Man does not live by bread alone. And a father, well, he needs even more, what with the middle of the night wake-ups, the tantrums, and the exploded filthy diapers. I have four children. Under the age of 10. Just this evening, my four-year old got out of bed 7 or 8 times with assorted excuses, including “My eye hurts.”
Yes, my needs are many.
Come Father’s Day, my hope is that I can slip out at the sunrise and head to the river. There I’ll rent a rowboat, and make my way onto the water still turbid from today’s rain. Cormorants and other birds will lead me to a promising spot. I’ll pitch my anchor, bait treble hook rigs, and let the heavy line from two rods sink in the Potomac. With any luck, the catfish will hit, and I’ll return to dock midday feeling like a master caster.
That’s how I want to start my day.
And I will conclude Dad Day sitting outside with a glass in hand. A special day justifies a special drink, one I know and love. The possibilities are many, but any of these would do quite nicely:
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon: I really like this whiskey. It comes in a bulbous, perfume-like bottle that shows its deep amber color. Sometimes I can handle this 90 proof drink straight up; but usually I prefer it with a single ice cube, which softens it so I can better enjoy its rich flavors. It is worth every penny of the $30 to $35 a bottle my local retailer charges.
Knob Creek Bourbon: One of my happier memories is visiting the Beam distillery on lovely September morning some years ago. I watched as the bung was popped from a barrel, and uncut Knob glugged into a trough. I scooped up a little in a paper cup and sipped it. Knob’s renown fat maple note was present but delivered by 120+ proof spirit. It was really something, and each time I taste Knob Creek I recall that experience.
Hibiki 12-Year Old Whisky: The Japanese began making Scotch-like whisky in the first half of the 20th century. They do it very well. A friend gave me a bottle of Hibiki 12 to repay me for a small kindness. What a reward. This whisky is terrific — it is loaded with subtle floral and fruit notes. It feels like honey in the mouth, and I only take it neat.
Laphroaig 10-Year Old Single Malt Scotch: They can bury me with a bottle of this stuff. I love it. Pour three fingers in a glass, and buckle up — this 86-proof whisky is not for the faint of palate. Laphroaig reeks of smoke, iodine, and seaweed, which seems fitting seeing as the distillery is right next to the Irish Sea.
El Buho Mezcal: Tequila long has garnered the limelight, but another Mexican spirit finally is getting its due. Mezcal is a remarkable spirit which is nearly as varied in flavors as single malt Scotch whiskies. El Buho is a steal for $35. The flavor is really a trip — it begins sweet then shifts to smoky and a touch salty. You don’t need ice or water because this liquor is incredibly smooth.
Any one of these distilled spirits would put a bow on my Father’s Day. Unfortunately, I so enjoy these spirits that none of them presently reside in my liquor cabinet. The District of Columbia permits Sunday sales of liquor. (Hint, hint, my dear family.)