Tasting Notes for WhistlePig 10 Straight Rye
Nose: : Allspice, orange peel, anise, oak, char and caramel
Taste: Sweet; hints of caramel and vanilla, followed by ryespice and mint
Finish: Long finish; warm butterscotch and caramel
Is it American? Is it Canadian? We don't know exactly, and frankly, we don't care. What we have here is an outstanding example of rye whiskey made from 100% unmalted rye, distilled and initially matured in Virgin White Oak casks by Alberta Distillers, Canada, then brought over the border to finish maturation in ex-bourbon casks at WhistlePig Farm in Vermont, USA.
The double cask maturation makes WhistlePig unique among rye whiskeys, and arguably brings the best of both worlds to the table. The virgin oak delivers those lovely vanilla phenols and wood tannins, while the ex-bourbon gives us the creamy sweet caramel. When combined with the unmalted rye, the result is a wonderful fruit forward whiskey, where the fruit followed up by rye spice and mint, with a touch of vanilla. Bottled at 50% abv, it's great stuff and you'll be hard pressed to find another rye whiskey like it.
The World's most awarded rye whiskey (according to the company):
Wine Enthusiast - 96 points
Wizards of Whisky Awards: Gold Medal 2015
The story of WhistlePig began with the 2007 purchase of a Vermont dairy farm by founder and CEO Raj Peter Bhakta. He teamed up with former Maker's Mark Master Distiller David Pickerell (a legend in the whiskey world who passed away in 2018) to develop a rye whiskey that took on the farm's new name. The goal was to create a single malt, single estate whiskey using the farm's organically grown rye. The advantage of this 100 percent rye whiskey is that you get the raw taste of a grain that is more robust and flavorful than corn or any other grain used in whiskeys. It's something they pulled off very nicely.
In the end, WhistlePig has become a favorite for those who appreciate full-flavored rye. The brand once used the phrase "rugged grain refined" and it is an accurate description of what you will find in every bottle of WhistlePig.
Any whiskey takes time to develop using ideal methods; WhistlePig is a good example of quick sourcing and perseverance. The first bottles were released in 2010 after Pickerell found a Canadian rye whiskey that met his esteemed standards—he was a tutor for many professionals on the finer points of whiskey tasting—and decided to put it to better use than the Canadian whisky blends it was intended for. They then implemented a two-barrel aging process to further show off the spicy rye.
The first round of the 10-year aging process for WhistlePig's signature bottling happens in new American oak barrels and the second in used bourbon barrels. This gives the whiskey the best of both worlds, adding unique undertones to the finished product. In 2014, the Vermont government gave WhistlePig permission to build their own distillery on the Shoreham farm where the rye is already grown and the hand-bottling takes place. The distillery, complete with a copper pot still designed by Pickerell, has been in full operation there since 2015.
Producer Distilled at Alberta Distillers, Canada, and matured at Whistlepig Farm, Vermont, USA. Style Straight Rye Whiskey Age A minimum of 10 years Volume 75CL ABV 50%