Father’s Day is fast approaching. You know, the holiday of bad ties and worse cologne. Do your Pop a favor (and those around him) and get him something different this year.
Before I tell you about George Dickel No. 1 whisky, let’s start with a few quick facts about white whiskey. Fact #1: white whiskey, white lightning, white dog, moonshine – all names for the same thing. It’s just the whiskey that comes out of the still Moonshine is the name for the illegally distilled stuff, that’s all. Fact # 2: all whiskey comes off the still “white” or clear. Barrel aging is what gives it color – the char on your barrel, how long you leave it in the barrel: there are many factors that influence the shade of brown/amber that you end up with. Fact #3: Because it’s a Tennessee whiskey, there’s one extra step – in this case, it’s Dickel’s signature “Chill Charcoal Mellowing” process. OK, now we’re all caught up on what white whiskey is, let’s talk about George Dickel No. 1. (Just for reference, George Dickel Nos. 8, 12 and Barrel Select all start out as No 1 but are aged for 8 or 12 years.) Since No. 1 is a fairly neutral spirit, you can try it in place vodka or gin in your favorite cocktails. I also find a little lemonade with white whiskey makes a cool drink on a hot day. MSRP: $21.99
Next up is Bulleit 10 bourbon (and please, for the love of all things whiskey, it’s pronounced like that thing gangsters put in guns – bullet, not boo-lay. Though I bet if gangsters had to call them boo-lays, maybe they wouldn’t use them? OK, never mind.) By law, bourbon has to be 51%, which tends to make it a little sweeter, though Bulleit has a higher rye content than most bourbons, which gives it a distinctive bite. Bulleit 10 is aged 10 years – a few more years than the flagship Bulleit bourbon. Overall, a versatile whiskey – neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail, Bulleit performs well. MSRP: $44.99
And last but certainly not least, Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co. As the name indicates, these whiskies are made from orphaned barrels that were abandoned and nearly forgotten in various rackhouses including Stitzel-Weller. There are three releases: Barterhouse, Old Blowhard and Rhetoric, clocking in at ages pf 20, 26 and 19 years, respectively. Check out Pancakesandwhiskey’s review of Rhetoric here. (Barterhouse and Old Blowhard reviews coming soon). MSRP: $75 for Bartherhouse, $150 for Old Blowhard and $85 for Rhetoric, these are very limited quantity whiskies, so the prices do reflect that. But your dad’s worth it! Get him something he can tell his friends about (maybe not share, but that’s up to him).
Don’t just hand your dad a bottle of booze – some cool accessories can make the perfect gift even better:
Glassware – With whiskey, as with good beer, glassware does make a significant difference, when you’re drinking whiskey neat or on the rock (not rocks, see the next gift idea). The shape of the Glencairn glass is meant to allow the fullest appreciation of the color, nose (ie, smell) and taste of your whiskey. Check out retailers like Williams-Sonoma or Amazon for an interesting vessel for your dad’s favorite spirit.
Ice trays – The shape of an ice cube also makes a difference. One large, round cube will cool your whiskey and add a small amount of water more slowly than a handful of smaller cubes. You add water to slightly lower the proof (ie, lower the burn), so you don’t want to add too much, too quickly. You can always add more water, but it’s a little harder to take it back out (ask a distiller!). With that in mind – check out these silicon ice cube trays. I had a set of hard plastic trays – and nearly lost a digit when I tried to pry the mold apart and it shattered. Silicon is much more forgiving!
If your dad is the traveling type, a trip to Kentucky’s Bourbon Festival might be just the thing. Nearly a week’s worth of events in Bardstown, Kentucky, long regarded as the Bourbon Capital of the World. He can even get a bottle of Bulleit 10 from the source while he’s there! Plenty of time left to plan, this year’s Festival is September 16-21.
Cheers to all dads on Father’s Day – and cheers to you for (finally) getting him something he’ll like!
*Whiskey samples provided for review. Amazon Affiliate links also used. All opinions are my own.
Article by Jeanne Runkle