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Drink Review : WhistlePig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey

A hard-to-find, award-winning 100% rye whisk(e)y created by Maker’s Mark’s former master distiller, Dave Pickerell. Distilled and initially aged in Canada, before years of further ageing at WhistlePig farm in Vermont, this is, as owner Raj Bhakta puts it, ‘a Canadian-US collaboration to the core’.

Whistle Pig Bourbon Review:

“It’s funny, because I’ve never really been a bourbon drinker. When I first came to Maker’s Mark, I’d heard a lot of people talk about my fellow co-workers’ amazing bourbon. I used to say, “Really? Maker’s Mark bourbon?” And now I’ve finally been confronted with it, I can honestly say that I hate the taste of bourbon.

I know what I like in a bottle of whiskey. Not bourbon per se, but rye whiskey. Whistle Pig is an amazing example of a 100% rye whiskey that tastes like an old-fashioned double rye, but without the burn.”

Whistle Pig Rye offers a rich, smooth, balmy-toasty, spicy flavor that is unmistakably distinct from a competitively labeled liquor. Its lighter and more distinct in flavor than Vermont’s own Stranahan’s Island Mallory Park Rye. It is 100% rye, bottled in new charred tallboys at 116 proof.

“There is no question that the whisky has a maturity and depth to it, reminiscent of something aged in a familiar oak cask with just a kick, a zip or two of spice where the whiskey ages in Quebec barrels.”

Aroma:
“I was expecting a spicy, fruity mingling and was greeted by an herbal and bready rye nose similar to many Canadian craft whiskeys. Lightly sweet with a toasty, toasty wood grain character; I got a familiar rye spice similar to a good Canadian rye, like Stranahan’s Island Mallory Park Rye, that lingers on the nose.

Flavor:
“The 10 year is spicy and fruity, and it has the deceptive smell of a rye whiskey. Still, the more I sip this, the more I see rye whiskey. It is heavy on the rye with its buckwheat and malt character. It is chewier than the 12 year, with more rye spice that is a bit more reminiscent of an old-fashioned Appalachian whiskey. I really like the flavor of this whiskey, for rye whiskey fans that want to get into rye, this is a good place to start.

It has a nice sear from its 12% rye/60% corn mash and its distinctively smooth mouth feel. It is smooth enough to drink neat, but this whiskey would go well in a cocktail as well. Just one word of caution – this whiskey is so smooth, it’s deceptive. The rye stickiness on the palate can make it seem a bit thin, so think of this as a fruity, spicy rye bourbon mash up with a bit more bite than most rye whiskeys.”

“In my opinion this is a strong, complex whiskey that has a lot of spicy, rye characteristics with some more typical bourbon characteristics; it has the essence of a Canadian whiskey, Vermont style, but with a good kick of rye. It’s complex and yet formal, warming from rye spice, and it has a good, relatable complexity that’s easy to enjoy and approachable.”

Certainly worth a try if you’re a rye/bourbon or whiskey/bourbon fan who’s new to rye. A bottle of Whistle Pig Rye lasted me for a week; a bottle of Whistle Pig Rye will satisfy you for some time.

Whistle Pig Bourbon Review 1:

“I highly suggest this to rye whiskey drinkers, but I must caution them that the Whistle Pig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey is not for everyone. If you’ve had your fill of Kentucky or Tennessee whiskey and you’re afraid of the funk and heat of rye, this is your whiskey.”

“This is strong whiskey made only for those who enjoy more robust styles of whiskey and bear in mind that many whiskeys age a great deal. This is another solid whiskey that’s sure to satisfy rye fans and whiskey fans alike.”

“If you like rye whiskey and like to try new whiskeys, this one’s worth a look.”

“I found this whiskey to be well-made, full bodied and incredibly interesting. I really enjoyed this whiskey, and the rye/bourbon mash up was a nice change of pace.”

Written by Mark Adams

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