (£31-£70)
Boutique-y 18-Year-Old - £45
The Boutique-y Whisky Company has built a phenomenal reputation for itself over the past several years with a vast array of sumptuous whiskies in bottles designed to truly catch the eye.
They recently teamed up with Majestic to create a one of a kind 18-year whisky at an even more attractive price point of just £45. Expect lemon drizzle cake, marmalade and chewy toffee to sit alongside chocolate truffles, cinnamon and malt loaf.
Buy it from Majestic.
Glenfiddich IPA Experiment - £45
Does your Dad like a good craft beer as well as his whisky? Double the happiness with Glennfiddich’s new experimental range. I always take my hat off to brands who try to innovate and while the prospect of combining an IPA and whisky may sound hard to come by, they’ve pulled it off pretty damn well.
You’re looking at the world’s first single malt scotch whisky that has been finished off of IPA craft beer casks. The flavour profile offers a vibrant and zesty citrus with Madagascan vanilla, fresh hops and white pepper spice. Throw in a twist of orange peel and you’re in for a real treat… or should we say, Dad is.
Buy it from Amazon.
The Lost Distillery Company – Lossit Blended Malt - £50
One for the history buffs – a very impressive attempt at recreating the whisky of the now lost Lossit distillery of Islay. The company uses archival records and other clues to attempt to recreate the likely flavours and aromas of long lost distilleries (many shut down in the 19th century).
The Lossit farm operation was once the biggest producer of whisky on Islay, and this bottle was created with a blend of more than five single malts, including a peated Ben Nevis.
It’s easy on the nose – a whiff of peach and some vanilla is at the forefront – but don’t let that fool you. It’s a lot more formidable in the mouth, with the typical smoky peaty kick Islay malts are known for, and the intriguing hint of peppered beef.
Buy it from Lossit Distillery Online.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky - £59.99
You may have heard your Dad talking about the craze that is Japanese Whisky. Over the past ten years Suntory has done an exceptional job at bringing these wonders to the UK market and in doing so has created a surge of demand.
The Hibiki Harmony is a blend of both malty and grain whiskies taken from the famed Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. If you want to step away from the traditional Scottish and Irish roots, this is your answer. Rich notes of white chocolate, apricot and orange peel combine with a spiced, cinnamon, white pepper and charred oak barrel.
Buy it now from Waitrose.
Splash Out, It’s Worth It (£71-£150)
Lagavulin Distillers Edition Double Matured Islay Edition - £75
The smoky, peaty, often medicinal–tasting whiskies of Islay can be overwhelming to the casual malt drinker. The mid-range 16-year-old is a go-to dram for many discerning drinkers, but the smell and taste packs a formidable punch.
This distillers edition was finished in casks that held sweet, rich Pedro Ximinez sherry, which means the peat and iodine is tempered by a sweet stick fruit notes. The rich smoke stills rolls across the tongue, as you’d expect from a Lagavulin, but you’ll get delicious rum and raisin flavours, along with a subtle nuttiness.
The finish is the biggest surprise: there’s a hint of delicate mushroom. Sounds strange? Trust us, you’ll love it.
Buy it from Waitrose.
Ardbeg Kelpie - £98
If the words “Limited Edition” create an immediate lightbulb, then let me tell you about Arbeg Kelpie. There’s only a small handful of whiskies on the planet that are matured in Virgin Black Sea oak casks and this is one of them.
Released specifically for Arbeg Day on June 3rd, this limited production whisky is already a collector’s item. Aged in virgin oak from the Black Sea coast this sumptuous nectar showcases intensely deep smoky and peaty Islay characteristics.
The whisky is blended with Ardbeg’s famous ex-bourbon casks to create a truly unique flavour profile. You can expect an oily and peaty nose full of dark chocolate and seaweed. The palate itself will offer a plethora of smoked fudge, fresh pine and creamy coffee with a peppery and indulgent covering of the tongue. Treacle tart, smoky bacon and stewed peaches also enter the taste equation.
Buy it from the LVMH store.
The Balvenie Portwood 21-Year-Old - £170
I’d be lying if I told you Balvenie isn’t one of my favourite whiskies on this planet, there’s just something about it that makes it so approachable and it’s always my go-to for folks who claim they ‘don’t like whisky’.
