Whiskey
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Whistlepig 10 Year Rye

by on October 22, 2018
Details
 
Class

Straight Rye Whiskey

Average Price

$70-85 US Retail

Positives

Unique, refined, and delicious from start to finish.

Negatives

The retail price leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Editor Rating
 
Nose
90%

 
Palate
90%

 
Finish
90%

Total Score
90%

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Bottom Line
 

Must Try! This is an exceptionally tasty rye whiskey that is also very versatile and fun to experiment with in cocktails.

 

Whistlepig is an interesting company to talk about in whiskey circles. On the one hand, their 10 year old rye whiskey is one of the most awarded ryes in the world. On the other hand, many of their bottles are sourced rye whiskies primarily from Canada and some from Indiana. With their new Farmstock line up, Whistlepig has finally begun to release bottles containing some spirits aged at their Vermont based distillery. Oh and they have a rye whiskey which STARTS at an astronomical MSRP of $499 for some reason. I’m sure it’s good, but is it that good?

All that baggage out of the way, I’d like to talk primarily about the rye itself. The whiskey was aged in 10 years in new American oak and finished in used bourbon barrels. It’s worth mentioning that this is a 100% rye mash bill. To my knowledge, distillers usually prefer to temper rye with something a bit sweeter like corn, malt, or wheat to help smooth the taste in the mash rather than with more time in the barrel.
However, with the 10 year aged Alberta sourced rye, this isn’t an issue. The age results in a smooth and complex flavor – the first rye whiskey I loved at the first sip. Subsequently I’ve been introduced to other more economical ryes which are in their own rights delicious and fantastic. But there’s something special about the 10 year aged 100% rye bottled at 100 proof, even if it’s sourced.

I should also mention that as a bartender, both in my side hustle and for friends and family, I love using this whiskey in cocktails. It makes one of the best Old Fashioneds I’ve ever tasted – combined with some delicious bitters and muddled demerara sugar cubes. Some may say Whistlepig 10 is an overpriced, over marketed rye, but if so it’s a very tasty one that’s worth exploring.

Notes:

  • Bottled by Whistlepig in Vermont (likely distilled by Alberta Distillers)
  • Cask type:  New American oak barrels + used bourbon barrel finish
  • Mash bill:  100% rye
  • Age:  10 Years
  • ABV:  50%

Nose: Warming rye spice, honey, citrus, and caramel sweetness joined by soft ripe apple and delicate hints of milk chocolate.

Palate: Full bodied, velvety mouthfeel. Sweet honey and caramel lead the way. Spiciness, apples, and warmth emerge in a big middle leading to a great finale.

Finish: The finish is smooth with gentle spiciness and caramel candies. It leaves a lingering fruitiness in the mouth.

Buying recommendation: Must Try! Regardless of how you feel about rebranded sourced whiskey, Whistlepig 10 is definitely worth trying at least once in your life. It’s a delicious and wonderfully smooth rye whiskey, which is impressive given the 100% rye mash bill. It’s also worth mentioning that plenty of other companies missed the opportunity that Whistlepig captured with this particular stock of aged rye whiskey, and we should give credit where credit is due to the team who bottled this as a 100% rye rather than let it get blended into something else.

The 10 year old rye has a lot to offer neat, on the rocks, or mixed in your favorite whiskey cocktails. For some, this will be a staple of their whiskey collection. For others, it’ll be a one time sipper they tried in a bar. In any case, it’s a delicious whiskey and it’s worth a try!

The Rating Scale

At WBSE we use a true 100 point scale for scoring to allow whiskeys to further differentiate themselves (as opposed to a letter grade scale where 90% of whiskeys fall between 78-92). This allows you to more easily compare scores between different whiskeys. Here is how the scale breaks down:

1-49: Varying degrees of bad
55: Average
60-69: Better than average
70-79: Solid/Good
80-89: Excellent
90+: Truly Exceptional

All thoughts and opinions expressed are original to the author of the review or article. We are in no way paid to express any specific opinion about any specific company or product.

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