Published on March 4th, 2013 | by Greg0
WhistlePig: A Tasty New Rye Whiskey
Rich, hearty, and aged for ten years- this is a solid whiskey, one of the best of a recent crop of "boutique" whiskeys. We first learned of today's spirit at a tasting event, but have had the chance to appreciate it a bit more over the past few weeks thanks to a couple of sample bottles. And what we found is a whiskey that deserves to be in every collection- a great value, and a perfect 100-proof note to add to cocktails or have straight.
The name: WhistlePig. We preferred ours slightly chilled, but undiluted for the most part, allowing us to enjoy the strong first nose of caramel and oak with a bit of vanilla and even grassiness. Carried through to the initial taste of cinnamon with a little mint or clove, you can tell that this is a 100-percent rye (rather than corn or wheat) spirit. We did also take the manufacturer's recommendation and try out a couple of drink recipes. The Orange Whistler mixes the rye whiskey with a bit of orange bitters, some bourbon-soaked cherries (you can find these in specialty stores or better yet make your own), a bit of maple syrup, and a dash of soda water. Served with an orange twist, the citrusy notes were definitely highlighted but the spirit not overwhelmed here.
The Champlain Sour adds a bit of lemon juice, maple syrup, and red wine (we chose something decent but inexpensive, and not too strong, like a Malbec). Combine in a 1-1-1 mix with 2 parts whiskey, and you get a very interesting combination. Here, the whiskey pushes through and you can taste the ending notes- a bit of buttery chocolate- that rounds it all out nicely. Available now, in fine stores and bars, WhistlePig is highly recommended. It's not inexpensive- expect to spend upwards of $60 for a large bottle- but that's competitive with other 10-year aged fine whiskeys in the category.