7 Thanksgiving Bourbons For Each Moment of the Day

Are you wondering which bourbons to enjoy this Thanksgiving? Well, wonder no more. We have compiled this list of 7 Thanksgiving bourbons to suit each aspect of your day. Read on to see them all. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Allow me to present my suggestions for 7 readily available bourbons to enjoy throughout your Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving Is About Family, Food, Football, Thanks….And Bourbon!

For the majority of Americans, Thanksgiving is all about getting together with family, eating way too much food, and watching football. However, for many people, the day is made even better by (responsibly) imbibing their favorite spirit. And in our household, that spirit is bourbon. So, to help give your holiday more “cheer”, I would like to share with you suggestions for 7 bourbons to best go with each part of your Thanksgiving day. As much as I love craft distilleries, their whiskeys often have more limited availability. Therefore, this list will only consist of bourbons that should be relatively readily available in most parts of the United States. Therefore, most are from the large distillers.

Bourbons To Enjoy Throughout Thanksgiving Day

Since Thanksgiving is a holiday, assuming that you don’t have to work or drive, there’s nothing wrong with having a little bourbon to sip on throughout the day (responsibly, of course😊). Although drinking bourbons from Wild Turkey on Thanksgiving may be a bit of a cliché, I really can’t think of a better choice for an all purpose bourbon to enjoy throughout the day. Yes, I am referring to good old Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon.

Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon

At 101 proof, Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon packs full flavor, while not being overly potent, from an alcohol perspective. Also, at 101 proof, it can stand up to some water, club soda, ginger ale, ice, or other non-alcoholic mixers. That’s a plus, because a little dilution will make each pour (and you) last longer. As an added bonus, due to the spiciness of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, it was the winner in our summer chocolate chip cookie and bourbon pairing competition. So, it is an ideal complement to all those desserts you’ll eat, as well. Last but not least, at around $20 (in Kentucky), it won’t break the bank, either. Learn more about this Thanksgiving bourbon in our full Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon review.

Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Bourbon - Thanksgiving Bourbon
Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Bourbon

Origin Series Bourbon from the Bardstown Bourbon Company is relatively new on the scene, being introduced earlier this year. The 96 proof “High Rye” bourbon should serve similarly well as Wild Turkey 101 as an all day bourbon. Due to its high content of rye (36%) in the mash bill, it will go well with sweet and savory foods, yet it is still quite easy to drink. I would expect it to also stand up well to ice and mixers, although for the purpose of transparency, I have only sipped it neat. The price point is somewhat higher, at around $50, so it’s not quite the bargain that 101 is. However, for a high quality, high rye, 6 year old bourbon, the price is quite reasonable in today’s market.

For those who prefer a wheated bourbon, Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Origin Series Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon would be a good alternate Thanksgiving bourbon option. While it has some of the rich and “softer” characteristics commonly found in wheated bourbons, it differs in that is has quite a bit of spice and cinnamon in the finish. That should also make it pair well with sweeter foods. It’s slightly higher in proof, at 100, but also 6 years old and around $50.

Here are the links to our full reviews of the Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series “High Rye” Bourbon and Origin Series Bottled in Bond Bourbon.

Bourbons That Go Well In Your Thanksgiving Cocktail

Knob Creek Old Fashioned
Knob Creek 9 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon

The Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon and the Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Bourbons that we just discussed, will also do well in cocktails. However, I would be remiss were I to not mention Knob Creek 9 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon. This Knob Creek bourbon is my staple for making cocktails. At 100 proof, with full rich classic bourbon flavors and a nice amount of spice, this bourbon is perfect for those who like spirit forward cocktails. It can generally be found in the $30-$40 range, depending on your market. At 9 years and 100 proof, that is a pretty respectable price for a bourbon that can be found pretty much anywhere, and that earns it a spot on my Thanksgiving bourbon list.

If you want to take it up a notch, 120 proof Knob Creek Single Barrel store picks are fairly easy to find. They can cost a bit more, but for that you are getting some extra proof, a somewhat different flavor profile, and possibly some extra age. Back in the day, it was relatively common to see these at 14-15 years old. However, now most tend to be around 9 years old. Either the 100 proof Knob Creek Small Batch or a 120 proof store pick would be an excellent choice for your Thanksgiving bourbon cocktail.

