If you haven’t figured out what to get your Dad for father’s day yet it is not too late for you snag a great present and become his favorite child. The secret is bourbon. Here are a few special version bottles that are sure to make your old man proud this Sunday and are still readily available in most liquor stores. And don’t forget that June 14th is National Bourbon Day so you have two reasons to celebrate this weekend.
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked: Woodford Reserve takes their finished bourbon and ages it again in a different barrel, this one twice as charred as the standard bourbon barrel. The result is a very smooth and creamy bourbon with just an edge of bite. I ordered this bourbon at a hotel bar and was seriously tempted to lick the glass when it was finished.
Maker’s 46: Maker’s Mark fans tend to be very loyal to their brand and unlikely to be swayed by gimmicks or flavoring. To make their special bottle they take the standard aged Maker’s Mark and then age them again inside barrels containing seared French oak staves. The idea is to create bolder, more complex flavors while eliminating the bitterness that usually comes with whiskeys that are aged longer. The Maker’s Mark fans I know seem to have embraced it and I can honestly say that I like it better than standard Maker’s. The 46 is complex with a sweet front and a strong finish.
Knob Creek Single Barrel: If your dad likes the bold flavor of Jim Beam’s pre-prohibition style small batch bourbon, you can make it a day with only an extra $10 and get him the single barrel. This is a big bourbon with a big finish, which you would expect at 120 proof. As much as I hate the cliché, this is a pretty manly bourbon. Give it to your dad to take along for a weekend in a cabin or sipping in the man cave.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed: If your dad will appreciate the pure flavor of a barrel proof bourbon but could do without as much burn this might be the bottle for you. Wild Turkey is already known for distilling at a lower proof so that they can bottle with less water. In their Rare Breed, they combine 6, 8 and 12 years old barrels but don’t add water so they all come out at barrel strength, in this case, a relatively modest 108.2 proof. It is a great value and despite Wild Turkey’s reputation as a rough and ready whiskey, it is surprisingly complex and smooth.
New Riff Ranger Program: Of course I can’t ignore fathers who are eager to support Cincinnati’s newest distillery and to get some pretty cool perks at the same time. For $60 your can buy your dad a membership to New Riff’s Ranger Program. Four years from now he will receive a hand bottled and personalized single barrel bourbon. In the meantime Rangers will receive a 10% discount on all non-alcoholic gift shop items, advance opportunity to purchase New Riff’s limited and rare releases, an insider newsletter, and exclusive invitations to bottling parties, including the bottling of his very own Ranger Bottle. For the dad that knows that good things come to those who wait.