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Sazerac Says Go Canadian for Father’s Day

As I mentioned yesterday in our Father's Day Gift Guide, one of the perennial favorite gifts for Dad is Canadian whisky. A popular spirit with a mass-market following, Canadian whisky appeals to most tastes, and is an excellent idea for Dad's who enjoy a tipple. The Sazerac company recommends two of their own brands to give, both of which have racked up their share of awards.

Although it may be an American holiday, this Father’s Day, Sazerac is encouraging gift givers to go Canadian – Canadian whisky, that is.

A category that’s on the upswing, the Canadian whisky segment has seen strong growth in the past few years as younger consumers are discovering it and realizing the category has some merit. 

And Sazerac is helping that trend with its two premium Canadian whisky offerings, Caribou Crossing, the world’s first single barrel Canadian whisky, and Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian whisky. 

Introduced in 2010, both brands have seen nice growth and distribution has expanded as a result.  “Although the Canadian whisky category as a whole remains flat, the premium and super premium category has really taken off,” said Kevin Richards, Canadian whisky brand manager at Sazerac,  

Since its introduction, Caribou Crossing has received a myriad of accolades, including most recently the Chairman’s Trophy and a “92” rating at the 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, and a “93” rating from John Hansell at Whisky Advocate.  Two years ago the Single Barrel was named “2010 Canadian Whisky of the Year” by canadianwhisky.org; it won a double gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; a gold medal and “90” rating from Tastings.com (Beverage Testing Institute); a gold medal and “90” rating at the 2010 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; a silver medal and best in class at the 2010 International Wine and Spirits Competition; and a bronze medal at the 2010 Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition. Whisky buffs can expect to taste radiantly-hued nectar with a nod to the tantalizing silky texture provided by the barrel. The rye grain cuts through the wood flavors making its spicy presence known without risking the creamy vanilla custard smoothness. The finish is oak with an orangey tang.

Royal Canadian Small Batch has its own set of hardware.  Its most recent win was a “90” rating in the 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, in addition to its gold medal and “90” rating from Tastings.com (Beverage Testing Institute); a “90” rating from Wine Enthusiast; a silver medal in the 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Spirits Competition. Royal Canadian is sweet and smoky like a Memphis BBQ. The initial sip is velvety smooth with huge flavors. There is a nutty praline sweetness that slides through the creamy rich sensations. The finish is a bold reminder that this is whiskey and the citrus-spicy conclusion just leaves you with the desire for the next notable sip.

Both brands were created by native Canadian Drew Mayville, Sazerac’s master blender.   Mayville himself hand-selects the barrel used for Caribou Crossing, choosing the most mature and flavor-rich samples available and overseeing the bottling of each individual barrel. The Royal Canadian Small Batch undergoes a similar stringent selection process under Mayville’s watchful eye.  The barrels themselves are from Sazerac’s 270,000 plus Canadian whisky barrel inventory.  

The two Canadian whiskies make ideal gifts for Father’s Day, and are at price points for discriminating budgets. The Caribou Crossing retails for $49.99 for a 750 ml and the Royal Canadian Small Batch is $19.99 for a 750 ml.

The Caribou Crossing comes in an elegant gift box, taking care of the gift wrapping for you.

Sazerac

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Gifts Spirits

Father’s Day Gift Guide – Give Your Dad the Good Stuff

Fathers_dayYou know what your Dad really wants for Father's Day: booze! He doesn't need another necktie or a pair of slippers or whichever 1950's cliche you choose to bestow. Liquor is the gift that is never turned down. Because even if it's not your brand, even if it's not your spirit, it's still alcohol.

Here are some suggestions for bottles to give, in each of the major categories.

  • Rum: Appleton Estate Extra ($28) – One of the all-time great spirits, and one of my favorite rums. It's hard to go wrong with this one. It's good to sip on its own, and brilliant in cocktails. Every dad who enjoys a drink should have a bottle of this rum.
  • Bourbon Whiskey: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon – There are so many great bourbons, this is a category where the choices are virtually endless. I'm recommending the Four Roses Small Batch because it's reasonably priced and of very high quality. If you'd rather go up a step, you can get the Four Roses Single Barrel ($40), which we reviewed recently. Or if you're trying to save a little, you can give the Four Roses Yellow Label ($17). They're all good.
  • Irish Whiskey: Bushmills Black Bush ($30) - The ultimate in blended Irish whiskey, Black Bush is a spirit for all seasons. Great flavor, great balance, great whiskey.
  • Rye Whiskey: Wild Turkey Rye 81 ($20) – There are several excellent brands of rye that I could recommend, but Wild Turkey is a straight-ahead, good-tasting rye whiskey that is easy to find. If you see the 101 Proof version, buy that instead. (The higher-proof version has gotten much harder to find.)
  • Canadian Whisky: Canadian Club Classic 12 Year ($16) – Canadian whisky is often gifted for Father's Day, and for good reason. It tastes good, there's nothing extreme or esoteric about it, and it's very affordable. The Canadian Club Classic is a perfect example of that.
  • Gin: Tanqueray ($17) – Gin is a beautiful spirit: classic, elegant and refined. There are many different brands on the market, a lot of which I like. But I keep coming back to Tanqueray –pure distilled magic in a bottle.
  • Vodka: Stolichnaya Elit ($50) – Maybe your Dad is a man of refined, but simple tastes. In that case, give him a bottle of one of the best vodkas in the world. Yes, it's expensive. If you don't want to spend that much, you could give Stolichnaya Gold ($30, 1L) instead. Even the basic Stolichnaya  ($17) label is top-notch stuff.
  • Tequila: Avión Silver ($39) – This is my favorite blanco tequila, as revealed in our tequila taste test a while back. It's one of the few silver tequilas that you can enthusiastically drink neat, and it also makes a killer Margarita.
  • Scotch: The Balvenie DoubleWood ($44) – A lot of people immediately think "single malt Scotch" when they're planning to give a gift. I try to steer people in other directions, since Scotch drinkers tend to be picky about their brands. However, if you're committed to giving Scotch, this is an excellent choice.
  • Brandy: Pierre Ferrand Ambre 10 Year Cognac ($39) – The Pierre Ferrand company has been making a lot of noise the last couple of years by introducing excellent new products to the market, and this is one of them. A fine brandy that's better than most of what you'll find from the better-known producers.
  • Liqueur: Cointreau ($35) – Perhaps the finest orange liqueur in the world, it's absolutely essential for making cocktails. A lot of people avoid buying it, though, because it's expensive. That makes it a perfect gift. The difference between Cointreau and cheap triple sec in a Margarita or Sidecar is akin to the difference between chicken salad and chicken…

Happy Father's Day!