If I had to use an analogy to compare Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, I’d say that Mother’s Day was like a Surf and Turf meal at a fancy seafood restaurant, while Father’s Day was a Salisbury Steak dinner cooked in the microwave.

The bottom line, Father’s Day just isn’t treated in the same, thoughtful way. While Moms enjoys makeovers and massages, Dad is often gifted with an afterthought on the way to brunch, like the man needs another tie or a box of drill bits. But here is a little secret. Your Father does not want more stuff. He wants to spend time with you. And if you’re going to spend some memorable quality time, have a drink with the guy. And make sure it’s something special. And what’s special on the shelves to drink right now? Read on to find out, pick up something nice, and enjoy your Dad’s company. He will certainly appreciate yours.

For the bourbon geek…

Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series Bourbon

Vitals: ABV 55% (110% ABV) SRP $170

This is a novel concept from the James B. Beam Distilling Boys. Three releases using the same 17-year-old whiskey were aged in three different locations, thus creating three different tastes and experiences. There’s no better way to examine how location affects bourbon than this ongoing innovative series, which can be collected as they are released. The first of this Hardin’s Creek series, Clermont (named for its aging location in Clermont, Kentucky), is now available. The trick is to enjoy a pour now and put it away to taste against future releases.

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Russell’s Reserve 13-Year Bourbon

Vitals: ABV 57.4% (114.8 Proof), $150

Created in honor of the world’s longest-tenured Master Distiller, Wild Turkey’s Jimmy Russell, Russell’s Reserve 13 is the oldest expression currently available in the bourbon house’s portfolio. It’s also notoriously tough to find at the $150 MSRP, so buy two if you can score a bottle at a decent price! What’s in the bottle is some of the company’s finest extra-aged bourbon from Turkey’s vast stocks, which is bottled cask strength at 114.8 proof. Not for the faint of heart, but for a serious bourbon fan, it’s a big-time score.

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For the single malt scotch lover…

Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 2023 Single Malt Scotch

Vitals: 86 Proof (43% ABV); $85

Every year, spirits behemoth Diageo releases the Distiller’s Edition, a collection of Single malt bottlings from distilleries in different regions where flagship Scotch whiskies are finished in a host of exceptional casks. This prepares you for an annual whisky journey worth savoring with your Dad. Our fave this year is Glenkinchie, from the Lowland region. Starting in some of the grandest stills in Scotland, this single malt is double matured for at least 12 years in used American oak casks before finishing in Amontillado sherry-seasoned casks, creating a mellow, fruity-yet-smoky expression.

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Benromach Peat Smoke 2014 Sherry Cask Finished Single Malt

Vitals: 92 Proof (46% ABV); $229

If your Dad loves a deep, smoky scotch, here is a perfect vintage bottling he’s likely never tried. Produced with heavily peated barley malts and made in tiny batches, this expression spends 8 years in oak casks before finishing in first-use sherry hogsheads. The result is a contrast in flavors between the intense smoke of the peat and the light fruit of the sherry. This is a fantastic Scotch that Dad won’t be able to put down.

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For the agave head…

Paladar Destilado de Agave

Vitals: 80 Proof (ABV 40%); SRP $70

Paladar begins with 7-year-old Weber Agave grown on their fields that they then slow cook in brick ovens and open-air ferment. The tequila is then distilled twice in copper and stainless pots before aging for 2 months in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished for 2 months in Amburana wood casks. Amburana is a wood native to Brazil, giving unique finishing notes no other tequila can match.

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Maestro Dobel 50 Tequila Silver Oak

Vitals: 80 Proof (40% ABV); $1,100

How much does Pop love tequila? If it’s enough that you’d slip a mortgage payment to get a good bottle, or perhaps money is no object, then this bottle is for him. Maestro Dobel Tequila, a blend of ultra-premium tequilas, partnered with the ubiquitous Silver Oak Winery in Napa and Alexander Valley in Northern California. After aging in American oak, this expression is finished in Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon casks for a dark, complex, fruit-laden tequila. No salt or lime is required.

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For the rum sipper…

Mount Gay Rum PX Sherry Cask Expression

Vitals: 90 Proof (45% ABV); $270

At 320 years old, Mount Gay Rum, on the northern tip of Barbados, still knows how to manage new tricks. This rum blend sits in used American whiskey casks for at least 20 years before finishing in Pedro Ximenez Sherry wine casks. Unique, fruity, decadent rum is perfect for sipping in the backyard. A cigar is strongly recommended.

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Rolling Fork Single Cask 9-Year Barbados Rum

Vitals: Approximately 109.4 Proof (54.7% ABV) depending on batch; $80

After recently going national, Kentucky-based rolling fork is making a huge splash in the rum world by sourcing and bottling some of the world’s finest stocks. How do we know they are special? Two words: blind tasting. After scoring Best Rum at ASCOT Awards this year, this beautifully aged Barbadian rum also earned Double Gold at our Spring 2023 Barleycorn Awards. What’s in the bottle is a gorgeous Barbadian rum, aged 8 years in ex-bourbon barrels before finishing in various casks, then bottled cask strength in all its. From there, the rum is bottled cask strength, allowing you to experience this spirit in its undiluted glory.

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Spirits writers, marketers and designers are among the most influential forces in the spirits industry. Their opinions, ideas and creative talents inform and influence consumer perceptions and buying decisions. The John Barleycorn Society was started by a group of spirits journalists seeking to honor excellence in all facets of the industry. The journalists spent several years creating a comprehensive competition that became the John Barleycorn Awards. An elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists was selected to administer the flagship component of the Awards, a blind tasting competition destined to become the preeminent arbitrator of spirits taste, quality and character.