Top Shelf Treasures for Toasting Dad

Our Libation Correspondent on a gift guide of the very things that might bring joy to the old man on Father's Day.

Top Shelf Treasures for Toasting Dad

Father’s Day is on the 16th of June and realistically, you aren’t going to be prepared are you, dear rakish reader, until the 14th of June, at the very earliest. For your convenience and for my entertainment, I have put together a list of the very things I believe might bring joy to the old man on this special day. Not that I know him, or do I? 

Robert F. Kennedy with his children outside his Virginia home. Getty Images.
In his Tornado, Walter Shirra watches his 16-year-old son, Walter Marty III, polishing his Maserati 3500. Getty Images.
Rudolf Lange with his children; a 2-year old Walter Lange on the far right, 1926. Getty Images.


Memberships are great because the hardest part of the gift is getting the printer to work. Here are a few libations-related clubs I’d love to bump into your father at:

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 

Like Hogwarts but for the wizardry of whisky, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is a very exciting club to be part of. Your father will gain exclusive access to an enormous range of single cask drams at deliciously rich cask strength. And not only that! They say loneliness is a hidden killer but with clubs like these they are set up for meeting like-minded individuals. What I really love about the whisky is the names and descriptors. They are so quirkily accurate and fun. Take for example the bottle I have in front of me, ‘New Car in a Pear Tree,’ once you read that, along with the joyous description beneath, it adds a whole new element of enjoyment and depth to the drink. The main home of the SMWS is at The Vaults in Leith in Edinburgh and while they have a handful of bars in Scotland, they have a presence worldwide including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the US. Each branch releases regular batches of new whiskies throughout the year and hosts events for members and non-members.

A gift membership which includes a bottle of whisky is £100 and you can find more gifts and ideas on the website:

67 Pall Mall

I have never felt so at home in a club as I do in 67 Pall Mall in the heart of Mayfair. It is so welcoming and the epitome of everything I love about the wine industry, the joy of sharing. The number of times I have seen people scouring the room looking for a friendly face to witness the incredible wine they have just had the pleasure of opening. It is what we are all about here at The Rake really, hedonism. Not only do they have a ‘By the Glass’ list that boast over 800 wines, there is also the freedom to keep your own cellar beneath the club. 67 Pall Mall has really stretched its wings over the last few years. There are now clubs in Singapore, Verbier, Beaune and Bordeaux as well as the original London club.

Annual membership starts at £2,500. To enquire and to find out more information, visit

Marlo Wine Club

Technically not a club, more of a subscription, but sometimes there’s nothing better than great wine in great company and by that, I mean a bottle of La Lagune with the dog. Marlo has an incredible portfolio and they’re just really good at what they do. With the Marlo Club there is a delivery every 30 days of 3 to 4 bottles, all with tasting cards, food pairing suggestions and recipes too.

It is £89.99 and one of the finest ways to learn about wine. Visit for more information. 

A bottle or two

It has become a bit of a tradition to buy ones Father something strong on this annual day of thanks. Whisky is definitely top of the mind for most but I’m also very aware that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So, while I have included many a fine dram in the following list, there is also some wine and a few other ideas should your dad not be libation-inclined at all.  

Orkney 2012
11 year old Single Malts of Scotland Reserve Casks, Parcel 11

The tip off of the century, if there is still some left on The Whisky Exchange by the time you are reading this, buy it and don’t tell anyone else. Rumour has it (according to those in the know) that, ‘It’s Highland Park like they used to make it.’ And if that doesn’t make it sound like you know a thing or two about whisky then I don’t know what will.

