Finding the perfect gift for Father’s Day can be challenging. Chances are, the dads in your life don’t want another tie. I know mine doesn’t! What do dads really want? For those that enjoy an adult beverage now and then, they want whiskeys, scotches, bourbons and red wine. Besides, he puts up with your shenanigans, so he could probably use a drink. We polled several Acadiana area dads and they came up with a list of their favorites, from splurge-worthy to bargains and everything in between. You’re sure to find a decent bottle of spirits for any budget.
First, let’s give a basic rundown of the differences between whiskey, scotch and bourbon.
According to local restaurant owner and whiskey aficionado Paul Ayo, whiskey is a style of liquor that’s based on where and how it’s made. “Scotch is arguably the original whiskey and must be made in Scotland primarily with malted barley and aged for three years,” says Paul. “Bourbon is one type of American whiskey that can be made in any US state and must be at least 51 percent corn as the base and must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. Irish whiskey is typically triple-distilled then aged.”
The winning beverages are single-malt scotch and red wine. Certain brands came up multiple times in our survey, here are a few favorites among dads.
Lagavulin 16 is a single-malt scotch distilled in the village of Lagavulin on the south of the island of Islay, Scotland. Eric Massey, father of two says, “It has a strong peat flavor but it’s still smooth. It’s my favorite drink if I’m going to splurge.”
Laphroaig is another single-malt scotch distilled in Islay and has several quality options from young scotch to a 32-year aged bottle.
Old Wine Zinfandel is mostly produced in California. Not to be confused with white zinfandel, this medium-bodied red wine came up a few times from local dads. What makes a zinfandel so great? If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know I love an old-wine zin. It’s juicy with a hint of sweet with low tannins. Chuck Coulter, father of three says, “They warm the soul and the flavors are too numerous to list!” It goes great with dad-friendly food like BBQ and pizza. Look for bottles from Lodi, California.
Many dads weighed in on their favorite bargain brands or liquors that taste great for the price. If you’re on a budget but still want to get a good value, look for these spirits.
Michter’s has a lot of history. It was considered to be one of the oldest remaining distilleries in the country but has since been demolished. It’s a bourbon whiskey that runs about $40 a bottle. Andre Arceneaux, father of two says, “If I absolutely had to pick, Michter’s is one of the best for the money.”
Maker’s Mark Kentucky Bourbon is a popular favorite among crowds and it’s no different among fathers. Look for the red wax seal.
Tito’s vodka is an affordable option for dads who aren’t into whiskey. Made just down the road in Austin, Texas, Tito’s is a great standard for infusing your own vodka or making cocktails. A personal favorite is a Tito’s Bloody Mary.
Bulleit Rye or Bourbon “A good option for hosting parties. If you don’t want to bust out the top shelf stuff but still impress your friends, Bulleit works,” says Nathan Hendersen, fun uncle to lots of toddlers.
Kirkland brand vodka and blended scotch Kirkland is the Costco’s brand of alcoholic beverages and the vodka and blended scotch came up a few times in favorites. “I swear the vodka is basically Grey Goose and fantastic for large format cocktails,” says Hendersen.
Splurge-worthy and small batch
If dad has discerning tastes, these are a few splurge-worthy bottles to treat him for Father’s Day. Some of these are also small-batch bourbons for those looking to venture out.
Highland, Isley and Speyside are high ranking single-malt scotches. “Single malts have better character and warmer flavor than blended scotch whiskey,” says Chuck Coulter. “And I’m also a scotch snob.”
Tempus Fugit Kina L’Aero d’Or is a beautiful kina-style fortified wine. “It’s spectacular on the rocks with orange peel,” says Chadwick Crawford, former mixologist at Pamplona Tapas Bar and father of two.
Jefferson’s, George Dickel, and 1792 are small batch bourbons. 1972 is a Kentucky straight bourbon made by the Barton distillery. The name for Jefferson’s Very Small Batch is pretty self-explanatory. Made by Castle, it’s a blend of four Kentucky Straight Bourbons, giving it a fruitier, more complex flavor profile.
George Dickel offers small batches of various products from unaged whisky and a 90-proof to even Tobasco co-branded product.
Surprising honorable mentions are a cold Sauvingon Blanc and oaky, buttery chardonnay. Who knew dad liked white wine? Now that you know what dad wants in his glass, cheers to all fathers out there!
Happy Father’s Day!
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