The Perfect Libation
Whiskey is a popular Father’s Day present, but how does one pick the perfect libation? Alcohol has had great influence on the development of the human civilization. With that being said, your father will have great influence on the whiskey you choose.
Whiskeys have many variations, much like fathers do. Whether soft, aggressive, well rounded, sharp or mellow, there is destined to be a whiskey to match your father.
Whiskey is made via distillation of fermented grain: first records of that process were found in the archeological digs of millennia BC Babylon and Mesopotamia. Through decades of perfecting the process of distillation, the Scottish soon became the worlds leader in production of quality whiskey. By the time the first written record of whiskey appeared in 1494, production and consumption of whiskey in Scotland had already reached mass appeal. Nowadays, great whiskey can be found throughout the world.
No other whiskey has gained the title of a “Man’s Drink” like Scotch. With the aggressive and earthy quality that is brought about from the process of melding barley and water, the flavors are bold and sharp. Balvenie has great options for any Scotch drinker. Balvenie 12 Year Double Wood gets a lot of its character from maturing in oak casks and then finishing in sherry casks, lending to a nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.
Bourbon whiskey is made primarily from corn (at least 51%). Although it can technically be made anywhere in the U.S, it is associated with the state of Kentucky. It is always aged in new, charred oak barrels. Bourbon offers a complex profile often at a good value. Even the small batch and extra aged selections, while not cheap, are priced far below the high end selections of other specialty whiskeys like scotch. Woodford Reserve and Maker’s Mark are great examples of this, with having their standard offering and higher marks that intensify the complexity of flavors like oak, caramel and vanilla.
In terms of soft and well rounded, you can find most Canadian whiskey is almost always a blend of whiskeys made from several different grains. It is normally lighter and smoother than other whiskeys which make it ideal for beginners. Forty Creek whiskey meets all of the standards for being an approachable Canadian whiskey for the novice drinker.
Lastly, as the name implies, Irish whiskey comes only from Ireland. The most common styles are “single malt” and “blended.” Both are offered in ascending options of age such as 10yr, 15yr, etc. Unlike scotch, which is only distilled twice, Irish whiskeys are usually distilled three times giving them a smoother, softer texture. These are great sipping whiskeys, often characterized by a classic creamy, chocolate milk and vanilla finish. A perfect example of this is Jameson 12 Year. With being aged in Oloroso Sherry casks and seasoned bourbon barrels, this whiskey delivers robust notes of spice, sherry and toasted fruit that will appeal to the most demanding palate.
You may or may not know what whiskey your father will enjoy, but rest assured that if you bring him a bottle of any whiskey, it will surely put a smile on his face. Happy Father’s Day to our proud fathers out there. Cheers!