WhistlePig Rye Whiskey: A Perfect Blend of Tradition and Innovation
Written by Emma C | Updated June 2023
WhistlePig Rye Whiskey has rapidly become a prominent name in the world of premium spirits, particularly renowned for its exceptional rye whiskies. The brand's unwavering commitment to quality, a meticulous aging process, and a dedication to innovation have earned it a special place among whiskey enthusiasts. In this blog, we will delve into the history of WhistlePig, explore their focus on rye, discuss their unique aging process, highlight the role of master distiller Dave Pickerell, and showcase their well-deserved accolades.
A Brief History
WhistlePig Rye Whiskey was founded in 2007 by Raj Peter Bhakta, a passionate entrepreneur with a vision to revive the lost art of creating exceptional rye whiskey in the United States. The brand is located on a former dairy farm in Shoreham, Vermont, where they have transformed the landscape into a thriving distillery and farm-to-bottle operation.
Reviving the Rye Tradition
Rye whiskey holds a significant place in American distilling heritage. WhistlePig stands out by dedicating itself to producing the finest rye whiskies possible, with an emphasis on showcasing the unique flavors and characteristics of this grain. Rye is known for its spicy and robust nature, offering a distinct taste profile that sets it apart from other whiskey styles. WhistlePig's commitment to rye whiskey pays homage to the rich tradition of American distilling while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of flavor and craftsmanship.
The Art of Aging
WhistlePig's aging process plays a crucial role in the creation of their exceptional rye whiskies. Each bottle is a testament to their unwavering dedication to time-honored methods and meticulous attention to detail. Their aging warehouses, nestled in the scenic Vermont countryside, provide the perfect environment for the whiskey to mature gracefully. WhistlePig sources the finest rye whiskey and then further ages it on-site using a combination of new American oak and premium wine casks, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile.
The Influence of Dave Pickerell
No discussion about WhistlePig is complete without acknowledging the immense contribution of the late Dave Pickerell, the brand's first master distiller. Pickerell, a whiskey industry icon, brought his extensive knowledge and experience to WhistlePig and played a pivotal role in shaping its distilling processes. His innovative approach, combined with a deep respect for tradition, helped establish WhistlePig as a leading producer of rye whiskey. Pickerell's untimely passing in 2018 left a lasting impact on the industry, but his legacy lives on through WhistlePig's continued pursuit of excellence.
Accolades and Recognition
WhistlePig Rye Whiskey has garnered numerous accolades and awards since its inception, solidifying its reputation as a top-tier whiskey brand. Their products have consistently earned high ratings and critical acclaim from whiskey experts and enthusiasts alike. Notable accolades include multiple "Best in Class" and "Double Gold" awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, as well as recognition from Whisky Advocate and Wine Enthusiast magazines.
WhistlePig Rye Whiskey has revitalized the appreciation for rye whiskey in the modern era, drawing from a rich American distilling heritage while incorporating innovative techniques. Their unwavering dedication to quality, an emphasis on rye, meticulous aging process, and the influence of master distiller Dave Pickerell have all contributed to their rise in the whiskey world. As WhistlePig continues to produce exceptional rye whiskies, enthusiasts can look forward to experiencing the perfect blend of tradition and innovation in every bottle.
WhistlePig Expressions Available In Our Bottle Shop
Whistlepig Piggyback 100 Proof Bourbon
Born from WhistlePig’s signature grain’s other half, it starts with a high Corn mash bill (keeping a dash of Rye, of course). Six long years of age in Char #3 barrels adds layers of flavor before bottling at 100 Proof, so you can keep it 100 whether you choose bourbon or rye.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Pie Crust, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Maple, Herbal | ABV: 50%
Whistlepig Old World 12 Year
After maturing for 12 years in New American Oak, the spirit is divvied into one of three barrels – Madeira (63%), Sauternes (30%), and Port (7%). Finished to perfection and blended into a symphony of flavor. It started as a grand experiment and ended as the first rye whiskey of its kind.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Rye Spice, Fruit, Floral, Honey | ABV: 43%
WhistlePig Farmstock Beyond Bonded Rye
WhistlePig began when a ragged band of rye enthusiasts dared to set forth beyond the bounds of past or possibility. In pursuit of independence, innovation – and ingredients – it landed upon an abandoned dairy barn in the heart of Vermont farm country. FarmStock Beyond Bonded is the brand’s boldest dream yet: a tribute to the hearty, heirloom crop at its core.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Spice, Oak, Herb | ABV: 50%
WhistlePig Piggyback Rye
WhistlePig thinks anything worth doing is worth doing 100%… where most whiskey makers stick to the minimum 51% rye, it’s committed to long aging and countless barrel experiments that have led to the first 100% rye perfected for sipping and mixing. This rye, aged for six years, taught the makers that it doesn’t take long to arrive at perfection.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Pepper, Citrus, Spice, Cocoa, Vanilla, Leather | ABV: 48.28%
WhistlePig 15 Year
One of WhistlePig’s oldest whiskeys, Estate Oak Rye is for the true connoisseur of rye. It takes its name from the brand’s Vermont Estate Oak, where it finishes its long, 15-year life. Sustainably harvested right off a 500-acre farm, the wood has more rings than the standard American oak used in whiskey barrels, imparting more flavor during maturation.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Toffee, Butterscotch, Chocolate, Spice, Oak | ABV: 46%
Whistlepig Double Malt 18 Year
WhistlePig Double Malt Rye is the brand’s oldest rye, patiently mellowed for 18 years. Before industrial distillation, America’s original farmers would malt a small portion of their grain to start fermentation, the essential step that turns water and rye into glorious whiskey.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Spice, Fruit, Floral, Vanilla, Oak | ABV: 46%
WhistlePig 10 Year
WhistlePig Whiskey kicked off the brand’s rye whiskey journey with the Quintessential Rye – its Small Batch Rye, aged 10 Years. True to its original Master Distillers’ vision, this is a high rye whiskey with a bold, spice-forward character that offers new layers of flavor with every year of age.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Sugar, Oak, Chocolate, Vanilla, Cola | ABV: 50%
Whistlepig "Siren's Song" The Boss Hog IX
Siren’s Song is an odyssey of maturation: a twice-finished, well-aged rye that slumbered in cakes seasoned with Greek Fig Nectar and barrels suffused with homemade tentura – a liqueur born in the Peloponnesian city of Patras enlivened by the muses and inspired by Hellenic family recipes.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Grain, Spice, Peach, Cherry, Cola, Vanilla, Honey | ABV: 51.3-53.1%
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