Four bourbons for Thanksgiving (five, if you count Wild Turkey)

248x600eatthefeedturkeyhIn this week's magazine we list several bars that are open on Thanksgiving evening, and illustrate that list with a bottle of Wild Turkey. What else could we have possibly used as an illustration? Not only does Wild Turkey provide a nice visual pun (and, in case you haven't noticed, TOC has a soft spot for puns), it also represents the most American spirit there is: Bourbon. But while there's a time and a place for Wild Turkey (namely 2am, from a flask, in the aisle of an all-night 7-Eleven), it will not be this food writer's choice come Thursday night. No, this Bourbon drinker will be sipping Black Maple Hill, a small-batch brand I encountered at Andersonville's In Fine Spirits. Being so impressed with the stuff (and with that bar in general), I decided to call the owner, Shane Kissack, to ask what other bourbons he'd recommend for the holiday. As it turns out, the Black Maple Hill was at the top of his list, too: Black Maple Hill: "It's everybody's small-batch favorite as of late. It's small production—it's rare but not impossible. Got a little bit of a softer edge to it—a good way to go." Buffalo Trace # 188: Most Buffalo Trace is sold as a blend of several different barrels, but In Fine Spirits chose this particular barrel to sell this winter. "I was looking for a winter bourbon," Kissack says. He was drawn to this one "for the creme brulee, caramelly flavors that were up front, and the spicy finish that lingered." Noah's Mill: "Very much a colder weather bourbon—it has burnt chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee flavors that work for me this time of year. This was the bourbon I had last year at Thanksgiving." Willett Family Pot Still Reserve: "This is a little harder to get. It's got a little more of a caramel note to it, and a milder finish. It's not so complex, per se. But sometimes that can be a good thing."

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)