Food & Spirits:
Help Dad relax, unwind and enjoy this Father's Day with a luxe libation. Whether he's a wine or liquor aficionado or simply appreciates a tasty cocktail on occasion, I've found some splendid spirits that will not disappoint.
VooDoo Tiki Private Family Reserve Collection Tequila - $1,099
Nothing exudes luxury like exclusivity, which is why this private reserve tequila - available to just 1,000 lucky collectors each year - ranks among the most coveted...and certainly the most interesting. This Super-Premium 100% Blue Agave white tequila, aged a minimum of three years, is as stylish as it is succulent, with packaging more fun and fabulous than most I've seen in the category.
The adventure begins with a handcrafted wooden Tiki box that is an exact replica of an original Voodoo Tiki. Upon opening this artisan hand-carved vessel, which stands nearly two feet high and weighs over nine pounds, you'll find four festive multi-colored, Tiki-shaped shot glasses flanking an elegant 1-liter bottle of VooDoo Tiki's famed Colección privada de la Familia Anejo. All of this fabulous glassware is actually backlit by battery-powered lights embedded in the packing, adding an unexpected and impressive "wow factor" for the lucky recipient.
The tall and slender bottle is a breathtaking work of art unto itself. Designed and produced by Alehandro Nuramo, each exquisite hand blown bottle - made from authentic Mexican bubble glass - features an internal hand blown glass tiki and a lovely etched label that is truly unique - no two bottles are identical. Each is numbered and hand signed for authenticity, and also uniquely inscribed with a "magic word," such as "Inspiration," "Courage," "Devotion" and "Harmony," which adds to the elixir's mystique. Company lore suggests that gifting one of these special bottles will actually double the effect of the magic word for the recipient. A lofty legend indeed. The natural wood top cork is sealed with hand-dipped wax.
VooDoo Tikie's famed Colección privada de la Familia Anejo is a grand gift for fun-loving Dads - tequila traditionalists, connoisseurs and occasional yet discriminating partakers alike. (www.VooDooTiki.com/reserve.html)
Laphroaig 25-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky - $500
Ardmore 30-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky - $450
For the discerning dad who covets single malt scotch whiskies and appreciates exclusivity, the Laphroaig 25-Year Old and Ardmore 30-Year Old are exceptional gifts. Even the most hardened whiskey aficionado will quickly recognize the outstanding quality of these single malt selections, and the value these limited edition liquid assets add to their liquor portfolios.
Professed as the world's most richly flavored whiskey, Laphroaig 25-Year Old recently made its debut in the American market. This shimmering gold liquid boasts one of the world's most distinctive, multi-dimensional flavors Dad would not soon forget. Aged in Oloroso Sherry and American Oak casks, the result is a bold peat flavor with a hint of sweet sherry and rich oak as well as a smooth, creamy mouth feel. The finish, slightly dry with a touch of peat, is thankfully long and enduring. Laphroaig 25-Year Old was bottled in 2008 at cask strength (51.2% ABV) - add even just a drop of water and a multi-sensory adventure unfolds.
A traditional Scottish Highland whiskey, Ardmore 30-Year Old has been created from the only Highland distillery that has consistently peated its barley from the start. The flavors of this luxe liquor are bold, smoky and complex due, in large part, to the aging process in former bourbon barrels and handmade quarter casks. Bright gold in color and entirely full bodied, the nose exudes various floral and citrus tones while the palate experiences various degrees of peat depending on how much water is added. The finish is dry and long-lasting. With only 1,428 individually numbered bottles having been produced, Ardmore 30-Year Old is a spirited investment indeed.
Produced by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., a global leader in premium spirits behind many well-known brands including Jim Beam, Sauza, and Canadian Club, Laphroaig 25-Year Old and Ardmore 30-Year Old are a welcome addition to their family...and yours. (www.laphroaig.com) (www.ardmorewhiskey.com)
Glenlivet XXV Scotch Whisky - $350
Made from a 1980 vintage selection, Glenlivet XXV is the oldest addition to Glenlivet's permanent portfolio of extraordinary single malt scotch whiskies. To ensure perfection, no less than four expert whisky-makers signed off on every aspect of The Glenlivet XXV before and during production.