Here’s the link to our review of Knob Creek 9 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon.

Thanksgiving Bourbons For Those Who Enjoy Higher Proof

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon - Thanksgiving Bourbons
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

Since we have already jumped on the Wild Turkey bandwagon in selecting our Thanksgiving bourbons, I have to add one more. Rare Breed is essentially a higher octane, older, barrel proof version of Wild Turkey 101. In addition to the higher proof, it is a blend of 6, 8 and 12 year old bourbons, so it’s got some older notes to it. The Wild Turkey 101 flavors are all there, but just turned up a notch and made a little more rich. It’s got the familiar rye spice plus an added dose of caramel and vanilla from the proof and age. However, at 112+ proof (varies with batch), this is one you’ll want to pace yourself with.

When you are doing your Thanksgiving bourbon shopping, you should be able to find Wild Turkey Rare Breed in the low to mid $50’s. For a while it was scarce in stores, but lately I have seen it fairy frequently.

Maker's 46 Cask Strength
Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength Bourbon

Similar to Rare Breed’s relationship to Wild Turkey 101, Maker’s 46 Cask Strength takes the Maker’s 46 Bourbon flavor profile up a notch. While not particularly high in proof for a cask strength bourbon, it’s no lightweight, either. With rich vanilla, toffee, cherry candy and brown sugar flavors, with a bit of spice, oak and char at the end, Maker’s 46 Cask Strength is a full rich bourbon that I can sip on for hours. In fact, it is one of my contenders for Bourbon of the Year! While it’s a Thanksgiving bourbon that can be enjoyed any time throughout the day, it might best be suited for when it is time to relax after that hearty meal. With an MSRP of around $65, it is a little pricier than some of the others. But hey, it’s a holiday! So, if you are able, why not splurge a little?

Here’s the link to our full Maker’s 46 Cask Strength Bourbon review.

After Dinner Thanksgiving Bourbons

Many of the bourbons I have mentioned already would be fine after dinner Thanksgiving bourbons, particularly the Maker’s 46 Cask Strength and Rare Breed. However, I wanted to mention a couple of others that are also perfect compliments to being satiated after a full meal.

Woodford Double Oaked - After Dinner Thanksgiving Bourbon
Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon

I have heard many people say that Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon is their favorite of the Woodford Reserve line. And why shouldn’t it be? That extra year that it spends in that lightly charred, deeply toasted barrel really adds some nice rich flavors to standard Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Who doesn’t love a little added toffee and vanilla flavors in their bourbon? Also, at Woodford’s standard 90.4 proof, this Thanksgiving bourbon hopefully won’t put you right to sleep after that gigantic meal. However, a word of warning. Don’t have this one with dessert. In our tests, the dessert like flavors in Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon cancelled out the similar flavors of chocolate chip cookies. What was left behind was none too tasty. So we recommend that you enjoy this bourbon on its own!

Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon can be found for around $50. We don’t have a review of it yet, but we do have a review of its limited release cousin, Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon.

RD ONE Amburana Finished Bourbon - Bottle and Bourbon Obsessed Glencairn
RD ONE Amburana Finished Bourbon

Amburana finished bourbons are all the craze these days, albeit, a controversial one. Amburana tree species are native to South America. They have relatively recently become of interest to American brewers and distillers due to their distinctive flavor profile. Amburana imparts uniquely sweet, yet spicy, and very characteristic, flavors to whiskey. Once you have tasted it, you will always recognize the flavor. This RD ONE version is one of my favorites, with plenty of cinnamon raisin bread, jam, ginger snaps and spice cake. I hesitate to include it because I am not sure how widely available it is. However, if you can find it and are a fan of the amburana flavors, you will enjoy this after dinner Thanksgiving bourbon pour!

RD ONE Amburana Finished Bourbon can generally be found for $65-$70. You can read all about it in our full review here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

So that concludes my list of bourbons to enjoy on your Thanksgiving day! Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many excellent bourbons to choose from, including delicious bourbons from craft distillers that may be only regionally available. I would love to include them all, but I have tried to limit this list to bourbons which should be readily available in most parts of the United States. Whatever Thanksgiving bourbon you choose, I hope you have an enjoyable, safe and happy holiday! Cheers!🥃

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