Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016

Bookers Bourbon '2016 - 02 ANNIS' ANSWER'Black Dirt Bourbon and Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon

Bookers Bourbon is known for its robustness and high alcohol content due to being uncut and unfiltered. Annis’ Answer, according to master distiller Fred Noe, is that it is made up of barrels from four different production dates stored in 5 different storage areas. The oldest barrels in the batch were 7 years, 1 month old and the youngest barrels were 6 years, 2 month old.”

Black Dirt Bourbon comes from the New York State microdistiller of the same name, nestled in the fertile valley just north of the New Jersey border where the corn for their mash is grown. It is made from corn (grown in that very black dirt), malted barley, and a small percentage of rye. The batch I tried—Batch 08 is aged a minimum of 3 years in new charred American Oak. Aromas of sweet caramel, vanilla and honey in the glass with a smooth taste up front.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon is a 9 year old small batch bourbon (a batching of numerous barrels) that is a part of Jim Beam’s “Small Batch Bourbon Collection.” It has a very sweet aroma — brown sugar and caramel hit first, with apple and toffee that follow. The first sip felt a little harsh because of the nose, but it surprises you with a very rich and creamy sweetness. You’ll definitely notice the 120 proof, but you’ll focus more on the great flavor. The palate consists of the vanilla, maple syrup and brown sugar that the nose foreshadowed. This one is really easy to love. If you’re having a tasting and you’re not sure which bourbon to buy, this is a pretty safe bet. It might be a high proof for many people, but the flavor is hard to dislike. Even throwing a cube in it doesn’t dilute the flavor very much.

Suntory Toki Whisky

Suntory, one of the two largest Japanese whisky distilleries (the one who makes the famed Yamazaki), is going to launch the Toki, a new blended Japanese expression being made exclusively for North American markets starting this month. The Toki is a blend of non-age statement whiskies from Beam Suntory’s Hakushu Distillery, Yamazaki Distillery and Chita Distillery. The latter readers may already know the name of, as a namesake single grain whisky was recently announced as well.Besides positioning this whisky as something which can be drunk neat or on the rocks, Toki has also been envisioned in a highball. On the palate, there’s notes of grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint, and thyme (it explains why it was great base for their yuzu cocktail I had at their launch party). The finish is subtly sweet and spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.

Herradura 2015 Director de Alambique Silver TequilaTequila Corralejo Blanco

The Herradura 2015 Directo de Alambique is a small-batch tequila is produced using only the finest blue agave plants, harvested at its peak. It is then fermented with natural yeast amid the warm breeze and citrus trees of Casa Herradura, a process entirely unique in the industry. Finally, it is bottled direct from the still at 110 proof, preserving the fresh, powerful, youthful flavor of Herradura’s beautiful tequila, a taste unchanged since 1870. The result is a crystal-clear tequila with robust notes of sweet agave, green pepper, citrus, and a hint of herbs and spice. Taken together, these notes provide a smooth, complex, and prolonged presence. A bold tequila expression for true tequila lovers.

Tequila Corralejo Blanco was established in 1775 by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. The distillery uses traditional methods of fermentation and distillation with clay ovens used to cook the agave and copper pot stills used for the distillation. The Blanco Tequila is an unaged spirit bottled directly from that copper pot still. The nose of the glass carries a mixture of honey and pepper with light herbaceous tones of agave. As I let the glass sit and return after a few minutes I notice that the honeyed tones have deepened into an aroma very similar to cane syrup. The peppery notes now carry a little citrus, and the agave remains light and enjoyable. On the palate, flavors of light herbaceous agave mingled with peppery spices and a lightly sweet honey/cane like flavorr.

Baron de Funes wines

Baron de Funes wines Grenache and Syrah play so nicely with each other, it’s no wonder they’re a great team at the table, too. Try chicken with tomatoes, olives and capers, pernil asada or your favorite sausage pizza. The Chardonnay and Macacebo with rich aromas of each varietal as white fruit (apples, pears) and the delicate tropical ones (pineapple and banana).

Peugeot Saveurs Whisky Tasting Glasses and Aromium Decanter

Peugeot Saveurs recently have released a beautiful new collection of Saveurs whisky tasting glasses (called Le Impitoyable) and Aromium decanter. The Aromium decanter is a beautiful way to serve young wines, this mouth-blown glass decanter makes a stunning addition to any tabletop. Thanks to the specially designed aerator, wine turns over as it’s poured, enhancing oxygenation and encouraging the release of aromas. The whisky glass has a specific wide shape reveals all the subtleties of whiskies to delight the palate while removing the strong, aggressive aromas associated with alcohol.

Smith Teamaker Teas

Smith Teamaker is a Portland-based, high end tea brand founded by Steven Smith. The teas here are truly robust and the blends has its own twist to the traditional blends like Earl Grey (Lord Bergamot – fragrant Ceylon Dimbulla and Uva are beautifully combined with select teas from India’s Assam valley, then scented with the flavor of bergamot). Rose City Genmaicha combines the light, nutty flavor of roasted rice with a grassy green tea Japanese Genmaicha tea and rose petal finish — all softened by sweet manuka honey. Big Hibiscus is a caffeine-free tea based on Egyptian hibiscus mixed Indian sarsaparilla, ginger and other fruity spices. Fez is a green tea herbal blend of Chinese green teas and Australian lemon myrtle. The aromas and flavors remind me of Morocco and it’s a very relaxing scent.

Magnolia Coffee

Magnolia Coffee Co is a small-batch North Carolina-based coffee roastery. Their Direct Trade and socially conscious coffee make a difference in the lives of the coffee harvesters at origin and in the local places that serve Magnolia Coffee. Proceeds from the sale of their coffee help support education, healthcare and environmental sustainability.

Their Papua New Guinea clean with balanced acidity with notes of cocoa and caramel. Lilia’s Rain is their house blend that is clean, bright with enough acidity that would make a great morning cup of coffee. The Reserve Ethipiopia coffee is a special coffee. Aromas of lavender, blueberry, rose, and raspberry with a sugary mouth-feel.

Les Trois Petits Cochons - Pâtés, sausages and charcuterie

Les Trois Petits Cochons is an award winning brand that makes all-natural pâté and charcuterie since 1975 by crafting small, handmade batches using high-quality ingredients. Les Trois Petits Cochons started out in a small shop in Greenwich Village, New York City. Today it leads the pâté and charcuterie industry, offering a complete line of artisanal pâtés, mousses, terrines, sausages, saucissons, smoked meats and other French specialties.

Greek Olive Oils and Kalamata Olives

5 Olive Oil and Stories of Greek Origins are premium Greek olive oil brands that produce fantastic olive oils to cook with or simply dress your salad lightly with them since heat could potentially change the flavors.

Fuego Box

Fuego Box is a hot sauce membership company. Subscribers of the Fuego Box receive a monthly shipment small batch and craft hot sauces and spices. This month’s box includes Bee’s Local Hot Honey, Panda Chili Oil, Laguna Salt Company Smoked Ghost, Hoff Hot Sauce, Marie Sharp’s Beware Comatose Heat Level hot sauce, and Benny T’s Vesta dry hot sauce.

Away Carry-On

For the father in your life who does travel often, the Away Carry On is a great gift. The luggage is handsome, sturdy but not too heavy, and it’s more than just a wheeled carry-on, it also charges your smartphone and tablet!

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I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.