Five Great Whiskeys for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and while all the magazines are telling you that America’s moms just want breakfast in bed and a bottle of perfume, the odds are good a lot of them would actually prefer a stiff drink. Women are drinking more whiskey than ever before, and perhaps that even includes your mom (or the mother of your kids).

If that’s true, here are a few suggestions for something special to give her this Mother’s Day.

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Photo by Margarett Waterbury. Image copyright The Whiskey Wash.

Hakushu 12-Year-Old

Japanese whisky is having a serious moment, and Hakushu 12-Year-Old from Suntory is a perfect example of why it’s so popular. Powerful yet elegant, this is a whisky that can surprise even the most seasoned single malt drinker. It can be a little tricky to find, but hey, mom’s worth it.

Barrell Bourbon

If your mom’s a bourbon drinker, why not branch out with a bottle from Barrel Craft Spirits, an independent bottler that manages to get their hands on some very unusual aged whiskeys. Their numbered releases (they’re up to Barrell Bourbon 011 now) are all uniformly excellent.

Koval Four Grain

Koval Distillery in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the nation’s leading craft distilleries. Inspired by the distilling traditions of central Europe, they use brandy stills to make clean, crisp, aromatic whiskeys from unusual grains, including their Four Grain release that combines barley, wheat, and rye with oats.

Mortlach 12-Year-Old

If you’re shopping for a woman who knows her Scotch, Mortlach 12-Year-Old offers the perfect combination of craveable sherry cask flavor and geeky trivia. (Did you know Mortlach is one of the only Scotch distilleries to still use a worm tub, and that their “byzantine distillation system” results in a whiskey distilled 2.81 times?) A recent rebranding by parent company Diageo also means the bottle looks sharp, too.

Basil Hayden

In the Jim Beam small batch portfolio, Booker’s is on one end—big, brash, bold, uncut—and Basil Hayden’s is on the other. Smooth, sweet, soft, and easy-going, this is a great bourbon for somebody just getting to know the category. Yet it’s no pushover—this is real bourbon from one of the best American bourbon distilleries.

About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a food and drinks writer based in Portland, Oregon. She's the managing editor of The Whiskey Wash, the managing editor of Edible Portland, and a regular contributor to local and national publications.