Stumped for gift ideas this Father’s Day? Whisky Loot has your back. We’ll pick out the best drams for all kinds of Dads, and dig into the history of this most paternal of occasions.
History of Father’s Day
For decades now, Aussies have celebrated and spoiled their dads on the first Sunday of September – the first Sunday of spring! However, there’s an intriguing backstory that’s often forgotten amidst the flurry of socks, last-minute cards and bottles of whisky.
Where Did Father’s Day Originate?
Fathers have been honoured in societies for hundreds of years, but as with Mother’s Day, the modern Father’s Day began in the US. And like Mother’s day, it was started more in the spirit of solemn commemoration than celebration, having first been floated as an idea after a mining accident that cost the lives of many fathers in West Virginia.
The first Father’s Day proper began in Spokane, in the US state of Washington, having been created by Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by her widower father. First marked in 1910, the holiday had mixed success for several decades, until 1966, when President Johnson issued a presidential proclamation honouring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.
When Did Australia First Celebrate Father’s Day?
Things weren’t exactly plain sailing for Father’s Day in Australia. When the first occasions were marked in America, they were the subject of mocking editorials in newspapers, which viewed Father’s Day as an American upstart. The occasion began to gain traction in the 1920s, when Janet Heyden (a crucial figure for Australian Mother’s Day) began collecting gift donations to take to elderly men in nursing homes, many of whom had lost their sons in the First World War.
By the 1930s, church services across Australia had begun to mark Father’s Day, and in 1957, a Father’s Day Council of Australia was formed, complete with an Australian Father of the Year Award – which exists to this day!
In 1964, the Commonwealth officially recognised the first Sunday in September as Father’s Day. Why this date? The likelihood is because it was about halfway between Mother’s Day and Christmas, giving would-be present-givers breathing room to set aside a bit of cash for Dad’s gift!
What Are Some Aussie Father’s Day Traditions?
From Christmas on the beach, to New Year’s fireworks on the Harbour Bridge, we tend to do holidays a little differently here in Australia. Aside from the classic gifts of “socks and jocks” and “Dad Rock albums” (now sadly extinct), you’ll find Aussies taking advantage of the return of Spring to hit the barbeque or the beer garden. And we may be biased, but to our minds there’s one Father’s Day gift for the Australian Dad that reigns supreme: a good whisky. Just as we know that those one-size-fits-all novelty socks were a lie, we also know that there’s not just one whisky for every kind of Dad out there...
So, without further ado, our list of the best drams for different Dads!
Whisky Loot’s Father’s Day Whiskies
The Whisky For The Country Dad
You know the type. He loves his Akubra, and getting out into the bush. He prefers Triple M Country to Triple J. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy a taste of the finer things, and we have just the bottle for him.
A whisky inspired by the "characters" that make up one of Australia’s most iconic country towns: Corowa. Found in Hume County, close to the border between NSW and Victoria, Corowa was one of the most important centres in the Australian Federation movement, and could arguably be called one of the birthplaces of Modern Australia.
Corowa Distilling Co. is located in the town’s old flour mill, which had lain dormant since 1970. Breathing new life into the moribund local icon, the distillery makes a point of using local barley in their whisky, and engaging with their community.
This particular whisky is a single malt that has aged in American, French, & Hungarian wine casks, producing an approachable dram with notes of ripe fruits, vanilla and honeycomb. The result is an approachable NSW whisky which is superb value for money.
The Whisky For The Metropolitan Dad
This is a Dad who loves city life – from his favourite coffee spot, to the best local live music, to his preferred pizza place. And we’ve got a whisky that is just as urbane and sophisticated…
For most Aussie whisky lovers, Starward is a distillery that requires little introduction. One of the shining lights of Australian distilling for almost two decades, Starward is located in the food-loving city of Melbourne. They make their home in the post-industrial landscape of Port Melbourne, reinventing a warehouse as their distillery and chic whisky bar.
We love Starward so much we partnered with them to produce this exclusive single barrel whisky, aged in French Oak Australian Red Wine Casks – the first Starward of this style to hit the Aussie market. Perfectly poised and packed with spice and jammy red berries, this is a whisky that reflects the flavours and style of its home city.
The Whisky For The Trad Dad
This gent is old school. He likes the tried and tested methods, and prefers tradition over innovation. The same applies to his taste in whisky, and luckily Whisky Loot has picked out the perfect bottle for him.
Gordon & MacPhail are one of the most traditional companies operating in the Scotch whisky market today, having been in the game for more than 125 years. Independent, and family owned, G&M (as they are popularly known) grew out of a grocery shop to become perhaps the foremost bottler of whisky in Scotland. Known for the emphasis they place on superior quality casks, and their habit of bottling extremely old spirits, G&M are firmly part of whisky’s old school.
This particular bottling has been distilled at the Glenrothes distillery, a Speyside distillery found a few kilometres south of G&M’s home in Elgin. Aged in Sherry casks, this dram delivers flavours of blackcurrants, raspberries and intense oak. A truly traditional drop!
