Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey is quite the curious bottling. Specifically, this curiosity is because of the numerous hats Whistle Pig wears. This Dave Pickerell selected rye comes from Canada and is bottled at an impressive 50% ABV. Our expectations are certainly peaked for a whisky that has been categorized as “voluptuous” and “requiring its own postal code” in regards to the grandiosity of flavor. Let’s start off with some specifics…
Firstly, it is a premium bottling of 100% rye whiskey that also happens to be significantly aged at 10 years. The rye whiskey category before a few years ago was a small non-impact style. These days, one can find 15-20 examples of rye from below $20.00 all the way up into the luxury category with Whistle Pig at $70.00. Secondly, one may notice that Whistle Pig Farm, the distillery company on the label, does not actually produce the whiskey. In fact, this bottle is a good example of the current trend in the craft distilling boom of small startup distilleries sourcing their product from another producer and bottling it as their own. In this case, the whiskey comes from up north in Canada, therefore it is technically a Canadian whisky, but bottled and branded from Vermont. Whistle Pig Farm is currently distilling their own organic rye to be bottled in the future, but like most other startups, cash needs to flow now. Distilling and the associated operations ain’t cheap, folks.
An opportunity for branding confusion? Sure. But what really matters is what is in the bottle. Only two questions matter to us: does it taste good and is it offered at a decent price? Let’s see how it goes…
SWC Group Review
Nose- Quintessential rye notes of dusty spice, menthol, spearmint. As it opens up, vanilla sweetness with caramel, candied toffee. Peppery, pine and grapefruit citrus.
Taste– Gripping with grapefruit, prickly spice, leather and cloves. Hints of sweetness, vanilla. Pine and dry.
Finish – Long, herbal finish. Aromatic, peppery clove.
Comment- A go-to classic rye expression. Quietly interesting with a contemplative complexity to it. Perhaps not the juggernaut of flavor some claim and that is the main disappointment. Pricey, too.
SWC Rating – 80/100
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I don’t mind WP10 but I would take Masterson’s 12 yr rye over this in a blink. Not cheap either but IMO far superior.
The best Straight Rye I ever tasted with Rendezvous Rye and Millstone 100 close. (I did have a sample of Saz 18 that was king of the hill but only that 1 little bottle:(
I have a feeling if I had my dirty greasy hands on a sample of Saz 18 I would find a new King of the Hill. To be honest I have not picked up a bottle of Whistle Pig 10 since that review. Too expensive and not memorable enough for a repurchase.
I stand corrected, was fortunate enough to win a SAZ 18 in the LCBO Lottery in November, traded it for a 2012 Thomas H Handy and a 2012 Old Forester BB. The Handy alone killed the Saz 18 big time, absolutely spectacular.