A Father’s Day proposition for you: instead of buying your old man a bottle of brown and calling it a day, get him something you can share together. Picked for age, quality and a bit of weirdness, these five bottles are perfectly up to the task.
Henry McKenna Single Barrel
What used to be Heaven Hill Distillery’s best open secrets — an affordable single barrel offering with a 10-year age statement — is now harder to find than ever. It recently won “Best in Show, Whiskey” at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. And while some people aren’t happy their hidden gem has flown off shelves, it’s a great conversation starter. Assuming you can find damn thing.
Age: 10 years
Bulleit 12-Year-Old Rye
Is Pop a Bulleit-or-nothin’ guy? Well, then: Bulleit’s older rye is basically the same juice as the younger stuff that made the distillery famous, just leavened by additional years in the barrel. It should be relatively easy to find, and it won’t break the bank. Cheers to that.
Age: 12 years
Red Spot Whiskey
Paint splotches were the method the Mitchell family used to identify whiskeys of different age when they started sourcing and distilling the stuff in 1887 — blue (7 years), green (10 years), yellow (12 years) and red (15 years). Distilled three times from malted and unmalted barley and aged in bourbon, Spanish sherry and marsala wine casks, Red Spot is the pinnacle of the makers’ power.
Age: 15 years
Elijah Craig 18 Years
When Elijah Craig’s 18-year single barrel was first released, it was the oldest single barrel bourbon on the market. Today, it’s one of the brand’s most-awarded bottles. It costs a little more than it used to, but it still sports that same moderate proof and deep flavor. We’re not going to pretend like this will be an easy find and, if you do, check your bank balance before swiping.
Age: 18 years
Whistlepig 15 Year Straight Rye
The oldest offering from the craft distilling kings of high-end rye. Whistlepig’s 15-year-old rye is significantly softer and more sippable than Bulleit’s. It’s also finished in Vermont oak casks, a callback to the Northeastern brand’s home state.
Age: 15 years