Whisky Advocate

What’s your Thanksgiving Day whisk(e)y?

November 19th, 2009

With Thanksgiving just one week away, have you thought about what you might be drinking during this food-festive holiday? Surely you can think of something special to follow the turkey dinner and pumpkin pie?

I’m leaning towards a really nice bourbon. I just haven’t figured out which one yet. I really like the new Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000 Release bourbon. That cork might be popped. And I’m still milking my bottle of Parker’s Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary bourbon. That’s definitely on my short list too. (I’m not driving anywhere, so I might just drink both of them! Or maybe even a third!)

How about you? Are you planning on drinking anything special? Or perhaps just your regular whiskey? (There’s nothing wrong with that, BTW.)

56 Responses to “What’s your Thanksgiving Day whisk(e)y?”

  1. Rick Duff says:

    For Canadian Thanksgiving I had some Forty Creek. I’m thinking for American Thanksgiving this week I’ll break out some Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon. (yes, we celebrate both.) Still deciding whether to finish the turkey with my maple/bourbon glaze.. it’s sooooo good. Equal parts of (real) maple syrup and bourbon.. stir, then brush on the skin for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Works great on ham too.

  2. H.Diaz says:

    My Ardbeg Supernova my lovely wife recently gifted me is in the crosshairs.

  3. Matt C. says:

    Rye Flight: Pikesville, Baby Saz, Rittenhouse BIB, Van Winkle, then finally BT Antique Saz (18yr) 2008. Maybe sample my father-in-law on the Stagg just to see his face!

  4. Brian Bradley says:

    Ardbeg 1975 Bottle, 25 year would be a nice dram post meal.

    I will go with that or a PC5 depending on my mood.


  5. Texas says:

    Signatory Glen Ord 1998

  6. Red_Arremer says:

    The thanksgiving scene is always too rich. It needs something to penetrate it and wake it up. I’ll take Bowmore Dusk and Four Roses Marriage 2008. Later on when I finally succumb to the atomosphere, I might reach for Classic of Islay 21 year old.

  7. Scott says:

    With dinner, the ideal choice is a chalice of Southern Tier’s Pumking. The beer was made for Thanksgiving!

    After dinner, a wee dram of Glenfarclas 1968. It’s a great Autumn single malt.

  8. Yossi says:

    Hmmm, seeing as this is an American holiday (not discounting Canadian Thanksgiving but just that the Thanksgiving coming up is the American one)… I think I need to go with an American whiskey.

    Perhaps the Jefferson’s Very Small Batch or the George T Stagg (If I can get my hands on a bottle!)

  9. deansheen says:

    I think I’m going to go with 4 Roses Small Batch. Something light to go with a heavy meal.

  10. osu33jp says:

    I will start with “Hitachino Beer” and perhaps end up with “Kilchoman” that my boss brought back from Japan. I can’t wait to open it up!!

  11. lawschooldrunk says:

    I’ll probably have a mellow blantons while watching the sunset.

    Wine for the rest of it.

  12. charles says:

    i will be alternating between my old pulteney 21 and ardbeg uigeadail for an awesome contrast. On this special occaision I will do this without limit hoping to restock with any Christmas money!

  13. Getoffthepot says:

    I’ll have a Jameson 12yo or two

  14. NCNELZ says:

    Boy , I had obtained Stagg 09, and tryed a bit, its so good , I cant wait any longer…its a must have, it calls to me on the shelf

  15. pat says:

    I picked up bottles of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Macallan Cask Strength on sale. I hope they’ll work well with or as dessert.

    All the bourbon recommendations have me re-thinking things.

  16. PeteR says:

    Old Portrero Straight Rye will go great with pumpkin pie

  17. I think I’ll crack open my Alchemist bottle of 5 year old Port Charlotte. I have been meaning to finally give this a try and knowing that the Port Charlotte distillery project is progressing is yet another reminder of the theme of giving thanks. I suspect its youth and peat profile will also go well with my home-smoked Turkey. I’ll also be opening a new bottle of the 21 year old Rittenhouse Rye. It is American, it is delicious, and it always goes down well with the crowd. Indeed, this has sort of become a new Thanksgiving day tradition in my house.

  18. Steve says:

    After I rescue my dwindling bottle of Balvenie DoubleWood from my stepfather-in-law, I think I’ll start with Four Roses Single Barrel and then, after pumpkin and sweet potato pies, I’ll crack open my sparkling new bottle of Thomas Handy. I’ve been waiting for a good occasion to do so.

