Whisky’s not just for Christmas: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

I imagine whisky is not foremost in peoples’ minds as a summer drink, so perhaps it’s a good job for the whisky industry that Father’s Day comes when it does, as whisky makes a brilliant present (except if your old man doesn’t like it, obviously).

I like getting whisky as a present, but I know people who are a bit afraid of buying it for me because they think their choice will either be beneath me, or I will already have it. Well, tosh to that, I say! You can’t have too much whisky, and as my Dad used to say, “It won’t eat no meat”. Or perhaps that was my Mum’s saying.

Leading up to Christmas last year I wrote a four posts called ‘Tis the Season to Buy Whisky about whisky bargains to be had at what is the busies time of year for selling whisky. I’ll reprise the format of the ‘Tis the Season… but, as there is not much time, I’ll keep it brief and start with online.

The Royal Mile Whiskies website has some inventive ways of presenting their whiskies: by an array of price ranges, birthdays and anniversaries, for example, and of course, Gift Packs. Some of the gift suggestions are really just a multi-pack of miniatures, but the Nikka one stands out: five 4cl bottles of that excellent Japanese whisky producer. You get one with Nikka From The Barrel, one with Nikka All Malt, and Three with Nikka Pure Malt, all for a nori leaf under 25 quid. They come in cool-looking tubes to keep when the whisky’s gone, and to re-use in your hand luggage to get whisky through airport security. Or something.

At the other end of the scale (£120) the Scotch Whisky Aroma Nosing Kit. Fascinating though it is, it doesn’t contain any actual whisky, rather a box with 24 small vials to educate you in the “key aromas” found in whisky. You get a guidebook too. Club together with your siblings.

The Whisky Tasting Club is an online subscription club that sends out five double-measures of different whiskies designed to be a self-contained whisky tasting. Like try-before-you-splash-out-on-five-whole-bottles. This is a similar to, but a step on, from the Master of Malt idea I wrote about at Christmas. You don’t have to “join”; they have gift packs: Tastings for Immediate Delivery, including a Father’s Day one with five great malts for £20. Or you could go the whole hog(shead) and get the annual package (4 regular tastings for £100, 6 for £150, or 12 for £300. The full-on club experience comes with the  Regular Tastings package, which gets him bonus trial samples and a free book. As a member, he’d be able to write up his tastingn notes on their blog.

Master of Malt has a Father’s Day gift page, which includes a Father’s Day Tasting Set. It’s a lucky dip of five 3cl to-be-decided samples, for a nose away from £30. They do assure us, though, they’re going to all top-notch. I don’t doubt it. The perhaps aptly named Old and Rare Set might appeal to your Dad’s sense of humour but at £166.45 I’d want to know what I was giving him. No lucky dip here; all five look very interesting indeed, including a Glenfarclas 1952 family cask sample and a Miyagikyou 1988.

As a different touch, there is a bottle of pre-mixed Manhattan cocktail: “created using straight rye whiskey, a blend of fine vermouths, and top notch bitters”.  My favourite cocktail – it would be nice to try this and find out how a real expert thinks it should be made; no compromising ingredients, here.

To finish, a quick supermarket bargain round-up and book selection.

The Co-op has a third off deal on selected whiskies, including the Glenmorangie 10 year-old at £22.36, and the Glenlivet 12, but the latter is almost almost a quid cheaper at Waitrose, who have the Glenlivet 18 yo £10 off at £28.65 – that’s some great whisky at that price.

Sainsbury‘s website is much easier to find your way around, I think, and they have more whisky offers. including the Dalwhinnie 15 at a third off: £20.79.

Asda have some offers, the best of which is the underrated Aberlour 10 year old for £16. Another idea – it’s not on offer – but Monkey Shoulder at a nudge over £20 is a little bit different. It’s a “blended malt” – a marriage of malt whiskies from different distilleries. Its recent accolades include shortlisting in its category at the World Whisky Awards 2011.

But nobody wants to be a cheapskate on Father’s Day, so if your budget runs to it, spend what you save at the supermarket on Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2011 on Amazon. You might decide after all, you wanted to buy the whisky Jim picked out as best of the year: Ballantine’s 17 year old blended whisky.

Still on Amazon, if you’re looking for a bigger present book, then Whisky Magazine editor, and head bloke at The Whisky Tasting Club, Dominic Roskrow has a lovely book about the best whiskies from around the world. He was obviously up all night thinking of a title: World’s Best Whiskies 750 Unmissable Drams from Tennessee to Tokyo . No matter because it should be in any whisky aficionado’s collection, especially as it’s £17.34.

If whisky is not your Dad’s thing, have a look at my post Some Beer Gift Ideas For Father’s Day.

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