Drams for Dad: Top Father’s Day Whiskey Picks for 2019

by
June 8, 2019

With Father’s Day landing near the halfway point for the year, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at the whiskeys released in 2019 that made us sit up and take notice. Instead of giving dear ole dad one of his tried and true whiskey favorites, why not get him a new release instead? If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll share a dram or two with you.

This year has been filled with great releases for a variety of tastes and budgets. We’ve organized our Father’s Day whiskey gift guide by price to make the shopping trip that much easier. Unless mentioned otherwise, all prices listed are suggested retail prices. Let’s get to it!

UNDER $50

LEGENT BOURBON ($35)

A Kentucky bourbon with a Japanese touch is more than a great headline, it’s literally true in this case. Legent Bourbon is a collaboration between the two halves of Beam Suntory. It’s a Kentucky bourbon, made by Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe with Suntory Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo taking the reins in blending the components. One part is a bourbon which aged for about five years. The rest of the blend is bourbon which finished in California red wine casks (for approximately one extra year) and sherry casks (for approximately two extra years) respectively.

Why Distiller Recommends:

The fruity flavors blend nicely with classic butterscotch and vanilla notes. Plus it’s a great value!

Father's Day Whiskey: Legent BourbonLegent Bourbon / Photo Credit: Legent Bourbon

OLD FORESTER RYE ($22.99)

Launched in February 2019, Old Forester Rye is the first new mash bill for the brand in 150 years. It is inspired by a historic recipe for Normandy Rye, a brand acquired by Brown-Forman in 1940. It has a mash bill of 65% rye, 20% malted barley, and 15% corn—a fairly higher amount of malted barley than is typically seen in a rye. This Kentucky Straight Rye is bottled at 100 proof.

Why Distiller Recommends:

It’s a good balance of sweet and heat, with flavors of vanilla, cherrywood, and a mildly medicinal note. Try in a Manhattan.

WHISTLEPIG PIGGYBACK RYE ($49.99)

Crafted by the late legendary master distiller Dave Pickerell and master blender Pete Lynch, WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye announced its debut in April 2019. It’s a 6-year-old 100% rye whiskey with the shape of the bottle specifically designed to make it easier for bartenders to handle. The pig that adorns the bottle is not wearing the standard WhistlePig top hat, but rather a Stetson hat, Dave’s trademark.

Why Distiller Recommends:

It’s an affordable rye with tons of character. Although it was designed for cocktails, fans of American whiskey will enjoy it on its own.

Father's Day Whiskey: WhistlePig PiggyBack RyeWhistlePig PiggyBack Rye / Photo Credit: WhistlePig

BULLEIT 12 YEAR RYE ($49.99)

Bulleit 12 Year Rye is the first rye extension for the brand which launched its straight rye in 2011. This release marks the fifth release for the Bulleit Frontier Family. The mash bill for the rye is the same as its predecessor (95% rye 5% malted barley). Aged for 12 years in new, charred American oak, it is bottled at 92 proof.

Why Distiller Recommends:

It features a robust aroma and is an intensely flavorful rye with coconut, toasted nuts and salted caramel surrounding a firm rye core. A fine father’s day whiskey pick.

UNDER $150

FOUR ROSES SMALL BATCH SELECT (Avg. retail price $60)

Master distiller Brent Elliott selected the recipe for this new Four Roses release. It’s also the first new permanent extension for the brand in 12 years. Four Roses crafts its bourbon offerings from 10 bourbon recipes which are made from two different mash bills and five different yeast strains. Small Batch Select is made from six of the ten: OBSV, OBSK, OBSF, OESV, OESK and OESF. Each bourbon in the small batch selection will be six or seven years old. Notably, the bourbon is non-chill-filtered.

Why Distiller Recommends:

It’s a complex bourbon with chocolate, leather and spicy oak on the nose and salted caramel, peanut shells and licorice on the palate.

Father's Day Whiskey: Four Roses Small Batch SelectFour Roses Small Batch Select / Photo Credit: Four Roses

BARDSTOWN BOURBON COMPANY PHIFER PAVITT RESERVE BOURBON ($124.99)

This Phifer Pavitt Reserve Bourbon is the first release for Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBCo) under the Collaborative Series. The brand partnered with Napa Valley’s Phifer Pavitt Winery which supplied the cabernet sauvignon wine barrels for the bourbon to finish its aging in. BBCo aged 9-year-old Tennessee straight bourbon in these French oak wine barrels for 19 months further.

