© Tina Rupp
Dads may love whiskey. But not every whiskey is perfect for every dad. Here, eight different and amazing whiskies for eight different and amazing types of dads, from a tie-dye–wearing free spirit to an ascot-sporting gentleman.
Hippie Dad: Corsair Quinoa Whiskey
If your Birkenstock-loving dad can’t get enough of the alternative grain in salads, soups and sliders, give him a bottle of Corsair’s earthy, nutty, lightly peppery whiskey distilled from quinoa and malted barley ($60).
Wine Lover Dad: Hooker’s House Bourbon
Oenophile fathers will appreciate this Kentucky-made, Sonoma Valley-finished bourbon. Aged in Pinot Noir barrels from Sonoma’s Schug Winery, the rich whiskey has a fruity, definitely wine-y nose and finishes with notes of dark berries. This bottle would also make a good gift for the bawdy dad, not only because of the name but because of the label, which features a silhouetted pair of a woman’s legs ($37).
Beer Enthusiast Dad: Charbay R5 Hop Flavored Whiskey
If your pop is hop-crazy, with a Kegerator in the basement and a bottle opener mounted on every wall, this whiskey may be his new favorite bottle. It’s an unusual spirit, made by distilling not grain but beer. The St. Helena, California, distillery Charbay partnered with Healdsburg’s Bear Republic to create a whiskey made from the brewery’s famed Racer 5 IPA. It took 6,000 gallons of beer to make just 590 gallons of whiskey. The resulting spirit has a hoppy nose with a dry finish and bright, lightly bitter flavor ($58).
High-End Dad: Knappogue Castle 1951
Even a refined father who condescends to anything but the best will be excited by a bottled of Knappogue Castle’s rare, pot-stilled whiskey. First produced in 1951 by B. Daly Distillery (now defunct) then purchased in 1960 by Mark Edwin Andrews (Knappogue’s founder), the vibrant, caramelly, aromatic whiskey was aged for 36 years in sherry oak ($1,100).
Collector Dad: Old Rip Van Winkle
For the man who needs every rare bottle on the market, Old Rip Van Winkle’s bourbon (commonly called Pappy Van Winkle) is the white whale. The incredibly rare bourbon is a favorite among chefs—F&W BNC 2012 Jenn Louis has been known to treat herself to a glass, and Anthony Bourdain wrote it into a scene in Treme with David Chang. Start hunting now. The limited production—which, the distillery recently announced, will be even more limited this year—and high demand mean some of the rarer bottles like the Family Reserve 23 year old go for upwards of $1,000. Even the younger bottlings like the 10 year old are difficult to find, but if spotted should retail for around $100.
Old-School Dad: Old Overholt If your dad is a simple man with classic tastes, this bottle will do the trick. While some of the whiskies on this list are meant for sipping neat or with one pristine ice cube, Old Overholt’s rye is made for Manhattans. The spicy spirit gives the sweet cocktail just enough bite without overpowering the vermouth. Taking it straight is also an option—best out of a silver hip flask, preferably well worn ($17).
Hipster Dad: Kings County Distillery Moonshine
Wayfarers, skinny jeans, ironic hip-hop music. If those words make you think fondly of your father, then he’ll definitely appreciate this Brooklyn-made white corn whiskey. It’s sharp and it’s raw but there’s a pleasant sweetness to it that makes it great in drinks like a simple spiked lemonade or a white Manhattan made with dry vermouth. Even if dad doesn’t collect whiskey, the cool, minimalist flask-like packaging will impress ($22).
History Buff Dad: George Washington Rye Whiskey
Made at George Washington’s reconstructed distillery at Mount Vernon, VA, this bottle is for the man who has every Ken Burns documentary on the market and a Civil War musket on his mantel. The recipe comes from Washington’s records of how whiskey was made 200 years ago: a blend of rye, corn and barley fermented in oak barrels and double-distilled in pot stills. Unfortunately, bottles of the unaged whiskey are only sold at Mount Vernon—but dad might appreciate an educational trip along with his bottle ($95).