Instant Booze Review: WhistlePig Rye Whiskey


THE BOOZE: WhistlePig Rye Whiskey

THE PLACE: The Old Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant, which just snagged a supply.

WHISKEY, NOT WHISKY? So it seems. Not that it matters. Didn’t you read Peter’s post wherein he explained the  “whisky” vs. “whiskey” nonsense?

SO WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS WHISKEY? According to the good people at WhistlePig, it is a “100-proof, straight rye whiskey, aged for at least ten years through a unique double-barrel process.”

I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE INTO THE BROWN LIQUORS. Normally I’m not. But my bartender has been going on about this stuff like he’s the angel Gabriel telling the virgin Mary that she’s going to give birth to rye whiskey. So naturally I had to try it.

SO HE’S ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT. Boy howdy. Ask him what he thinks, and he’ll wax poetic. “It’s not a bourbon,” he said. “It’s 100% rye, distilled in Canada, bottled in Vermont, I think. You may want to check that. [I did. He’s right.] It’s like the smoothest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. And it’s only ten years old! I find that shocking. And that burn… I’ve never experienced a whisky that has a finish like that. Wait, am I writing this for you?”

DO YOU CONCUR? I do. Well, as much as I’m able, given my relative inexperience with rye. It was a remarkably smooth sip, followed by sort of a spicy burn.

WHAT’S WITH THE CANADA/VERMONT THING? Well now that is interesting. The booze was bottled in Vermont, but it actually comes from a distillery in Canada. According to Fortune, WhistlePig founder Raj Bhakta “purchased the incredible Canadian rye whiskey, still in bulk storage, brought it back to Vermont, hand bottled it, and it blew critics away with rave reviews. At the same time, Bhakta and Pickerell, now Master Distiller for WhistlePig, have set up their own distillery on the farm and are working towards producing their rye from start to finish going forward.”

SO THEY DON’T ACTUALLY MAKE IT THEMSELVES? I guess not. Sean Lind at Real Men Drink Whiskey refers to the marketing as “the spectacular lie,” but notes that it’s “a terrific product.”  So the lovers of the stuff are on the right track, regardless of where it comes from.

DEEP THOUGHTS: It was some pretty remarkable booze, and I imagine that bourbon-sippers will find themselves quite taken with it. I myself will probably limit my consumption. My drinking hobbies are expensive enough without adding rye whiskey to the mix.