This fine spirit is aged in traditional oak casks and then finished in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks for a minimum of two years, giving it an intense and complex Earthy flavor complimented by hits of fruit in both the nose and on the palate. Indeed, subtly sweet tastes of cinnamon, ginger, dark chocolate and orange peel lurk amid scents of spice, sandalwood and cedar. The dry, fiery finish transitions to a delightfully sweet ending. An excellent gift for any whisky collector, each bottle is batch numbered and packaged in a handsome wooden box.
Having earned its place among The Glenlivet's range of extraordinary single malts, The Glenlivet XXV -the result of a quarter of a century of craftsmanship - is a wise addition to any whisky lover's collection. (www.theglenlivet.com/XXV)
Tres Generaciones Tequila - $46-$50
On a budget? No problem! You can still impart a little fiesta spirit this Father's Day by gifting one or all three of the new triple-distilled, super premium Tres Generaciones tequilas from the Sauza Tequila family, which boasts a rich tequila-making heritage dating back to 1873. Now adorned in distinctive new packaging, Tres Generaciones Plata (silver), Tres Generaciones Reposado (gold) and Tres Generaciones Añejo (bronze) 80-proof tequilas are 100 percent estate-grown, hand-picked Blue Weber Agave cultivated in Jalisco, Mexico.
But, don't let the modest price point fool you. The three expressions have been described by tequila connoisseurs as exceptionally smooth, clean and light to a degree that rivals other higher priced brands on the market. The un-aged Plata is a crystal-clear tequila with hints of citrus and a lingering white pepper finish, while the Reposado, aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months, has a bright gold color with woodsy, peppery, spiced flavors. The top-of-the line Añejo has an amber hue drawn from 12 months in charred American Oak barrels, giving it a subtle yet multi-faceted flavor that combines smoky wood with a hint of caramel and vanilla.
The thoughtfully designed bottles are a definite keepsake Dad will cherish long after the tequila has been enjoyed. (www.tresgeneraciones.com)
Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka - $30
Shaken, stirred, on the rocks or straight up, Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka's smooth, clean taste shines through. And, socially conscious cocktail connoisseurs can take heart in knowing this handcrafted vodka, made from 100% locally harvested organic winter wheat and "pristine" Idaho water, adheres to environmentally sound farming and sustainable agriculture practices without chemical pesticides, harsh fertilizers or chemical additives. The result is a lively, crisp and slightly spicy vodka that is decidedly pure, refreshing and Earth friendly.
Also USDA-certified organic beverage and quality assured as kosher, Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka is the Beverage Testing Institute's highest rated Certified Organic vodka across all price points, both domestically and abroad. Help Dad not just think green, but also drink green, with Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka. (www.blueicevodka.com)
The Sopranos DOCG Chianti and Pinot Grigio - $14.99-$16.99
Invite the "family" over and pop open a tasty Chianti or Pinot Grigio from The Sopranos line of Italian wines inspired by the hit HBO series. Originally introduced in New York City and select metropolitan markets in 2008, demand for this line of novelty wine is intensifying. The creation of these wines comes from a partnership between the Vesuvio Import Company, named after the fictional restaurant from the television series, and Duggan's Distillers, which has been importing and distributing all types of fine wine since 1946.
The Sopranos DOCG Chianti, one of three Chianti's in the line, is a 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot blend, 30% of which aged six months in French barrique. The wine is a decadent, full bodied ruby red in color. A fruity nose, soft tannins on the palate and a balanced texture make this vino a perfect accompaniment to pasta and meat dishes.
While reds dominate The Sopranos Wines line, they have also introduced the equally assertive Pinot Grigio Friuli Doc Grave, which delivers a strong crisp punch to the taste buds. Fuller and richer than a traditional Pinot Grigio, The Sopranos 100% Pinot Grigio Friuli Doc Grave is a great balance of sweetness - exuding tastes and scents of traditional and tropical fruits - and acidity. This wine pairs superbly with veal or chicken piccata, grilled seafood or oysters on the half shell with horseradish-infused cocktail sauce. (http://www.bevig.com)
The Luxe List product, service and travel review editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating "musts." Product submissions accepted via e-mail at Merilee@JustLuxe.com.
- Merilee Kern
JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor