Stumped on what to get dad this Father’s Day? Check out our gift guide, a compendium of fun and useful items for everyman.
The Art of the Face
There have been plenty of articles detailing the unhygienic nature of beards lately. Sure most are click-bait headlines, but still, it’s summertime and beards are just plain hot. Give dad the gift of a hair-free face this Father’s Day (or a subtle reminder that his beard is weird), with The Art of Shaving’s Sandalwood After-Shave Balm ($40). Of all the masculine woodsy scents, sandalwood might be the most burly, so he won’t mind smelling like a forest after chopping down those tiny face trees he calls whiskers.
Even the scruffiest of father’s needs a healing touch every now and then, especially for the pops that lives in sundrenched Florida. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel ($25) is a vitamin-enriched (bonus), scent-free (double bonus) facial moisturizer that will help keep dad’s skin hydrated and clean.
A favorite among fragrance connoisseurs is Tom Ford’s Private Blend scents. My personal pick: Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum ($215-$525). One whiff and you’ll surely know why it’s so popular. Saks Fifth Avenue locations
Sensing a pattern? Shave like a grizzly bear and use a straight razor—your face will thank you.
Straight razors were all the rage for a solid 200 years before that dastardly usurper, the safety razor, flaunted its ugly, multi-blade head. The level of difficulty for wielding these open razors is high—they are not known as cutthroat razors for nothing—but once a man has learned to manage the folding blade, there is nothing else like it: straight razors offer a very close shave with near zero irritation. A steady hand and patience are vital to escape a shaving session alive, while a finely honed edge is a must.
Now, when it comes to buying one of these manly instruments of hair shearing, prices range freely. At is base form, straight razors are simple: a single, sharp blade that folds into a handle. Easy peasy. For those looking for something basic—probably the safest bet for the beginner—Parker offers a great entry-level straight razor. The SR1 stainless steel (right) is just $20, and comes with replaceable blades (no serious upkeep needed).
If your pops has weathered the nicks and cuts, and is still a straight razor fan, upgrade to a tool that is more art then bathroom routine. World-renowned straight razor artisan (it’s a thing), Max Sprecher, makes some of the most in-demand razors on the market. For a cool $895, pickup his latest creation, in partnership with leather masters, Bison: the Bison + Max Sprecher Signature Straight Razor (left). Before you scoff at the price, here’s the details: the blade was forged from 01 carbon steel; the scale (handle) was created from ultra high density carbon fiber uni plate; and the sleeve is made with Horween Chromexcel leather (old world craftsmanship). The end result, a razor that will last generations, so at $900, this thing is a steal (think about how much you would spend on Gillette blades over a 100 years).
Dads, by nature, are dudes that get things done. Whether it’s in the garage, the yard, or the office, he is a man of action, busting knuckles on manifolds, braving the spray of weed-whacker debris, and powering through paper cuts like a boss. So why not let pops listen to his favorite tunes while punching that to-do list square in the face? This collection of wireless speakers will suit just about any dad.
The Waterman: Monster SuperStar BackFloat, $150
Small in size (just seven inches long), big on sound, the Monster SuperStar BackFloat is the perfect portable speaker for the beach, pool, rambunctious barbecue (ever have your Bluetooth speaker fall in a cooler?), or outdoorsman (paddleboarding, camping, and boating, oh my). Rubber-encased, the speaker is not only waterproof, it floats too, letting dad lounge in the raft while staying within earshot of Jefferson Airplane. The battery life is rated at seven hours, while voice confirmation informs when the unit is turned on or off. And phone mode allows you to answer incoming calls by pressing the Bluetooth button on the unit, how cool is that?