In my mind this is one of the most traditional whiskies around and a tipple that never fails to put a smile on my face, the 21-Year-Old is no exception to that.
Balvenie Portwood is matured in traditional oak cask before being transferred over to port casks which have held some of the world’s finest port wines. It’s a creamy wonder, oozing with silky exuberant fruits, fresh honey from the beehive and gentle spices.
There’s a staple nuttiness in this delicious single malt that delivers towards the end of your sip with a great long lasting but smooth finish. It’s the whisky you buy Dad so you can secretly drink half the bottle yourself. Smart, eh?
Buy it now from Fortnum & Mason.
The Investments (£150+)
Craigellachie 31 Year - £500
A smile gleams on my face each and every time I visit the Craigellachie Distillery, surrounded by nature, birds hopping from one tree to the next. It’s a place of beauty only complimented further by the divine whisky created within. The 31-year is a global treasure and has picked up some of the most prestigious awards in the industry.
This is a serious whisky for serious whisky lovers and make no mistake, once you open the bottle you will fall completely and utterly in love. Distilled by Master Blender Stephanie McLeod who is one of the leading female personalities in the world of whisky, I think I’ll hand over the tasting notes to her, it’s her baby after all! “The 31-year is beautifully balanced, smooth and rich, a swirl of smoke and sulphur accentuate the sumptuous fruits of kiwi and pineapple.
The tang of old, leather bound books and tobacco emerge, with a hint of meatiness of a beef consommé.” I don’t think I could have said it better myself. Buy it from Craigellachie Distillery or online whisky auction sites.
Littlemil 25 Year - £2000
Now we get to the really serious stuff – this is for the Dad’s who mean real business and are building up a collection of some of the world’s most investment-worthy whisky. For those of you who know Loch Lomond you’ll know its rumoured to be one of, if not the oldest distillery in Scotland.
Lowland single malt lovers could still visit Littlemill Distillery today if it wasn’t for a fire in 2004 that pretty much wiped it out, but the angels weren’t ready to spill every drop and protected just enough barrels to create some truly rare, unique and historical whiskies from what was salvaged.
I’m of course referring to the 25-year-old from 1990, bottled in 2015 in the most elegant of wooden vanished cases, bound internally by leather, this is the crème de la crème of my guide. It comes with its own miniature bottle, so you don’t have to immediately break the seal of the bottle (although where’s the fun in that?!).
Buy it from Robbie’s Whisky Merchants.
Yamazaki 2017 Limited Edition £152
Is your Dad a whisky collector? Well, here’s a treat. Yamazaki are about to launch their highly anticipated Limited Edition 2017 blend and your Dad can be the first to get his hands on it.
A blend of single malt vintages have been matured in a variety of casks for over 20 years, creating a diverse and mysteriously tasty blend. This unveiling is so secretive that tasting notes haven’t even been revealed. Either way, with it being Yamazaki you already know it’s going ot be amazing.
Buy it from Dekanta.
10 Year Membership To Na Tùsairean Club - £1,999
Fancy getting your Dad a piece of history? R&B Distillers are creating the very first distillery on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland. In celebration, they’re launching an extremely bespoke club called Na Tùsairean, giving members the opportunity to invest in the distillery and gain access to rare and exciting drams.
Members will receive an annual supply of single malt as well as exclusive use of the luxury members lounge and accommodation at the distillery. You can also choose to pay increments of £199.90 over 10 months.
Buy it from R&B Distillers.
The Savoy Collection II: Age of Discovery - £350
How about a whisky cocktail that has travelled the world? No, seriously. We all know the famous Savoy in London, but did you know about their exclusive whisky and cocktail ranges within the renowned ‘Savoy Collection’.
The Age of Discovery is a uniquely blended limited edition cocktail that has been barrel-aged on board Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 during a 41,000-nautical mile and four-month long world voyage. It returned from its journey at sea in May 2016, being bottled within the Beaufort Bar.
So, what’s in it? Well, how about a distinctive blend of Savoy Select Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 and Bacardi 8, with Spice Trail Madeira, Dubonnet, Martini Riserva Rubino and Earl Grey and Cocoa nib bitters. Sounds delicious. Buy it directly from The Savoy Hotel.