Irish whiskey, or socks, for Father’s Day?

Date:15 June 2022 Tags:, , , ,
/ By Rowan Leibbrandt, founding partner of Truman & Orange, premium liquor distributors /

Once a year a day comes to pass that celebrates a hero who walks among us – dad. As a father, I’m deeply touched by the outpouring of affection and gratefulness on Father’s Day for all that I do for my family.

This day acknowledges what we contribute to our families – we provide, nurture, advise, and lead – and for the briefest moment the world pretends we’re more important than that other parent … the one who we all know does most of the heavy lifting. Be that as it may, I’m not about to squander the opportunity that this single fleeting day offers, to make a heartfelt request…

I have nothing against the manufacturers of socks, or people who work for companies that make loud knitted sweaters, or even pre-school pottery teachers. (This being the motley crew who look forward gleefully to that once a year bonanza when their services are in particular high demand.) On behalf of all men, I’d like to sincerely thank our families for the obscure selection of gifts (deeply appreciated but inevitably infrequently used, and sometimes frankly quite surprising) with which we are earnestly presented by slipper-wearing toddlers and coffee-carrying wives on our special Sunday in June. The socks, ‘Best Dad’ mugs, the range of made-at-school pottery items, and crayon-drawn cards are all highly valued, but this year I’d like to ask that we broaden the net a little and possibly consider a few other things that I guarantee will convey your appreciation and love to any dad who receives them.

Please, maybe in addition to the usual gifts, buy us a bottle of special something. Disclaimer: I’m in the drinks business … but I’m also a father and have a circle of friends who are fathers (one of whom is forced to wear the green and red knitted sweater he got on a previous Father’s Day), so I can say with a high degree of confidence that I speak on behalf of most dads out there: We love a drink at the end of a long day, or over the weekend, whisky in particular – in my case, Irish whiskey. Few things say ‘Dad, we love you and appreciate the sophisticated palette you have’ better than a bottle of Irish whiskey.

Now, it has hasn’t escaped me that mums sometimes know as much about Irish whiskey as dads do about facial creams. So in the spirit of being helpful, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling together a cheat sheet of interesting Irish whiskies for you:

Jameson’s Whiskey: So everyone knows this granddaddy of Irish Whiskies. It has a light floral nose, and lovely spicy, nutty and vanilla tones on the palate. It generally goes for just under R400, and I can assure you dad will enjoy a bottle.

Tommy Ballard’s Irish Whiskey: This is a classic in the Irish whiskey realm. It’s exceptionally smooth, with a delicate vanilla nose, sweet mellow character and long, pleasant finish. Tommy can be found for around R250. Add a ribbon and a card, and don’t be surprised if dad’s eyes well up a little when he gets it.

Sexton’s Irish Whiskey: A blended malt, so a slightly different animal to the blended whiskies mentioned above. It has rich aromas of nuts, marzipan and dark chocolate. Expect dried fruit and honeycomb sweetness in the mouth, and a lovely woody finish. At just over R500, this option might be suitable for the mum who wants to say a special thank-you to dad (because, for example, he remembered to wipe the counter two weeks ago after making toast).

And finally, there’s something new and a little different that I’ve come across called Shanky’s Whip (and, coincidentally, it’s my personal preference if anyone in my family happens to be reading this). Shanky’s goes for about R380 a bottle; it’s a blend of Black Irish Whiskey and sweet natural flavours that I’m confident will say ‘Dad, we love you’ extremely effectively. Buy us a bottle of Shanky’s on Father’s Day and we’ll likely commit to paying your university fees when the time comes.

Priced at R395, Shanky’s Whip is available at most leading bottle stores, or online at


Photography: Courtesy images
Popular Mechanics advocates responsible drinking; alcohol should not be consumed by people under the age of 18.

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