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How To Pair Pumpkin Pie and Whiskey (Plus A Cocktail Recipe)

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You might believe the holidays are all about the wine pairing, but we couldn't possibly think of a better way to finish up the Thanksgiving meal than with a great glass of whiskey. Those spicy, toasty caramelized flavors just seem to sing when matched up with the clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors in pumpkin pie. The classic American dessert was practically made to be gobbled up with a glass of our country's iconic spirit.

Andrew Abrahamson, General Manager of L.A.'s iconic whiskey bar Seven Grand, happens to agree. So we asked him to suggest some small batch bottles that pair well with pie from varying price points. He also offered up a hot buttered "rumskey" recipe, in case you'd like a cocktail.

Here are his recommended whiskeys along with what he had to say about each of them:

The High End: Angel's Envy Rye (retail $80)

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"Distiller Lincoln Henderson took a well known rye made in Indiana and made it completely his own by finishing it off in oak barrels that were first filled with cognac in France, and then finished off with rum in the Caribbean.

"There is an amazing and unique graham cracker and warm cinnamon profile that jumps out right away, with a huge chocolate and Caramel finish that keeps going and creates a fullness to this Whiskey that is really not to be found anywhere else. At least not one with the depth and richness that this Rye packs. It'll pair perfectly with any dessert or fire you'll come across this fall."

The Middle of the Road: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (retail $57)

"It's as smooth as a saxophone, and fits perfectly on a shelf this time of year. To add an additional layer to the normally woody and spicy Woodford Reserve, Master Distiller Chris Morris re-barrels the whiskey before bottling in a barrel with a long toast, but not any char, resulting in much sweeter flavors than normal. This bourbon explodes with butterscotch, toffee and rich molasses but is balanced out by a beautiful clove spiciness and mellow vanilla finish. A real sipper that is great just the way it is in your favorite glass."

The Bargain: Heaven Hill Old Fitzgerald, 12 Years Old(retail $39)

"In a category dominated by Maker's Mark, wheated bourbons are in the midst of a huge surge in popularity compared to the few types you will find on shelves. No chance you are going to get your hand's on Pappy van Winkle this year? No worries, Old Fitz is made by a true Master with a similar recipe. The 12 year is the star of Heaven Hill's line, and not to be missed. All the butter, toffee and caramel notes of wheated bourbon are here, with a mellow and sweet vanilla custard finish. Enjoy it and then enjoy it again."

Hot Buttered RumSkey

1oz Rich Bourbon (Woodford Reserve)
1oz Dark Rum (Zaya)
1 Small Spoon Butter
1 Large Spoon Brown Sugar (You can't use too much, add until it's to your liking)
Piping Hot Water

And all the ingredients into a mug and stir slowly to melt the sugar and butter. Make sure the water is boiling when added. Top with grated cinnamon and enjoy.

This cocktail is a play on the very rich and classic Hot Buttered Rum, with the heat opening up the Whiskey and releasing the savory qualities of the spirit. It is as warming a cocktail as you can have.

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