The AU’s Father’s Day drinks guide 2020: Spirits, Wines, and Beers

The pandemic may have shut down more than a few 2020 plans, but that doesn’t mean some of Australia’s finest distilleries, breweries and wineries have stopped pushing their liquid gold onto shelves around the country. We’re willing to bet that dad is going to need a good drink or two come Father’s Day, at least serving as some kind of distraction from whatever this year is.

Below, we’ve listed some of the best new releases or newly curated collections to shift through when looking for the perfect Father’s Day drink, from Lark Distillery’s first ever blended malt whisky, and a new berry-infused gin, to fine wines from Aussie legends and even a few non-alcoholic options.

Spirits & Liqueurs

Lark Distillery’s Symphony No.1

This history-making new release is Lark Distillery’s first ever blended malt whisky. In a nod to the harmonious blend of single malts across Lark’s numerous distilleries, it has been slapped with the label “Symphony No.1” and represents a big step forward for the acclaimed Tasmanian distillery. With great character, its a session-worthy journey that starts with pineapple and tropical fruit, sandwiches by a nose of fresh mango, orange vanilla and tangerines,, and a back-palate of peach and apricot before finishing with the unmistakable tang of sweet Tasmanian apples dipped in toffee.

Lark is also hosting a $250 ticketed digital Steak & Whisky event on Sunday 13th September, so if dad is looking to get hands-on with a super premium virtual dining experience grab him one of the distillery’s Steak & Whisky packs. They’ll deliver a 500ml bottle of Symphony No.1 straight to the home, as well as a high-end Cape Grim scotch fillet steak (vac-packed and refrigerated) and a few extras needed to smoke the steak to perfection, including Tasmanian highland peat from Lark’s own peat bog, and woodchips cut from Lark’s own ex-whisky casks. It’ll be open for nationwide delivery so as long as dad is based in Australia, he can tune into the event, which will be led by Bill Lark himself alongside Head Distiller Chris Thomson, and Australian Test Cricketer and Captain Tim Paine.

The digital event will be hosted via Lark’s Facebook page at 6:30pm AEST.

RRP: A$139 for No.1 Symphony / A$250 for the Steak & Whisky pack
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Bombay Bramble

Bombay Sapphire has moved away from its renowned blue sheen and opted for a crimson profile of natural blackberries and raspberries with “Bombay Bramble”. The newly released gin takes inspiration from the classic Bramble cocktail, featuring a 100% natural rich fruit infusion with no added sugar and a signature that works exceptionally well in a variety of cocktails. It’s the first flavoured, distilled gin from the legendary brand, aiming to capture the essence of the fruits when they are most ripe, giving a different angle to the drink’s botanical and juniper notes.

RRP: A$66
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Scapegrace Black Gin

Featuring 12 botanicals, “Scapegrace Black” is the newest release from the highly regarded New Zealand distillery, coming at you with water straight from the country’s bountiful Southern Alps. A collection of natural extracts have given the gin its deep, inky black colour, which takes on red and purple hues when it’s mixed with certain tonics. The unique profile of botanicals give the gin an energetic and distinctive profile, elevated by the likes of aronia berry, saffron, pineapple, butterfly pea and sweet potato. Each of the extracts is distilled at precise temperatures in a defined sequence in order to create the unique colour spectrum of black.

RRP: A$90
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Martell Blue Swift

If dad wants to rock with the classics this Father’s Day, pick him up something a bit different with the “Martell Blue Swift”. This special spirit drink is made of 100% Cognac VSOP finished in Kentucky Bourbon casks, giving off a very unique and refined character, defined by the delicate notes of candied fruit and plum blended with the sweetness of vanilla and toasted oak. It’s a smooth interpretation of the classic Martell style, which should appeal greatly to whisky and cognac lovers. If dad’s looking for something unique, he’ll definitely want what is the first spirit of its kind.

RRP: A$110
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The Glen Grant Arboralis

If dad’s always found with a dram in hand, he’s going to need something classy and sophisticated to distract him from 2020. Go for The Glen Grant with the legendary Speyside distillery’s latest Arboralis, a liquid gold single malt scotch whisky inspired by nature and created to celebrate Glen Grant’s landmark 180-year history. The expression has been aged in former bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks, sheltered by tall, ancient trees which line the Victorian gardens the The Glen Grant Distillery. This translates to a profile full of creamy toffee and ripe pears, presenting a highly sessionable whisky that’ll win any discerning whisky lover over this dad day.

RRP: A$60
More info: Dan Murphys

Mr Black’s ST. ALi Collaboration

Everyone’s favourite coffee liqueur has been elevated with a limited edition collaboration between NSW roaster and distiller Mr Black and Melbourne’s beloved ST. ALi. They’ve taken this one to Peru with a special Single Origin Coffee Liqueur that uses El Diamante’ coffee sourced from a single farm in the Cajamarca region. The beans were roasted and then blended with Peruvian Cold Brew Coffee with Australian wheat vodka and a little sugar to give this its unique signature, which starts with honeydew melon and red currant fruit on the nose, moves onto biscotti at the front of the palate, and ends with a finish of honeybomb and milk chocolate. If dad’s a coffee lover and wants to try something a bit different, fetch him this.

