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Premium — $51–$100
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THL: What is it?
WhistlePig Rye Whiskey is “100/100”, which means 100% rye whiskey at 100 proof and aged for 10 years in New American Oak.
THL: Why should you try it?
The name WhistlePig was inspired by an unusual encounter with a mysterious wild-haired 60-year-old Frenchman on a bicycle nonsensically shouting, “Could it be, could it be a whistle pig?” much to the befuddlement of founder Raj Peter Bhakta, who was out on a hike. Bhakta took this strange meeting as a sign from the gods to use the phrase from this odd social encounter for what is regarded as one of America’s best rye whiskeys.
Distiller Dave Pickerell said that WhistlePig Rye is designed to feature what rye should be and what rye can be in its perfect essence. He sought to create a whiskey with outstanding character, and the 100% rye composition provided the expressiveness he desired as well as hitting the “sweet spot” of the three essential categories of proof, age and purity. The only downside of this spirit is its extremely limited qualities. However, the small-batch nature of the product provides the highest level of quality control and ensures that every bottle is one of the best you’ll ever experience. WhistlePig will only produce 2,500 cases in 2012, and, when it’s gone, it’s gone. Grab a bottle of this hooch while you still can.
THL: Who makes it?
After 14 years as Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark, Dave Pickerell joined WhistlePig to create what he regards as his magnum opus, WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey.
THL: What does it taste like?
subtle rye, cedar, ginger, allspice, clove, anise
THL: How should you drink it?
When Pickerell was asked to describe the perfect way to experience WhistlePig he said, “Stick your nose into your glass, and breathe in through your mouth to get all of the flavors and aromas, and take a sip. Then try adding with a little bit of water to 'peel back' the layers as at different proof points. You will discover entirely new flavors and aromas.” After you experiment with whiskey and water, try this spin on a classic Vieux Carre from Justin Leone of Benny’s Chop House, Chicago.
Le Vieux Cochon
1 ounce WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth (Leone recommends Carpano Antica
1 ounce Cognac
1/4 ounce Benedictine
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Add all ingredients into mixing glass filled with ice. Stir for 30-45 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with flamed lemon rind.
Let this spirit express itself in a classic Old Fashioned