Why Distiller Recommends:

It’s a full-flavored bourbon with cherry and almond notes to pair with marzipan and cinnamon. A great example of wine-finishing bourbon done right!

KENTUCKY OWL CONFISCATED KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON ($124.99)

Kentucky Owl Confiscated pays tribute to the barrels seized by the government prior to Prohibition. These barrels belonged to C.M. Dedman who founded the Kentucky Owl brand back in 1879. Master blender Dixon Dedman, the founder’s great-great grandson, resurrected the brand in 2014.

Why Distiller Recommends:

Spices such as vanilla, aniseed, and cardamom pair nicely with cherry, brown sugar, and oak. It’s definitely one to seek out!

Father's Day Whiskey: Kentucky Owl ConfiscatedKentucky Owl Confiscated / Photo Credit: Kentucky Owl

GLENMORANGIE ALLTA ($99)

Announced in February 2019, Glenmorangie Allta—”wild” in Scots Gaelic—was created using wild yeast (Saccharomyces diaemath) that was discovered on the Cadboll barley grown near the distillery. It aged in ex-bourbon barrels, many second-fill, and was bottled un-chill-filtered at 51.2% ABV. This is the 10th bottling in the Private Edition series.

Why Distiller Recommends:

Once again, the Glenmorangie team has created something unique. Baked bread and toasted grains are flavors which stand out. A thoughtful Father’s Day whiskey.

OVER $150

ANGEL’S ENVY OLOROSO SHERRY CASK FINISH ($199.99)

This release from Angel’s Envy is the first new release from the brand since 2013. The Kentucky straight bourbon aged 4-9 years and then finished its maturation in oloroso sherry casks for another 2-3 years. Bottled at 100 proof. Availability limited to 3600 bottles at the Angel’s Envy Distillery in Louisville and select Kentucky retailers beginning February 15, 2019.

Why Distiller Recommends:

Find flavors of trail mix (especially raisins and chocolate) along with leather, baking spices, and toffee. Add this bottle to the long list of reasons to visit the state of Kentucky.

Father's Day Whiskey: Angel’s Envy Bourbon Finished in Oloroso Sherry CasksAngel’s Envy Bourbon Finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks / Photo Credit: Angel’s Envy

FORAGER’S KEEP 26 YEAR ($399)

This release from the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Co. comes from now-defunct Scotch whisky distillery Pittyvaich, which closed in 1993. The distillery was only operational for 18 years, so its single malt releases are hard to come by, and now, none younger than 25 years remain in barrels. This 26-year-old release also marks Orphan Barrel’s first single malt.

Why Distiller Recommends:

Mouthwatering notes of maple syrup-covered French toast begin your tasting experience. Rich malt flavors with smoky undertones soon take over. Lively for a 26-year-old.

MISTER SAM BLENDED WHISKY (2019 RELEASE) ($249.99)

Mister Sam Blended Whiskey pays tribute to Sam Bronfman, the late Seagram’s patriarch. Seagram’s, based in Canada, was once the largest spirits company in the world. Today, Sazerac owns 15 iconic Seagram’s brands and its former distillery in Montreal. This whiskey was crafted by Sazerac’s master blender Drew Mayville who happened to also be the fourth and final master blender for Seagram’s. This is a blend of American and Canadian whiskeys under the Sazerac umbrella of brands.

Why Distiller Recommends:

This blend is filled with flavors like dark fruit, tobacco, brown sugar and mature oak. It’s a unique blend of American and Canadian whiskies.

Father's Day Whiskey: Mister Sam Blended WhiskeyMister Sam Blended Whiskey / Photo Credit: Sazerac

BALVENIE A DAY OF DARK BARLEY 26 YEAR ($799)

A Day of Dark Barley is is one of three Stories single malts released by The Balvenie in May 2019. It’s made with dark roasted malted barley more commonly used in stout beer production. It is mixed in with traditional Balvenie malted barley. The first installment of this whisky was released in 2006 as The Balvenie Roasted Malt, a 14-year-old single malt. A Day of Dark Barley matured for 26 years in first-fill bourbon barrels and is released as a single cask whisky.

Why Distiller Recommends:

Along with the big malty notes this whisky brings flavors of toffee, vanilla, and honey. It’s a special Father’s Day whiskey gift for all whiskey fans, not just for fans of scotch.


Ready to find the perfect Father’s day whiskey gift?

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