£63.25 on The Whisky Exchange


The trick here is that Glenfiddich is a well-known brand… But these two expressions really aren’t so well known so you gain massive rarity points. There are two options, and the consistent (and fun) theme is personalisation which is available from Selfridges. It will not seem so last minute when it says ‘William’ on the front now will it? The first slightly more affordable option is the Glenfiddich 23-year-old Grand Cru. It has seen American, European and even French cuvée casks and maybe it was this final touch that lured me in. It’s really the close link of buttery Burgundy meets buttery whisky that has me hooked. If your Father has been Fathering like a good’un then may I suggest you take things a step further and look to the 29 year old Grand Yozakura. This unique blend has been finished in exceptionally rare Japanese ex-awamori casks. Awamori is the oldest distilled alcoholic spirit in Japan. It’s a coming together of two spirits with a heritage that existed long before they even came up with the idea of Father’s Day. 

Glenfiddich 23 year old Grand Cru £270; Glenfiddich 29 year old Grand Yozkura £1,500. Both available with personalisation from The Whisky Shop.

The Balvenie 12 year old DoubleWood

This DoubleWood Balvenie has a got itself a bit of a reputation for being a ‘beginners’ whisky but I prefer to regard it as more of a staple for every great whisky cabinet. Sometimes we just want something reliably enjoyable, like a great Dad. This is that. 

It is available from The Whisky Shop, £49. 

2017 Beaune Blanc, Clos des Mouches, 1er Cru, Domaine Chanson, Burgundy

A Beaune, a blanc, from Clos de Mouches. Tick tick tick. What won’t he like about it? The price maybe, but he isn’t paying so crack on.

£60 and available from

Rioja Gran Reserva, 904, La Rioja Alta

Being in the trade, I get sent quite a lot of wine and after sampling I often pass it on to friends and family. Rioja seems to always get the best feedback. Perhaps it is the familiarity but I do think there is something exceptionally special about a very good bottle of the stuff. My favourite producer is La Rioja Alta and the 904 is something else. It could be the age of the vines that makes this wine pure concentrated joy or something they do in the winery, I’m not sure, but it’s magic! The Tempranillo comes from vines in Brinas, Labastia and Villalbe that are all in their 60s. Then there is a balancing 10% of Graciano from Montecillo. It is very ready to drink now but can easily go for another ten years should you be feeling generous and buy a case.

£83.50 from Fortnum’s

Champagne PIAFF Blanc de Blancs x The Sock Company

It’s funny how worlds collide. One of those worlds is a fine pair of socks and a wine collector. I’d put money on there being a direct link between those who have serious cellars and those who have distinguished foot garments. Champagne PIAFF have collaborated with The Sock Company to offer a pair with every bottle, which is rather fun, in a matching blue to the brand. I love the idea!

For £75 you can have Father’s Day absolutely nailed. Visit for more. 

Hattingley Valley, Kings Cuvée, 2015

Hattingley Valley have to be one of my favourite English producers but the list is ever expanding, what an exciting time for English wine. The Kings Cuvée 2015 vintage is a bit of a happy accident, which you could be too, making it the perfect gift for Father’s Day.

It is £85 and available from

Cow Juice Vodka, Diddly Squat Farm

Vodka is a freezer staple in our household (for martinis) and although I wouldn’t put my Dad down as a vodka drinker, when I have bought it for him he has enjoyed it immensely. The Diddly Squat Farm Vodka is really a bit of fun and a nod to the enjoyable Clarkson’s Farm series that has done so much good for British farming. It’s good vodka but it’s also a great conversation piece.

Available from for £39.

Hendricks Gin

Another staple for the freezer and as reliably brilliant as it has always been, £32 and available from a number of retailers including Waitrose and Majestic Wines. 

Libations aside, should you be looking for something a little different why not look into a sporting experience? Sportfish offers tailored fly-fishing days in Reading and Purdey have an incredible shooting school at The Royal Berkshire. Shotguns can be forgotten about in the summer months but it can be very useful come the winter to have got some clays in the bag. Equally, there is no better stress relief than a day on a river.

Arthur and Will Chalker photographed by Kalle Gustafsson with fashion direction by Jo Grzeszczuk for Issue 52 of The Rake.
Arthur and Will Chalker photographed by Kalle Gustafsson with fashion direction by Jo Grzeszczuk for Issue 52 of The Rake.