Father’s Day in London: Seven spirits to treat your dad with, from whiskey to vodka

·5-min read
That’s the spirit: Aidy Smith’s picks are a sure-fire way to delight your old man  (Aidy Smith)
That’s the spirit: Aidy Smith’s picks are a sure-fire way to delight your old man (Aidy Smith)

As Father’s Day rolls around once more, we’re all left wondering what on Earth to buy our dear dads.

Thankfully, drinks seem to be a universal way of saying “I love you”, and they also go some way towards making up for the fact you were a total pain in the you-know-what in your younger years.

With that in mind, allow me to make this an easy decision: here are seven perfect bottles to gift your dad this Father’s Day.

WhistlePig 12 Year Oloroso

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(Handout)

Arguably one of the best whiskies hailing from across the pond, WhistlePig is a dram-lover’s dream. This dark nectar is a product of Vermont, famous for its maple syrup and picturesque lakes, both of which this distillery has on its doorstep.

Rye is notorious for being a quite difficult grain to master, and in 2007 WhistlePig set itself the challenge to conquer it - and succeeded. After maturing for 12 years in new American oak, the whiskey is then finished in oloroso sherry casks, allowing it to develop into a glorious spice-and-fruit bomb, clocking in at 43%. Expect to discover Victoria sponge with buttercream, raspberries, figs and nutmeg with a kiss of dark chocolate and cereal.

£149, Master of Malt

Crystal Head Onyx

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(Handout)

This is one of my all-time favourite vodkas, perfect for martinis or sipping neat straight from the freezer. Crafted from top-calibre blue Weber agave straight from Mexico, Onyx is distilled and blended with the purest water from Newfoundland in Canada, making it incredibly soft with a smooth texture - perhaps as smooth as your dad’s witty sense of humour (so he thinks, at least). You can expect to taste a spicy sweetness with an earthy grip of agave. The finish then comes to light with freshly cut grass, pepper, and an unmistakable citrus hug around the tongue. Not only does it taste great, but the used bottle can later become a piece of art on your dad’s shelf. Truly exceptional.

£44.49, The Bottle Club

Maestro Dobel Humito

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(Handout)

Here we have a slight twist on what you may expect: this tequila is smoky. Think of it as a tamer version of mezcal with a smooth, sensuous texture. It’s thought that this is how tequila tasted back in the 17th century, and I can’t get enough of it. The nose gives you sweet caramel, maple and honey with a spicy and smoky mesquite wood. A sip evolves the tasting experience as olives, dried apricots, cooked agave, and a buttery caramel with a kiss of floral smoke wrap around your tastebuds. It’s perfect for making a tequila-based old fashioned, or simply drinking neat. One for the dads who like something a little different.

£51.80, Hedonism

Crabbie 22-Year-Old

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(Handout)

With just 253 bottles in existence, this is a choice for fathers who consider themselves as collectors. This peated Orkney single malt spent 21 years of its life in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to hand-picked palo cortado sherry casks for the final six months of its journey. The result is an exquisitely complex and rounded whiskey with a surge of dried candied fruits, vanilla fudge and black forest gateau. As this wonder continues to evolve in the glass, you can expect to discover ripe berries and cream, toffee apple and caramel with a kiss of espresso and chocolate on the finish. It’s rather irresistible.

£175, Whisky Online

Appleton Rum 15-Year-Old

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They say that rum in the tropical climate of Jamaica can age up to five times faster than scotch, so the Appleton 15-Year-Old is something to be desired. Completing its first distillation all the way back in 1749, Appleton prides itself on terroir-forward expressions, being one of just a few in the world to offer this when it comes to rum. Made using limestone-filtered water taken from the river that flows alongside the estate, this rum is packed full of personality. Aromas of toasted almonds and chocolate hazelnuts burst from the glass, while delicate flavours of orange zest marmalade, Madagascan vanilla and fresh espresso with sticky brown sugar entice your palate.

£67.49, Master of Malt

Lee Broom x Rémy Martin Cognac XO

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(Handout)

For me, cognac is one of the finest drinks on the planet. It binds together my love for wine and spirits, given the use of grapes as its base product. Rémy Martin’s creations need no introduction, and its XO is one of the most well-respected cognacs. This one is poured from a bespoke decanter designed in collaboration with furniture and lighting designer with Lee Broom, and it’s a spectacular creation. With every few minutes that pass as it sits in your glass, an evolution of smell and taste keep working their magic. It truly is a sipping experience.

£190, Selfridges

Pink Pepper Gin

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(Handout)

Audemus distillery, the brains behind this splendid gin, is no stranger to thinking outside of the box. Using a clever vacuum distillation method, key flavours can be extracted from the most subtle ingredients; a process few can claim. There are no giant stills here - it is literally based out of the distiller’s living room, which gives it a truly personal touch. The aromatically bold Pink Pepper is a medley of pink peppercorns, juniper, cardamom, cinnamon, honey, vanilla, tonka beans and two secret ingredients that are never revealed. This is a personal favourite of mine for drinking neat; don’t even get me started when it comes to a martini.

£37.99, The Bottle Club

Aidy Smith is an award-winning drinks expert, writer, and presenter of The Three Drinkers TV Series on Amazon Prime. Follow him @Sypped

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