I know Thanksgiving dinner is a matter of tradition. I learned the hard way when I offered to fix the entire dinner for my brother and his family a few years back. It was a disaster: no canned cranberry sauce, no creamed corn, no bread stuffing, no pumpkin pie. The homemade cranberry chutney, the pecan wild rice stuffing and the bourbon pecan pie just didn’t measure up to tradition.
So, we are treading softly here. But this looks like a winner—the start of a new tradition: whiskey pairing with classic Thanksgiving foods.
Who best to help us out, than David Perkins, the proprietor of High West Distillery. TD’s current Whisky of the Month is High West’s Campfire. It goes well with pumpkin pie, but we asked David for his pairing preferences on three classic Thanksgiving dishes.
David: I got to tell you American whiskey goes with just about everything at Thanksgiving! But, if forced, I’d say with turkey, I love our American Prairie Reserve Bourbon. Not only does it have the Western Sage Grouse on the label which kind of ties it to the turkey, but the soft sweet caramel and vanilla with a dark cherry finish tastes great with turkey.
David: With ham I’d say Double Rye! Why? Our goal with Double Rye was to create the spiciest rye whiskey you can get, and we achieved that. It goes well with a strong smoky ham.
David: With pumpkin pie, I could go with any American whiskey as they are all aged in new barrels that provide that intense caramel and vanilla. But if forced, I’d pick Rendezvous or Campfire, depending on one’s predilections for smoke. Rendezvous has all these mulling spices in it (think clove, allspice, cinnamon) that compliment the pumpkin pie spice. But the smoke in Campfire has a special place for me at the end of a meal with dessert. In fact I had Campfire last night with my daughter’s first Pumpkin pie.
Happy Thanksgiving, David and to all your colleagues at High West, Sláinte. Thanks for the tips.