Chic Sound: Grain Audio PWS.01, $250
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, the marriage of great sound and great looks is often a rocky relationship; it’s usually one or the other. Unless we’re talking Grain Audio’s smooth sounding eye candy, PWS.01, or Packable Wireless Speaker System. Unlike many Bluetooth speaker systems, the PWS.01 doesn’t take calls or wirelessly charge those Qi-enabled devices; this is strictly a speaker. This means richer sound; a bonus for the audiophile that wants streaming music. Wrapped in Forest Stewardship Council-certified walnut (100 percent sustainably harvested wood), and easy-to-grip rubber edges, the speaker stands out without being gaudy, but will seamlessly blend into just about any contemporarily-designed living space. And don’t let its small stature fool you (7” x 2 3/8” x 3 1/8”), Grain Audio’s proprietary speaker system is an acoustic marvel at such a pint-size. The battery packs some pretty substantial life, eight hours, and is equipped with all the cords necessary to keep it’s juice flowing.
Backyard Warrior: Outdoor Technology The Big Turtle Shell, $200
Is your dad a barbecue wizard? Is he a dude that spends an inordinate amount of time in the yard, pruning this or clipping that? Is he the kind of cat that likes to throw back-deck ragers to much chagrin of the neighbors? Then Outdoor Technology‘s Big Turtle Shell is his kind of speaker. Nearly 12 inches long and weighing in at more than two pounds, this is the obedient dog of Bluetooth speakers: it finds a shady spot and sits. Water resistant, dust proof, and shock proof, its suited to handle the outdoors, while the 360-degree speaker setup and commanding 110-decibel capabilities quite literally makes this the life of the party. And with a 16-hour (16-HOUR!) battery life, the party is sure to fizzle way before the tunes—it’s also a great add to the garage or woodshop, where the constant whir of power tools battles the tunes for audio supremacy.
For any man who enjoys a few fingers of brown water, the idea of barreling their own rye has surely crossed their minds once or twice. But apart from operating a Prohibition-style backyard still, creating whiskey is, well, difficult. So let the master distillers do the heavy lifting, allowing you to do the fun, barrel-aging process. Woodinville Whiskey Company, masters in handcrafted small-batch spirits, is doing just that with their Age Your Own Whiskey Kits ($150). The kits come with two 750 ml bottles of 110 proof White Dog un-aged whiskey, a two-liter aging barrel, pouring funnel, two tasting glasses, and a step-by-step set of instructions to age the perfect barrel of whiskey. And fear not, this whiskey will not takes years of aging to enjoy; the smaller sized barrel allows for a quaffable sip in 60 days (longer if you prefer). What’s more, unlike bourbon, the barrel can be reused multiple times.
For the dad who enjoys a tipple or two, stock the wet bar with some of these must-have spirits.
There is just one reason Father’s Day falls in the month of June, and that is barbecue. If mother’s rule the kitchen, dad’s command the grill: from smoked shanks to charred filets, Father’s Day is dedicated to stoked coals, hissing propane, and simmering wood chips, so s few grilling accouterment is but a natural fit for those Father’s Day gift:
For the barbecue happy dad, nothing beats versatility. And in the barbecue world, nothing is more versatile than the Big Green Egg (prices vary). The oddly shaped green ceramic grill (hence the name) may look a bit strange, but once you get the coals burning, there is no turning back. A grill, oven, and smoker in one, the level of control the cook has with the Big Green Egg is simply unparalleled in the world of charcoal cooking.
Stemming from the ancient clay “kamado” style of cooking oven, the Big Green Egg is made out of ceramic, and is capable of withstanding high, high heat, which just so happens to be ideal to sear those steaks to caramelized perfection. Seriously, these things are capable of heats up to 750 degrees—wear gloves. And while high heat is easily attainable, so to are those low, 225 degree smoker temps, and just about everything in-between. Equipped with dampers and accessories like the convEGGtor (indirect cooking’s best friend), chefs are able to achieve and maintain precise temperature control on a handful of charcoal briquettes for hours, allowing for smoking mouthwatering brisket, or baking a truly authentic coal-fired pizza. The cooking possibilities are absolutely endless.
Know Thy Meat
When it comes to grilling, and learning in general, experience is king. Yet, the average weekend barbecue warrior shan’t be expected to know everything, I mean, come on. Smart grillers know their limits, and seek advice from experts when reached, which means two things: one, a good butcher is a must-have contact list inclusion; and two, every grill master needs a copy of