  19. John Hansell says:

    Lots of interesting selections, guys. Too many whiskeys, too little time!

  20. Joe Maissel says:

    Rittenhouse Manhattans to start, followed by Buffalo Trace Antique across the board. Weller, Stagg, Handy, Saz 18.

  21. Duncan Taylor’s oaky Glenury Royal 23 yo before and with the turkey.

    The BenRiach peated, sherried 1994 limited edition after

  22. Sam S. says:

    I have a bottle of Booker’s I haven’t opened yet…maybe have some of that.

  23. jazz lover says:

    Parker’s Heritage Golden Anniversary.

  24. jazz lover says:

    And Glen Ord 30 yr.

  25. Louis says:

    Since we go over to my in-laws for the turkey, the high octane stuff is out. So I will bring along a bottle of Lagavulin and Blantons for some American spirit.

    Since cold weather is in the forecast, it’ll be Ardbeg Corryvreckan and/or Supernova when I get home.



  26. John Hansell says:

    Louis, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…(as I click my heels). 🙂

  27. I too am thinking about opening up a bourbon since it is Thanksgiving. My fiancé already has a 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, (her favorite!!) open so I should have one of those. But then maybe onto the Vintage Bourbon Company 17y I’ve been thinking about opening. Thanks for the Thanksgiving reminder John! Enjoy yours!!!

  28. murphy says:

    PVW 15… among (likely)others.

  29. sam k says:

    John, a mutual friend returned from Kentucky recently and graced me with four Bottled in Bonds: Ancient Age, Heaven Hill, Old Fitzgerald, and Mellow Corn, plus a bottle of Charter 101. OMG, I don’t know where to start, and it doesn’t matter!

    I’m also expecting a full contingent of High West whiskeys in the next week, having started a dialogue with their man in charge.

    God bless America…it’s no wonder Al Quaeda hates us!

  30. cedarburger says:

    Ardbeg Uigeadail or Ardbeg 10..unless I pop for the Sazerac 18 (probably wishful thinking due to affects of the economy)

  31. Euan says:

    An assortment of ryes and bourbons including Old Potrero’s 18th century style whiskey, the Handy BTAC rye from last year, one of the Rendezvous ryes (can’t recall which barrel), the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Old Forester B’day bourbons, the WL Weller BTAC from 2 years ago, the Binnys Elmer T Lee single barrel, and scotches, the Binnys 1994 port finished peated Benriach, a Glenlivet 12 yo bottled in the 1980’s, a 1972 Mission Clynelish, Bowmore 21 yo bottled in the mid 1990’s, Campbeltown Loch 25, the Corryvreckan and Springbank LE 30 yo. We are having a big gathering and I’ll just put them on a table with glasses and sweet vermouth, Regan’s bitters, a bucket of ice, and some cherries in case anyone wants to make a Manhattan or a Rob Roy.

  32. Holysinner says:

    Jefferson’s Reserve and Aberlour a’bunadh Batch 21, which I’ve been patiently waiting for an occasion to open since March.

  33. Vince says:

    Starting with a Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old, then the PVW 20 year old (then wine with dinner) ending with a Parkers heritage 27 year old.

  34. Lee says:

    VW family reserve rye and several cigars is my plan for the holiday.

  35. Psycosis says:

    We’re just now dipping our toes into whiskey after Crown Royal leaving a bad taste for so many years. Bulleit Bourbon was definitely a great choice for a first one for us and will be making a Thanksgiving apperance.

  36. Tom says:

    This year Thanksgiving is at my house so my whole collection will be available. I’m thinking of some Basil Hayden’s & maybe some Blanton’s after dinner. But… on my way to a Bourbon tasting tonight so there is the possibility of grabbing something new.

  37. Gary says:

    Since it is a holiday, I am thinking about topping off the day with a Parker’s Heritage 27 yo.

  38. Scotty Freebairn says:

    I have been hoarding a few bottles of King’s Ransom 12 Year Old Scotch for just such a special occasion and will be sipping a few drams during Thanksgiving!

  39. Dan says:

    Perhaps the Lombard Rosebank to start, then move on to the Springbank 11 year Madeira, Glenmorangie Astar, the Corryvreken, & then there are the bourbons & rye & a good cigar. Somehow I need to find room for some turkey and/or a liver transplant!

  40. Luke says:

    Alas, here in Dublin we’ll have to wait ’til Christmas for the excuse to raid the cellar.

    That said, there’s some very special Irish stuff becoming available soon.

