Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey 10 Years Old

A whistle-pig is another name for a groundhog. It is now also a compelling straight rye whiskey from Vermont — hardly the first state that comes to mind when you talk whiskey.

When they say straight rye, they mean it. WhistlePig is a rare 100% rye, aged for 10 years and bottled at 100 proof. Round numbers. Easy to remember.

In the glass, this is impressive stuff. Crafted by Dave Pickerell, a 14-year veteran of Maker’s Mark, this rye is characteristically spicy, with pepper and ginger notes laced atop a moderately sweet (but not overly so) core. Nicely balanced, the elements are all in harmony here, though that spice — coupled with the kick of extra alcohol — is always at the forefront. The finish offers notes of coal, reminding you this is not a vanilla-scented Bourbon but rather a rye.

Pricey, to be sure, but in a world with too-few high-grade rye whiskeys, it’s worth it.

A- / $80 /

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8 Responses

  1. In With Bacchus December 7, 2010 / 5:06 pm

    WhistlePig is some good stuff. It managed to redeem Canadian rye for me. Just wish it wasn’t so expensive. Although, I’m actually rather glad it is. Keeps me from wallowing in it.

  2. cange December 10, 2010 / 8:50 am

    Now this is a cool bottle design! What was the whiskey with the huge angel wings on it? I might drink from an angel bottle if I were married to that chick from ‘Touched by an Angel.’ ‘Sloshed by an Angel’? (Sorry)

  3. St. Spike June 11, 2011 / 9:24 am

    Meh — I actually find WhistlePig to be one of the most overhyped Ryes out there. If you’re going to spend that much, do yourself a favor and spend the extra for the Hudson. If you’d rather spend less, opt for the Templeton. Either way WhistlePig is just a bad value.

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