The One Thing I Get My Dad Every Father's Day

No, it's not a mug and, yes, it's something he actually uses every day.

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June 04, 2019
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Photo by: Photo courtesy of Hillrock Estate Distillery

Photo courtesy of Hillrock Estate Distillery

Shopping for my dad has always been somewhat of a challenge, particularly on Father's Day. He's retired, so ties are a no-go. When my parents downsized from my childhood home, my mom Konmari-ed everything, so we are under the highest authority to not add more clutter (don't even think about a "No. 1 Dad" mug).

For a while my sister, mom and I would brainstorm elaborate gifts. A dehydrator so he can preserve the veg from his garden! A GoPro because he's an avid outdoorsman! But he really didn't want any of those things and our good intentions led to the clutter pileup that my mom had been dreading.

After striking out a few times, we took a cue from my brother-in-law, who brought my dad a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label when he his was asking for my dad's blessing to marry my sister. Genius! My dad isn't a party animal by any means, but after dinner he likes to wind down with a glass of whiskey. (Retirement goals, I know.) He normally buys himself a bottle of moderately priced Scotch, but really enjoys the good stuff when he has it. So, we followed suit and it's been a huge success every time.

We started out gifting him the classics (like Makers Mark, Jameson, Whistle Pig) but then began branching out, mostly trying local whiskey from the New York region.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Hillrock Estate Distillery

Photo courtesy of Hillrock Estate Distillery

This year we went with the single malt from Hillrock Estate Distillery, a "field to glass" whiskey producer in the Hudson Valley that grows the barley that they're malting and distilling on site.

Hillrock Estate Distillery

Hillrock Estate Distillery

©Photo courtesy of Hillrock Estate Distillery

Photo courtesy of Hillrock Estate Distillery

The best part? Because the distillery is local we were able to schedule a tasting and take a tour of the gorgeous facility and grounds of the estate, which costs $20 per person, and my dad was able to pick out his favorite from the range varieties that they have. (Heads up: Save the directions or print them out because service is a little spotty out there.)

We made everyone happy with this pick: a family outing in a beautiful setting on a sunny spring day, my dad gets to sip on something a little more refined than his standard evening drink, and my mom doesn't have to worry about the present becoming basement clutter.

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