Fall is the ideal time for whiskey. Yes, we realize we’ve said that about summer and winter as well, but we really mean it this time.

This season is all about transitions, and not necessarily the happy kind. The days are shorter. The nights are colder. The leaves fall off the trees, which reminds you of the inevitability of death. It’s all about saying goodbye to another year, and it’s enough to make you want a drink.

But what to reach for? A great fall cocktail bridges the gap between the happy-go-lucky brightness of summer drinks and the dark intensity of winter ones, which happens to be a task for which whiskey is uniquely suited. The spirit’s fiery heart and textured oak is perfectly at home in the cold, while the cocktail treatment stops it from getting too broody. A little fruit, some citrus, or spice can create drinks that are simultaneously bright and deep, engaging and resonant, and help you welcome the season.

Whether it’s a bright drink with a dark twist like the Lion’s Tail, or a darker drink with some bright charm like the Monte Carlo, here are nine best whiskey cocktails to help you with the time change.