The Whisky For The Dad Who Loves His Grill
This guy will do anything to man the barbeque, and has to be talked out of bringing it inside during the winter. He loves all things hot and smoky – and luckily there are plenty of whiskies that fit the bill.
A wonderfully peated whisky from the land of smoky Scotch: Islay! This is a dram from the innovative Kilchoman Distillery. Known as “Islay’s Farm Distillery”, Kilchoman is a small, independent operation that grows its own grain, using it to produce their whisky. Founded in 2005, it was the first new distillery on Islay for 124 years, and remains something of a newbie in an industry where companies can go back centuries.
This bottling has been aged in a combination of Sherry and Bourbon casks, producing a sweet and fruity dram, underpinned throughout by Kilchoman’s signature ashy peat.
The Whisky For The Beer-Loving Dad
It’s been suggested that whisky is “beer, grown up”. All whiskies start as a kind of beer, that is then distilled to become spirit. If your Dad loves nothing more than cracking open a cold one, we’ve got the dram for him.
The juice in this bottle began life as Chief’s Son’s classic 900 Standard expression, slightly peated and matured in French oak barrels. The dram was then finished in casks that held Russian Imperial Stout from the Mornington Peninsula Brewery, which in turn originally began as French oak whisky barrels at Chief’s Son. The result is a whisky with notes of treacle, thick creamy stout and subtle hops.
The Whisky For The Dad With a Sweet Tooth
If your old man has a love of lollies, a penchant for pastries, or a craving for chocolate, then this is the whisky for him!
Returning to our friends in Melbourne, Starward Distillery, this is a whisky that is sweet by name and by nature. Dolce (which means “sweet” in Italian) has been matured initially in Australian red wine barrels. The spirit is then transferred to dessert wine barrels, with the wine made in the Sicilian style. The result is a luscious and sweet dram that provides notes of cola bottle lollies, dark chocolate and sweet fruits.
The Whisky For The Luxury Dad
Here is a Dad that likes the High Life. He loves quality and luxury, and will want to be pampered this Father’s Day. Luckily, we’ve got a bottle that will exceed even his greatest expectations!
Part of the illustrious Diageo Special Releases, which are only released once a year, this is a mighty whisky – aged for 21 years, and finished in opulent Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. Distilled at Mortlach (which is known as the “Beast of Dufftown) this is a muscular, powerful dram with intense flavours of ripe plums, old oak and meaty malt. A truly luxurious offering.
The Whiskey For The Environmentalist Dad
This Dad is concerned about the future of the planet, and wants to do his bit to protect the environment. He also likes a delicious whiskey, and thankfully, he can kill two birds with one stone (not literally of course, that would not be in keeping with his beliefs!).
This is a delicious blend of Bourbons from this High West Distillery in Utah. This bottling is produced in support of the American Prairie Reserve, a charitable organisation that seeks to preserve and restore an area of Great Plain Prairie about the size of the Sydney Metropolis. The whiskey itself contains spirit between 2 to 13 years old. 10% of post tax profits go to the American Prairie Reserve.
The Whiskey For The Dad Who’s One of a Kind
This is a Dad that doesn’t quite fit any of our other descriptions: a Dad that breaks the mould and pushes the boundaries. But yet, there’s a whiskey for him too.
A small-batch Bourbon for all the Rare Breeds out there. This bottling consists of the best barrels in the Wild Turkey warehouses. A blend of 6 to 12-year-old barrels, Rare Breed is bottled without any adulteration, with not even water added. Each batch is ever so slightly different. Weighing in a natural cask strength, this is an intense, and fully flavoured expression.
Treat Your Dad All Year Round
Looking for the gift that keeps on giving? Look no further than a Whisky Loot subscription.
The perfect present for any whisky lover, each subscription offers three 60ml whisky tasters each month, delivered direct to door for Dad to enjoy in the comfort of his own home.
Whisky Loot now offers two subscription tiers, appealing to both the seasoned whisky aficionado, and the curious drinker:
- Explorer, $59/month ($49 for the first month). This subscription will introduce drinkers to the key concepts of the whisky world, and gradually broaden their dramming horizons!
- Advanced, $99/month. A premium subscription, packed with rare releases, Whisky Loot exclusives and older drams. This option is designed for the already-experienced whisky drinker, though would also suit those who know they enjoy the finer things in life.
An Extra Treat For Dad: All subscriptions redeemed between the 16th of August and the 26th of September will receive a free nosing glass!
Fathers Day Shipping Times 2021
NSW - 2-4 business days
Order by Sunday 29th August for delivery by Father’s Day
VIC - 3-5 business days
Order by Thursday 26th August for delivery by Father’s Day
ACT - 4-6 business days
Order by Thursday 26th August for delivery by Father’s Day
QLD - 3-5 Business days
Order by Thursday 26th August for delivery by Father’s Day
SA - 5 - 7 business days
Order by Wednesday 25th August for delivery by Father’s Day
TAS - 5-8 business days
Order by Tuesday 24th August for delivery by Father’s day
WA - 7-10 business days
Order by Thursday 19th August for delivery by Father’s Day
NT - 8-11 business days
Order by Wednesday 18th August for delivery by Father’s Day