Father’s Day is just around the corner, and that means the amount of time you have left to find the perfect present is running out. But to make things easier, we pulled together a list of our favorite whiskeys, Tequilas, beers and wines that fit all different budgets. So matter no matter what your dad likes, there’s a bottle for him on this list.
Mic.Drop Straight Bourbon Whiskey; $100, 96 points. This is a flavor bomb of a Bourbon. Concentrated caramel coats the palate from the first sip right into the finish accented with mouthwatering hints of espresso, clove and orange peel. This is a custom blend commissioned by spirits maverick Nicolas Palazzi of PM spirits. He’s defiantly transparent about where the whiskey is sourced— Indiana’s MGP— a blend of 20 casks, the cask number even appears on the back label. Limited edition, 3,358 bottles total.—Kara Newman abv: 56%
Coopers’ Craft; $23, 94 points. Intended to celebrate the coopers who make Brown-Forman’s barrels, it makes sense that this is a particularly oak-forward Bourbon. Oak and vanilla lead the nose and buttery palate, rolling into more concentrated vanilla on the midpalate and finishing with baking spice and a hint of orange peel. Best Buy.—K.N. abv: 41.1%
Russell’s Reserve Vintage 2002; $250, 90 points. This straight Bourbon from Wild Turkey is bottled at barrel proof. The luscious aroma evokes nuts, orange peel and spice. Tamed with water, the flavor remains bold, a bit drier than the aroma promises, but still echoing that orange peel and spice. The resiny midpalate is tinged with espresso, finishing with hints of cigar wrapper and sweet spices.—K.N. abv: 57.3%
Quarter Horse Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey; $26, 89 points. Honey-hued in the glass, this offers mild coconut and lemon peel aromas. This is an exceedingly light, delicate Bourbon, with hints of almond, cedar, ginger and nutmeg. Made by aging for a minimum of one year in oak, overall this is light and smooth, with a touch of violet on the finish. Best Buy.—K.N. abv: 46%
G4 Reposado Tequila; $60, 94 points. The zesty jalapeño aroma and sweet tomato undercurrent suggests what is to come. The savory palate delivers fresh mint, basil, jalapeño and green pepper, finishing with a hint of black pepper smoothed by vanilla-mint sweetness. Sip or mix.—K.N. abv: 40%
Corralejo Reposado Tequila; $26, 93 points. Look for a pale rose-gold hue and a mild, herbaceous aroma that hints at basil and slate. The palate is light and silky, echoing that slate-like minerality alongside hints of cedar, coconut and honey, finishing with a flurry of white pepper and brush of raspberry. Aged four months. Best Buy.—K.N. abv: 40%
Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila; $28, 93 points. The light but zesty aroma evokes tomato water, bell pepper freshness and agave nectar. Meanwhile, the palate leads with honey and jalapeño, finishing with hints of vanilla and sweet cinnamon. Aged in Tennessee and Kentucky whiskey barrels for a minimum of six months. Best Buy.—K.N. abv: 40%
Patron Roca Reposado Tequila; $80, 91 points. A sweet, almost raspberry-like scent in the aroma is echoed on the palate, translating as delicate lychee and berry. Creamy vanilla and coconut tones smooth out the otherwise fiery, cinnamon-accented finish.—K.N. abv: 42%
Duvel; $18/11.2 oz 4 pack, 95 points. A classic Belgian brew that is widely considered the gold standard of golden ales. It’s clean and superbly balanced, presenting a gorgeous, pristine yellow-gold color in the glass. The nose is bright and lively, with forward scents of citrus pith, underripe Bosc pear, barley and just a tinge of green grape. Those notes all carry through to the similarly vibrant palate alongside additional complexities of yeasty spice, earthy hop, white pepper and cracker. The high carbonation is in line with the flavor profile, while the mouthwatering finish leaves you ready for more. It’s a deceptively drinkable yet simultaneously elegant and nuanced beer.—Lauren Buzzeo abv: 8.5%
Firestone Lager; $11/12 oz 6 pack, 91 points. This canned beer is clear, pale-light gold in color, with a finger’s worth of white head that falls somewhat fast though it leaves decent lacing behind. It boasts subtle aromas and flavors, like lightly toasted grains, cereal, lemon peel and white florals. The palate shows a touch more sweetness, with faint hints of lemon drop candy and honey-drizzled bread dough. It is light in body but smooth and remarkably clean, with medium carbonation and a crisp, dry finish that offers a light cracker flavor and just a touch of bitterness. All in all, this is the very idea of what a lager should be to many people.—L.B. abv: 4.5%
Dogfish Head Mixed Media Vino-esque Ale; $14/12 oz 6 pack, 91 points. Brewed with grape must, this is a lovely beer-wine hybrid that will appeal to cross drinkers. A clear golden-straw color, with a thin white head, the nose leads with vinous scents of white grape, sweet grass, cracker malt and yeasty spice that all carry through to the lightweight and refreshing palate. A vibrant, acidic streak is partnered with assertive yet fine carbonation, finishing bright and clean, with a hint of white pepper.—L.B. abv: 7.5%
Victory Home Grown New American Lager; $11/12 oz 6 pack, 89 points. There’s the slightest haze to this yellow gold-colored beer. The bouquet opens with upfront fresh-hop characteristics, expressed in waves of juicy orange and lemon supremes, grounded by a sweet grain, Honeycomb cereal-like core. The medium-bodied mouth offers full flavors of cereal grain and a touch of caramel malt, which are balanced by ample carbonation to keep the palate lifted. The finish is bitter and pithy, reminiscent of dried orange peel. An well-balanced choice for those looking for a sessionable hop-forward lager.—L.B. abv: 4.8%
Alpha Omega 2014 Sunshine Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Oak Knoll District); $250, 97 points. Red and black cherry, cassis and a beautiful back note of rose, orange and licorice play along the nose and palate of this spectacular, full-bodied and complex wine. Expansively rich and offering depth and breadth, it holds on to a mighty structure that should serve well through a decade or so of cellaring. Best 2024–2034. Cellar Selection.—Virginie Boone
Domaine Julie Belland 2014 Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet; $250, 94 points. An immense wine, this is bold and rich with powerful yellow and white stone fruits. It comes from one of the Montrachet vineyards that makes the greatest white wines in Burgundy. Under Julie Belland’s hand, it shows in the generous, opulent nature of the wine with its balance of fruit and tight texture. Drink this very fine wine from 2023. Saranty Imports.—Roger Voss
Château d’Esclans 2016 Garrus Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $100, 93 points. This wine, which continues to stretch the bounds of Provence rosé, is rich and impressively packed with ripe fruits and spice from wood aging. It should be taken seriously both for its complexity and for its potential to age. Drink now–2020. Shaw-Ross International Importers. Cellar Selection.—R.V.
Château Souverain 2016 Chardonnay (California); $13, 91 points. This is a flavorful wine that combines vivid fruit flavors and judicious use of oak for a great sense of balance and composition. Butter, vanilla and pear aromas precede almond and baking spice flavors that are nicely backed by more pear and apple. Best Buy.—Jim Gordon
Sola 2014 Syrah (Mendocino County); $15, 91 points. Ripe and bold in flavor, this polished, focused wine is full bodied and firmly tannic. It has effusive blackberry aromas and wonderfully dry, concentrated flavors. Best Buy.—J.G.
Domaine Houchart 2017 Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $15, 90 points. For a Provence rosé, this has a definite pink color. It also has plenty of weight to match its colorful character. The acidity, raspberry fruit and good acidity all go well together in a ripe, harmonious wine. Drink now. David Milligan Selections. Best Buy.—R.V.