ScotchBlog's 2018 Father's Day Gift Buyer's Guide - Last Minute Edition

Father's Day is this weekend and if you're running short on options this year for what to get your whisky-loving Dad this year, we've listed the top 5, commonly available, value bottles in the LCBO under $100! 

For Ontario readers, make use of the embedded links to check LCBO stock (look for the hyperlinked price!) before heading out to your local store. Remember, for any locations showing one bottle of something, be sure to phone the store confirm availability. As always, every attempt has been made to ensure that all whiskies listed herein are available in the LCBO at the time of publication. With some of the whiskies listed, the title links to a full write up of the bottle - if we've reviewed it - in case you want a little more detail.  

The Dalmore 12 Year Old - $98.10 on sale now for $88.10 
This is the second time in six months that this bottle has been marked down by $10, which means its back within the upper limits of being reasonably priced. Chances are that Dad has encountered this refined, lightly sherried, Highland malt before but, with prices for the Dalmore becoming increasingly unattainable in recent years, it has probably been some time since he held a bottle of his very own. Rich and full-bodied with flavours of Christmas cake, dark chocolate and oranges, the Dalmore 12 year old is a perfect after-dinner dram.

Considered by many to be the quintessential expression of the single Irish pot still style, Midleton Distillery's Redbreast is made using a mixed mash bill of locally sourced malted and un-malted barley that's triple distilled and matured in ex-Sherry casks before being bottled at 40% ABV. Rich, full-bodied, and bursting with candied fruit flavours all wrapped in a slightly oily butterscotch sweetness and spiked with a dash of ginger and baking spice. I'd be hard pressed to recall how many people I've turned on to Redbreast but, to a person, they've all expressed with similar incredulity: "This is what Irish whiskey tastes like? I never knew it could be so smooth!?" If your father was iffy on Irish whiskey before, he'll be singing its praises by the end of the bottle.

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley - $69.50 on sale now for $64.50
Made from 100% Scottish malted barley grain, The Classic Laddie is an unpeated single malt from Bruichladdich (pronounced "Brook-laddee") distillery on Islay. Bit of a sale on this one, which makes it an excellent opportunity to introduce Dad to a distillery he may not have heard of before. Inside the fetching aquamarine bottle he'll find a truly unique single malt with notes of tropical fruit, vanilla, salted caramel and a delicate thread of smoke lingering through the long finish. 

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon $54.80
It's uncommon to see single barrel expressions of anything in the LCBO and so its unlikely your recipient Dad has tried this one before. While it may only be about 8-9 years old, the whisky is bursting with flavours of charred oak, tobacco, chewy toffee and orange zest before trailing off with a distinct cocoa note on the finish. Each year the Master Distillers select barrels to be bottled for this release and then every bottle is marked with the vintage date it was put into oak, along with the year it was bottled and the serial number of the barrel that the Bourbon was drawn from. Single cask offerings are special because they've not had their "rough edges" or unique characteristics blended out for the sake of consistency and so every batch is a little different. Evan Williams' yearly single barrel releases are a treat not to be missed for any serious bourbon fan. Finally, with a trade war looming and Canada's retaliatory tariffs set to increase the price of bourbon (among other American imports) on July 1, 2018 it makes sense to grab a couple of these beauties before the price hikes kick in.

Speaking of running afoul of our neighbours to the south, Crown Royal's Bourbon Mash made a bit of a splash when it was first released a few weeks back owing to the fact that the Canadian whisky giant was perceived to have committed a faux pas by using the word "bourbon" in the product name as a descriptor of the whisky's mash bill type. After the dust settled, parent company Diageo announced a compromise of sorts to assuage concerns that Crown Royal was trying to cash in on the protected American designation of "bourbon;" future bottles sold in the USA would be re-branded as "Blender's Mash," while Canadian consumers would continue with "Bourbon Mash" classic. Controversy aside, it may not be a bourbon per se, it's certainly made in that style. If your Dad is a fan of Crown Royal, this expression will seem somehow familiar yet quite different...and that's because the Bourbon Mash is one of the 50 or so component whiskies that make up the iconic Canadian whisky. It's easy-drinking, smooth and full-bodied, almost creamy, with big vanilla and caramel flavours. Dried fruit, dusty oak and a dash of allspice warm things up just before the nutty and slightly bitter finish. 

We hope this has helped narrow down your choices for gift whiskies, but if you find yourself struggling and short on time, please do reach out via Twitter for the most immediate response. We're @scotchblog on there! 

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