What we drank:
Whistle Pig 10 Year
Whistle Pig 15 Year
Whistle Pig Old World Cask Finish Rye
Whistle Pig Boss Hogg V
From the Whistle Pig website: whistlepigwhiskey.com
WhistlePig began when we purchased our farm in 2007. After a few years of deep consideration and personal reflection we committed ourselves to crafting the world’s finest and most interesting Rye Whiskeys. With help from Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, we discovered and purchased an incredible stock of 10 year old blending Whiskey in Canada that was being profoundly misused. That initial stock, for which we are forever grateful, is what kicked off our grand adventure.
With every step of the Whiskey making process we ask ourselves 3 questions:
“How was this done in the past?”
“Have we learned anything since then that can make this better?”
“Is there another way to do this that’s worth exploring?”
More often than not the answer is there’s always something worth exploring. We know the path forward isn’t always a straight line. So we push ourselves to innovate and we’re reassured by our mistakes. They’re what keep us great.
Our commitment to authentic experience doesn’t end when the bottle is capped: while we are growing, harvesting, barreling, and bottling our favorite grain, the animals are also being fruitful and multiplying. Kunekune pigs, sheep, goats, bees and horses call our farm home. Not to mention the 20 acres of maple trees we tap for syrup. Embracing more than 500 acres, we think our farm is the perfect place to experiment and provides us with ample access to the highest quality ingredients.
Rye is a bratty grain. It’s difficult and like a great Bordeaux takes many years to truly reach its potential. Fortunately for us we have a significant inventory of exceptionally aged Rye Whiskeys. But age isn’t everything. We challenge ourselves to see if we can take this great Whiskey and make it truly exceptional. That’s how our obsession with finishing started.
We scoured the globe to find some of the most unique and interesting casks available and even developed our own cask using oak straight from our farm. We painfully surrendered some of our Whiskey to rest in these casks and then proceeded with the hardest part of our jobs. We waited.
The results were mixed. Some finishes failed or added nothing. But many introduced new levels of complexity and depth to the Rye. Our 12 Year Old World Cask Finish Rye was the first line of finished Rye Whiskeys released, originally as 3 separate finished Ryes: Sauternes, Madeira, Port. And now The Boss Hog features a new favorite finish with each release.
The wood innovation we are proudest of is our Vermont Oak Barrels made from trees harvested directly from our farm and the surrounding area. Vermont is about as far north as oak trees can grow. The shorter growing seasons leads to oak trees with more growth rings. When aging Whiskey encounters a growth ring in a barrel it imparts flavor, so our Vermont Oak barrels, with custom chars & toasts designed by Dave Pickerell, bring tremendous depth and complexities to our Ryes.
WhistlePig 15 year is finished in these Vermont Oak Barrels for 1 to 3 years, and all of the Whiskeys coming out of our distillery go directly in to VT oak. The first of these estate-distilled whiskeys can be found in our FarmStock Rye series.
After the relase of our 12 Year Old World Cask Finish Ryes we decided that no one finish was quite perfect. We wondered if we could take Aristotles advice and make the whole be greater than the sum its parts. Thus began our dedication to blending.
Under the leadership of Chief Blender Pete Lynch and Master Distiller Dave Pickerell our first experiment with blending involved crowdsourcing input from bartenders all across the United States to create the final recipe for what is now WhistlePig 12 Year Old World Cask Finish Rye.
FarmStock offered our next opportunity to master blending, finding a way to marry the untamed contours and boldness of our Estate Whiskey, which only youth can provide, with the richness and splendor of some of our special reserves.
Located in a 150-year-old renovated dairy barn, WhistlePig’s distillery is the culmination of five diligent years. Opened in 2015, we distill 7 days a week in our unique copper pot still designed by world-renowned Master Distiller Dave Pickerell.