Whether he’s a martini man, spirit connoisseur or wine lover, Sam Wylie-Harris rounds up the tastiest tipples for discerning dads.
Upping the ante on Father’s Day celebrations with a liquid gift you know he’ll love can be a master stroke.
Not only can you grab his attention with something that looks and tastes good, but you already have a talking point before you’ve even raised your glass.
From limited editions to exciting new releases, here’s what’s got us chinwagging at the chance to say, ‘Cheers, dad’…
1. JJ Whitely Gold Artisanal Russian Vodka, Limited Edition, £16 (70cl), Sainsbury’s, in-store nationwide from June 16
When your Russian vodka romps home with a Gold medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, you want to talk about it with pride and luxe up its look. Exceptionally smooth with warming spice on the silky palate, JJ Whitley’s gold edition is guaranteed to bring a little luxury to his cocktail cabinet. Distilled in St Petersburg, it’s made using the highest quality wheat and water, filtered through the finest silk gold thread, and the resulting liquid is an affordable luxury.
2. Hayman’s Exotic Citrus Gin, £28 (70cl), Hayman’s
A gin masterclass in how to truly appreciate the citrusy infusion of kumquat, pomelo, Persian lime and mandarin, the addition of Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic really makes the flavours in Hayman’s Exotic Citrus soar. Fresh, bright and beautifully balanced, there’s a tangy, citrusy burst on the finish, making it the perfect flavoured gin for summer sipping.
3. The Gladstone Axe American Oak, £32 (70cl), Amazon
Named in honour of four-times prime minister William Gladstone – a Scot with a love of scotch, who signed the 1860 spirits act allowing the blending of Scotch whisky for the first time – his great-great-great grandson Elwyn Gladstone is behind this easy drinking dram. Aged and finished in American oak bourbon barrels and a blend of 14 Highland and Islay single malts, if he loves rich, spicy vanilla aromas joined by a smooth, oaky, moderate sweetness, this one’s for him. Delicious neat, Gladstone also recommends serving it in a highball, topped with soda and ice.
4. Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old Islay Single Malt, £39 (70cl), Ardbeg
The latest addition to Ardbeg’s Ultimate range, at five years old it’s their youngest expression, but there’s still plenty for him to get his teeth into with smoky, peaty notes galore. Cited as a ‘monster of a dram with a formidable bite’, it’s matured in ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks and described as having an explosive mouthfeel with lots of chocolate, tar, creosote and smoked bacon, followed by a burst of antiseptic lozenges, eucalyptus and more aniseed with a long, salty mouth coating finish.
5. Copalli White Rum, £30.40 (70cl), Master of Malt
A single estate organic rum from the heart of the Belizian rainforest, Copalli’s grassy flavour profile has been developed to work well in a variety of cocktails, such as a daiquiri, as well as being served neat over ice. With excellent eco credentials, the spirit’s made with organic sugar cane and the zero-impact distillery uses pure canopy water from the jungles surrounding it in the rum-making process. The result? A clear winner for the green, rum-loving man in your life.
6. Three Seasons Gin, £90 (70cl), Cambridge Distillery
Styled on three seasons, fragrant spring lemon verbena, summer roses and sweet, ripe autumnal blackcurrant leaf are the hero ingredients in this Gold medal winning gin (European Spirits Challenge 2021). Specifically targeted at cocktail connoisseurs fond of a martini, each seasonal botanical is distilled individually to preserve its essence, with the flavours unfolding in sequence. Fragrant and fabulously flavoursome with a citrusy burst at the fore, serve 60ml of the chilled gin with 10ml dry vermouth of your choice. Stir slowly in a long-stemmed martini glass, garnish with a delicate drop of basil oil and raise a toast for Father’s Day…
7. Maison No 9 Provence Rose 2020, South of France, £20, Ocado
Singer Post Malone has debuted on the celebrity viticulture scene with his Maison No 9 rose – a delightful Provencal pink packaged in a sleek, slender bottle with an elegant glass stopper. A collaboration between the Grammy Award nominated artist, music manager Dre London and James Morrissey, the name’s inspired by Malone’s favourite tarot card, the Nine of Swords, ‘symbolising triumph over life’s daily challenges’. Fresh and inviting, his crowd-pleasing rose is softly scented with summer fruits, savoury herbs, has delicate acidity and a lovely crisp finish – a hip (hop) rose for all the cool dads.
8. Torres Purgatori 2017, Costers Del Segre, Catalonia, Spain, £30.71, Vinissimus
A Spanish gem for the hedonist in the cellar, Purgatori has a drinking window of up to 10 years – if he can wait that long. The vineyard boasts a long history, with local monks making wine on this semi-arid land as far back as the 18th century. Today, Torres brings the past to the present with this gorgeous blend of carignan, grenache and syrah to create a powerful red that’s heaven in a glass. Plush with violet aromas and stacked with black fruit, bushy herbs, smoke and spice, it spends 18 months in French oak and the flavours are exceptional, with ripe tannins closing the long, intense finish. Heaven in a glass.
9. Checkmate End Game Merlot 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada, £82.50, Hedonism
Could Okanagan be the new Napa? If this maestro of a merlot is anything to go by, the answer’s yes. A top tier red from a boutique winery, Checkmate’s merlot ages in new French oak for 21 months, but doesn’t distract from the beautifully ripened red berry fruits, allowing the flavours to blossom in the glass. A wine to swoon over, it opens up with extremely attractive aromas of black cherries, cassis and sweet spice; on the palate there’s everything you could wish for with a cascade of velvety soft fruit, savoury notes, vanilla, plum and liquorice, the silkiest of tannins with a long, luxurious finish. Stunning.