It’s the time of year where people gather together and enjoy each other’s company, good food and hopefully something delicious to wash it all down. While wine is the general go to for dinner parties, beer, vodka, and bubbles are also in the mix. But what about great whiskeys for a Friendsgiving. Some pair well with the flavors of meats and vegetables and adds an earthiness to the palate.

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Here are time-tested, proven suggestions for crowd-pleasing whiskeys to plunk down on the table after the plates are cleared and before the babysitters need to be relieved.

Oban 14-Year-Old

Oban 14-Year-Old is quickly climbing the ranks of my favorite all-purpose single malts. It’s the best of both worlds. It has high-toned peat and opulent, vanilla-soaked oak. It’s rich yet nuanced, sweet yet smoky, and interesting without being in the least bit challenging. It also pairs beautifully with chocolate.

George Dickel Barrel Select

This small batch release from George Dickel is aged between 10 and 12 years, right in the sweet spot for American whiskey. Balanced, mellow, and with signature George Dickel minerality, this is a lovely bottle to share with friends who might not know just how delicious Dickel can be.

Hibiki Whiskey

Noted Chef Justin Khanna encourages to people to mix it up with this Japanese whiskey. The House of Suntory a this delicate balance of several malt and grain whiskies is meticulously crafted goodness which pairs without overwhelmed savory flavors.

Basil Hayden’s

Everybody loves bourbon, but not everybody loves the 120+ proof cask strength stuff that’s so popular these days. Basil Hayden’s is a gentler whiskey from Jim Beam and still manages to hang on to all those fruity, spicy characteristics which make American whiskey so enjoyable. Plus, it comes wearing a fun little paper vest.

Redbreast 12-Year-Old

Most cringe from the word “smooth” used to describe whiskey—what does such a thing mean? Has anybody ever tasted a gritty whiskey?—but once in a while, the adjective does come to mind. Redbreast 12-Year-Old is silky, sweet, supple, and downright seductive, a seamless homage to the mellow flavors of malted barley and integrated oak. Don’t call it “smooth,” but your guests almost certainly will.

Have a great holiday season and venture out with some great whiskeys for Friendsgiving.

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