    I’ll illuminate ye all on the “What’s your Christmas Whiskey?” thread.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. John Hansell says:

    Wow, I would be happy drinking at ANY of your Thanksgiving Day meals! Delicious whiskeys (and whiskies)!

  42. sam k says:

    Received samples of the entire High West selection today, and will definitely end my Thanksgiving with a tasting session. Can’t wait!

  43. Michael Shoshani says:

    Wild Turkey Rare Breed.

    I mean, how can I *not* have Turkey on Thanksgiving? 🙂

  44. Chef! says:

    High West 16yo with my pecan pie. Maybe open a bottle of Rare Breed

  45. John Hansell says:

    Michael, Wild Turkey on Thanksgiving? You’re right. If there ever was a time for Wild Turkey, this is it. Great idea!

    Sam, let us know how the whole High West adventure goes.

  46. B.J. Reed says:

    PC-8 or maybe to Tomatin 30 YO which I have not opened yet – Decisions, decisions…. 🙂

  47. tyler fox says:

    John- and others: I am gong to New Orleans the day after Thanksgiving. My wife and I usually go to the Bourbon House, where they have about thirty or so different bourbons. I have been a confirmed bourbon drinker for years, but on occassion have tasted ryes- Rittenhouse for one- and like the Wild Turkey bourbons, which I think have a high Rye %. Anyway, this time I thought I would try a rye at the Bourbon House. The offer either: Sazerac (18 year)- which I understand is a 2009 bottling; the Vintage rye; and Wild Turkey Rye. I know that the Sazerac has changed over the past few years, but what about the others? Oh yeah: I think that they also have a Thomas Handy- I think 2002, but it could be a different bottling vintage Rye. What do you all think? Thanks for your opinions

  48. RickO says:

    My lineup –
    2007 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
    16 year old GlenLivet Nadurra
    17 year old Old Pulteney

    All I need now is the snow.

    Ahh, bliss!

  49. Just got 2000 Evan Williams Vintage Single Barrel! Can’t wait to try it!! The All-American spirit with the All-American Holiday! Happy Thanksgiving Day to all, and a great Fantasy Football Week to All!!

  50. gilberto says:

    Everyone have a great thanks giving I`m going to enjoy me a YAMAZAKI 12Year and then maybe some William Larue Everyone enjoy!

  51. Hitch says:

    Like others, I think its appropriate to dedicate any tasting this week of Thanksgiving to Wild Turkey. I’ve got a bottle of WT American Spirit for the All-American Holiday that I’m anxious to try. Might get into a bottle of the WT Kentucky Spirit as well. WT Rare Breed was my choice as a precursor this week to give me a tasting point to start a comparison.

  52. DavidG says:

    To john and all have a happy Thanksgiving. Bottoms up!

  53. sam k says:

    Well, damn if it wasn’t Wild Turkey Rare Breed and some Charter 101 today instead!

    The High West smorgasbord will wait until tomorrow or later in the weekend. Last night my daughter and I stayed up until 2 a.m. tasting Ancient Age Bottled in Bond, High West Rendezvous, Mellow Corn, a 1940 bottling of Baltimore Pure Rye 4 y.o. 86 proof, pre-Pro Large Monongahela rye 100 proof, and a 1928 bottling of Dillinger 10 year old pot stilled Pennsylvania rye at 100 proof.

    God bless America!

  54. John Hansell says:

    Sam k, yes, sometimes we just have to go with the flow. For me, it was the WRONG KIND of flow. I ended up getting some form of virus or something and, instead of enjoying a nice dram on Thanksgiving Day, I spent the day mostly in bed trying not to puke (like I did the night before).

    (Don’t worry, I plan to make up for the lost time later this weekend. 🙂 )

  55. sam k says:

    Good luck with your recovery. I hope it comes sooner than later!

  56. Erik H says:

    My dad and I did some great bourbon sampling. For his birthday I bought him a bottle of Van Winkle Reserve 23yo that we had sipped on once and enjoyed. Since then he bought a bottle of the William Larue Weller that was still unopened and over the weekend purchased a bottle of the Jefferson’s Presidential Select 17yo. I got a 10% off deal on a bottle of Van Winkle Reserve 20yo. So we lined them all up and sampled them all. In the end we both agreed the Van Winkle 20yo was the clear winner. The 23yo and Jefferson’s Presidential were both outstanding as well. I am unsure what my thoughts on the William Larue Weller as I found it to be overly hot 126+ proof.

    All in all, a great Thanksgiving weekend!

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