Review: WhistlePig “The Boss Hog II: Spirit of Mortimer” Rye Whiskey Single Barrel 13 Years Old 2014

Review: WhistlePig “The Boss Hog II: Spirit of Mortimer” Rye Whiskey Single Barrel 13 Years Old 2014


Clearly, Vermont-based WhistlePig has a stash of barrels of rye aging away in a warehouse, so each year the company can bottle a bit of it and see what happens, while the rest continues to mellow outtakes a little bit of its well-aged rye and bottles it just to see what’s going on. The rest lingers for another year.

This year WhistlePig’s special edition is a “nearly 14 year old” rye — 100% rye, as always — named in honor of the company’s deceased Kune Kune pig and mascot. “The Spirit of Mortimer” is marked not by a name on the label but by a large “M” and a pewter stopper that sits atop the bottle, a winged piglet that honors the deceased Mortimer. (To confuse matters further, the black label, similar in hue to 2012’s WhistlePig 111, merely indicates it’s “The Boss Hog,” akin to last year’s bottling.)

With that, we’re on to the tasting…

There’s ample wood and some campfire smoke on the nose of WhistlePig: Spirit of Mortimer, with hints of apple cider and cinnamon. The body is hefty and chewy, but with a fruitiness that shines through the haze of sawdust and lumber. Cinnamon and clove notes emerge on the racy finish, and while it’s all well-integrated with caramel characteristics at its core, it’s not altogether quite as intriguing as last year’s expression. Fine effort on the whole, however.

118 to 124 proof, depending on batch (our sample was not disclosed). 50 barrels bottled, less than 2,000 cases produced.


WhistlePig “The Boss Hog II: Spirit of Mortimer” Rye Whiskey Single Barrel 13 Years Old 2014




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Austin, TX on December 7, 2014 at 3:22 am

    “Clearly”, my ass.

    • Christopher Null on December 7, 2014 at 8:11 am

      OK, maybe not clearly, but this special edition whisky gets older and more expensive every year, so SOMEONE has a stash…

  2. Austin, TX on December 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    No offense, CN. To be clear, and being the ball-buster that I am, Whistle Pig peddles sourced whisky as far as I know/recall. Nothing is distilled in Vermont, but Indiana. My beef is that they’re not forthcoming and then ask $200 for their wares. Nothing is “clear”, in my eyes.

  3. Christopher Null on December 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    No offense taken — you’re correct that they are a non-distiller producer. The question is whether WP has actual barrels aging on its own premises (never mind that they didn’t distill them — that is well-known), or whether someone else is doing the aging for them as well. My understanding is that WP does have the barrels aging in its own warehouses.

    BTW I believe Whistlepig is distilled in Canada, not Indiana — though that may be changing as well.

  4. nottlv on December 8, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    My understanding from various Internet sources is that all the previous and current Whistlepig products are based on sourced 100% rye whiskey from Alberta Distillers. The CEO–who has some major credibility issues based on previous statements–states that WP is currently aging a vatting of 5 different ryes, still including the Alberta but also others from both the U.S. and Canada for future release. Jefferson’s, who used to also bottle a 10 year 100% rye sourced from Alberta, is supposedly switching to LDI/MGP for their future rye offerings.

    • Christopher Null on December 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      I believe all of this is correct.

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