RRP: A$70
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Grant Burge Annual Vintage Release

If dad loves his wines, and you want to get him something special this Father’s Day, then look no further than legendary Barossa Valley winery Grant Burge. The stalwart wine label has just released its annual vintage collection, which features eight premium red wines ranging from the deep, dark and dense Grant Burge Filsell 2018 to the super premium Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz 2016, which walks the wine across the palate with an irresistible element of coffee-cream.

In a nod to the Father’s Day rush, the wine label has also teamed with Australia handcrafted leather goods company Status Anxiety, offering consumers a luxury wallet or watch with any Grant Burge red wine purchase – spend $60, get a $50 Status Anxiety wallet; spend $200, get a $180 Status Anxiety watch. Note that the offer is exclusive to Dan Murphy.

RRP: From A$48
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St Hugo’s Fine & Rare Collection

Storied Barossa Valley winery St Hugo’s has made it a bit easier for those trying to pick the best out of their collection for Father’s Day. Chief Winemaker Peter Munro has curated a bunch of vintages from 1998, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and opened them up for online delivery, widening the range of back vintage classics for dad to get around, with accessible price points from $70 to $170.

RRP: From A$70
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Tussock Jumper Wines

If you know dad is going to want to take his taste buds on a big of a trip, look to Tussock Jumper. The premium wine brand sources from the finest regions the world over, sporting a collection of drops that represent Italy, Spain and the South of France, before coming back around and dipping into a few Australian favourites. All of the wines in the range are produced and bottled exactly where the grapes are grown, so the added sense of place is there, for wines that start from as little as $16.

RRP: From A$16
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Hardy’s Char No.3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Dad a Cab Sauv kind of guy. Particularly valuable for his next BBQ session, the newly released Hardys Char No.3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a heaven-sent pairing for barbecued steak or grilled lamb, waving the flag high for McLaren Vale with its notes of red currants and plum with a good measure of thyme and spice sitting under aromas of blackcurrant and lifted notes of milk chocolate and mocha.

RRP: A$26
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Angove Organic Wine

Australia’s largest Certified Organic Vineyard, Angove Family Winemakers out in McLaren Vale, should be your go-to if you’re looking to grab dad some great tasting biodynamic and organic wines this year. And the unconventional story behind the collection is an added bonus; Angove use Indian Runner Ducks to replace the use of herbicides, fungicides or pesticides when it comes to wrestling pesky snails away from from the young shoots on which they usually feed (which if left unabated, contaminates the grape harvest). So you have ducks to thank when dad is fussing over those bottles of organic shiraz.

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BrewDog’s DogKeeper Package

Brisbane’s BrewDog now has its online store up and running, and to celebrate their first headliner beers brewed on Australia soil, a special “DogKeeper” package has been launched. Available on BrewDog’s newly launched online store, with national delivery, the package includes the full Aussie-brewed headliner range and a special Subwoofer IPA. And it sits on the store amongst other essentials from the internationally renowned Scottish beer champs, including the showstopping lineup of Punk IPA, BrewDog Pale Ale, Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice. Better yet, all four are available in an Aussie Mix package which is perfect for Father’s Day.

RRP: A$25 (JobKeeper package) / A$58 (Aussie Mixed Pack)
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Colonial Brewing Co x TaylorMade

WA-born craft brewery Colonial Brewing Co. has teamed up with international golf company TaylorMade to release an exclusive, limited-edition lager, brewed with Australian pale and crystal malt. The simple, ultra-sessionable profile should be ideal for the dad looking for something light and balanced. You can only pick this one up at various retailers and TaylorMade stockists though so click through to the link below to find the full list of retailers.

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MOJO Kombucha

If you know dad’s going to want some kind of refreshing gift, but he isn’t that much of a drinker. You might as well go for the health-conscious, gut-friendly option and buy a bunch of kombucha. MOJO is one of the most readily available and reliable brands you’ll find, and they’ve also just released a variety of ‘Gut Shots’ so dad can have some quick probiotic fixes while he works from home. Or they can be added to smoothies and blended with juices.

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Nexba Sodas

If dad likes to idea of probiotic drinks but can’t quite get into kombucha, turn your attention to Nexba which has just launched a new range of probiotic sodas. This includes 100% naturally sugar-free flavours Cherry Cola and Pineapple, expanding the growing healthy-drinks category out to profiles often associated with the less healthy sodas on the shelf.

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Seven Miles’ Bear and The Beard

Not only is the new Bear and The Bread coffee from Aussie coffee roasters Seven Miles delicious, but it’s born from a collaboration with Bear Cottage children’s hospice, which is dedicated to caring for children with life-limiting illnesses. For every kilo of this extra special coffee sold, $1 will be going directly to this cause, so if dad wants to his gift to have a larger footprint, grab him this new medium-roast blend of Latin American (Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru) and Indonesian coffee. It’s got a long syrupy body brimming with rich dark chocolate, maple syrup and hazelnut praline, so if dad likes flavour-rich coffee then this a shoe-in.

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.