Review: WhistlePig SmokeStock Whiskey

Review: WhistlePig SmokeStock Whiskey

WhistlePig has always leaned towards a bit of irreverence in their exploration of whiskey expressions. Their 100% rye whiskeys have been well regarded as well as their special releases (despite their price tag). For this latest release, the company collaborated with Traeger grills, creator of the wood pellet grill, to create a BBQ themed whiskey. The whiskey is aged in Traeger grill smoked barrels, further describes:

WhistlePig SmokeStock Whiskey is aged in American Oak No. 3 char barrels and then smoked slow and low with Traeger’s all-natural Apple BBQ wood. The limited edition whiskey is further smoked during the proofing process to impart campfire smoke and subtle savory notes alongside WhistlePig’s signature bold and spice-forward style.

Let’s pour one out.

The nose is unusually muted, and it took a while for the leather polish and smoked wood chip notes to come through. There is barely any sweetness initially, although hints of fermented sour apple cider add some color to the leather. Eventually, a smoky barbecue sauce aroma emerges. I was so intrigued by this savory nose that it gave me pause to take a sip. What could possibly be in store for the palate? It turns out: All of the ambient scents of hovering over a smoky barbecue in the great outdoors. This literally tastes like you are poking and prodding and waving smoke away from your eyes over a wood-fired grill. Uncanny notes of sour-sweet tomato paste, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper ready to be applied to  grilled meats are present alongside the indelible cloud of firsthand smoke. (While sipping, I even felt as if the smoke had gotten into my clothes.)

This is seriously a smoky barbeque in a glass, punched with familiar whiskey notes of oak and toasted grains, and unexpectedly mellow on the palate. What an experience — for better or worse. The motto for this release is “born to be sipped low & slow,” and I’d say they nailed that. At 83 proof, this is designed as a repeat all day (or all night) sipper, perhaps whiling away the hours waiting for that perfect smoked cut of meat to emerge for a devoted audience around a campfire. It’s a novelty whiskey that may feel outsized for any other occasion, but it’s uniqueness is reason enough to give it a try at least once, if you get the chance.

83 proof.

B / $73 / whistlepigwhiskey.com

WhistlePig SmokeStock Whiskey

$73
8

Rating

8.0/10

Monica is an incurable dilettante, who is relentlessly curious about books, brews (the coffee kind) and bourbons.

5 Comments

  1. AMP on August 14, 2022 at 4:17 pm

    Complete trash! I am a fan on all things WP and Traeger and this is not good. Reminds me of left over water from a cold smoker. I am a fan of smoke and peat in my whiskey but this is on another level. I’ll have to figure out what I’m going to do with this, drinking neat is not an option.

  2. Roy freeman on September 9, 2022 at 10:37 am

    I think this is an all day sipper , smoke flavor is very nice. If you like bourbons and whiskey you will like this. Smooth.

  3. Dave K on December 10, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    We were also disappointed. Love Whistlepig, love Traeger, expected this to be great but it wasn’t. The smoke is overbearing, like you are licking the inside of your Traeger. I’ll try it again next time I smoke some ribs. Maybe sipping with some bbq will be a good pairing. Other than that I’m gonna have to figure out what to mix it with.

  4. Finn on January 26, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Wow, quite polarizing it would appear. Add my wife and I to the “love it” column. Seriously smoky in a good way.

    • D. Brammer on August 29, 2023 at 1:09 pm

      Perfectly good waste of whiskey. A group of us got together and we were excited to taste it, expecting a smoked taste. Boy we were disappointed! Tasted like drinking the water the wood chips soaked in. We drank it neat, tried on the rocks, then we threw it away. All 4 of us absolutely hated it. Maybe our taste buds are out of sync with this. I hope everyone else has a different experience, but we won’t be drinking it again. I don’t even think you could make a drinkable cocktail out of it.



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