Monday, 29 April 2013

Spirit gifts for Fathers' Day

I've never been big on Fathers' Day. My mother always insisted - quite correctly, I find - that it is a concoction by a greetings card company and not the deeply-held tradition that Mothers' Day is. Also I haven't had a father since 1984, so it didn't touch me much until my daughter was born.

Many people don't actually mind about the day's origins and would like to get their dads something nice for it. This is why I've been delighted to have the Alexander and James website drawn to my attention. The principle is simple: you verify your age, you order spirit drinks and accessories and it arrives. So far, so admirable e-commerce but mundane.

Premium spirits

I tried the service ordering a 14-year-old single malt (Oban, for what it's worth). This you can get in supermarkets, but you can also source premium, several-hundred-quid tipples. The Johnnie Walker on the left will set you back £475.99, for example.

There would be little point in my spending that much on a bottle of whisky even if I could afford it; I wouldn't know what I was looking for or what I was buying. My £40-odd Oban single malt will do me nicely but if you're feeling flush and your dad's a real connaisseur then this is a good site not just for whiskies but for premium vodkas, gins, rums and of course cocktail accessories.

What I certainly had was a surprise with the speed at which my bottle arrived (two days, never mind the fact that it's not going to be opened for a while, it's one of my favourites) and the packaging. I didn't specify anything fancy but it came well padded (of course) and in Alexander and James' own box, which would be quite good enough to wrap and present as a gift box.

Overall an excellent service with a system that recommends other drinks of similar character so it's a place to explore a little next time you're buying.

Of course LifeOver35 advocates responsible drinking, both for health reasons and social elements - you don't want to drive after touching a single unit, frankly. But then if you're buying one of their premium 'costs hundreds' bottles the chances you're just going to knock it back are pretty remote!

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