Dads swirling Scotches are as stereotypical of an image as moms that go to the church of Chardonnay, but we’ll stand corrected if the assumption doesn’t hold some weight.
Let’s be real: lots of dads enjoy a glass of whisky or three, and quite a fair number extend their love past a nightcap, into full-on collector’s territory. It then becomes a quite natural fit to have a bottle of Scotch be a gift for your old man come Father’s Day.
We already have a guide that charts wallet-friendly whiskies below S$100, but if you’re in the mood to bump up your budget and get your father a bottle worth putting on the top shelf this Father’s Day, then let us take you through our picks of the best whiskies below S$200.
Lagavulin is borderline religion for lovers of Islay whiskies, and while the 12 Year Old is one of its most popular expressions, the 16 Year Old is a cut above. Bottle at cask strength and rich with brine and peat, this single malt is an exercise in brightness as notes of citrus and pepper give light to every salty mouthful. Definitely for serious peat heads.
The older child of the Balvenie Doublewood collection may not get as much airtime as its 12 Year Old sibling, but this is no mark against its quality. First matured in American oak, then sherry casks, this has an intensely complex profile of oak, honey, vanilla and rich spice for days.
You can tell your dad he’s a classic, or you can buy him a bottle of the world’s most notable Scotch whisky instead. The Macallan 12 may have gone through a revamp in recent years, but this Speyside jewel is still as timeless as can be. Aged in sherry casks, a single mouthful is rife with warm spice and bold, juicy autumn fruits. A definite crowd-pleaser.
To find a Dalmore at a wallet-friendly price point is already fantastic, but what more an expression like the Luceo, a former travel retail exclusive that is a blend of whiskies finished in first-fill Apostle sherry casks. You get so much ripe cherries and bitter, aromatic coffee on the tongue, closing off with cocoa on the finish, that the Luceo just drinks like dessert.
Glenfiddich’s special releases are well worth collecting if you can, especially the Project XX. This is the brand’s history bottled as a liquid time capsule — the XX, roman numerals for 20, represents all the Glenfiddich representatives who selected casks from the brand’s warehouse to eventually be used to craft the very blend in your hands. The character of Project XX is definitely classic Glenfiddich with a twist: summer fruits and green apples share space with notes of anise, nuts and port, as well as an oakiness that lingers long after.
Bowmore’s ruby-red 15 Year Old owes its richness to being finished in Oloroso sherry casks, both in colour and taste. Raisins, dates and spice ebb through this creamy whisky that begs to be a weekend staple — if comfort food exists, so can comfort whiskies, and the 15 Year Old is definitely that.
If you really want to keep with the Father’s Day theme for your whisky purchase, then the John Walker & Sons XR is a bottle that carries the backstory through. Johnnie Walker’s early legacy of being a company passed down from father to son is culminated in the XR, a whisky also made to commemorate one of the founding master blender’s knighthood by King George V. Blended from a reserve of Johnnie Walker’s rare whiskies, every last drop that goes in has been aged for a minimum of 21 years.