Whisky Advocate

Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, 10 year old

July 13th, 2010

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, 10 year old, 50%, $70
Imported from Canada (which suggests that maybe this whiskey was originally intended to be the “flavoring” component of a Canadian whiskey?) and bottled in Vermont. This is 100% rye whiskey (much higher than other traditional straight rye whiskeys). Indeed, this whiskey bleeds spices (especially brisk mint, vibrant clove, and teasing nutmeg), but there’s a rich, sweet foundation to balance it all (honeyed vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and nutty toffee), along with candied citrus and charcoal. Bold, spicy, nutty toffee, butterscotch finish. Very distinctive.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 89

26 Responses to “Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, 10 year old”

  1. Alex says:

    Sounds interesting with 100% rye and at 50% abv. Surprised at bottled in VT, can’t wait to try this one.

  2. Andre Girard says:

    I’m living in Canada and never saw that bottle. Where did you found it ?

  3. Andre Girard says:

    Once again, not available in Canada… Strange to see i can’t find most of bourbon who are made in USA – just across the border – but can get access to single malts who are imported from 5000km away…

  4. Marc says:

    Would love to try this, unfortunately will most likely never see it in a shop. Is this a limited or a new ‘core’ release? I love the packaging.

  5. Evan says:

    If you’re around New York, I finally found it at a great place in Red Hook called Dry Dock. I had a moment’s hesitation to part with 70 dollars, but it was well worth it. With a little ice, damn good stuff. Though it turns out my search was unnecessary, you can buy it online through their website.

    • sam k says:

      Interesting that this website identifies it inaccurately as a “Product of Vermont.” No wonder Chuck Cowdery gets his dander up over this kind of misrepresentation.

      • kallaskander says:

        Hi there,

        it does not. It merely states “Founded in 2010, WhistlePig Whiskey is located on a former dairy farm in Shoreham, Vermont.”

        It does not say it was made in Vermont. And as it is said it is at least 10yo it was not distilled at nor by Whistle Pig.

        Where was it then?


        • sam k says:

          When you click on the “Buy it Now” link at the WP site, you are then directed to DrinkUpNY, which is where it is identified as such. So I was confused, but not totally mistaken, as could just about anyone be by the direct link.

          I would hope that the WhistlePig folks would take note of this mistake and see that it is corrected.

  6. Mr Manhattan says:

    Seems it’s all about oval bottles with broad shoulders now for American whiskey with Maker’s 46 and Four Roses leading the way. Of course it’s Bulleit that started it all.

    • MrTH says:

      The Bulleit bottle is very different in my mind–it’s meant to look like a rough-hewn hand-made frontier whiskey bottle. This, and the Four Roses bottles, are much more elegant. In fact, in this case, I find the bottle rather incongruous with the name and label.

      • Mr Manhattan says:

        I certainly agree: the physical bottles are of vastly different quality. But they share a general shape. It seems like failing to acknowledge the potential influence of Bulleit, which has been using that shape for many years, would be a mistake.

  7. Alex says:

    I don’t know alot about straight rye whiskeys – how does this compare to the Michter’s (one of a few I’ve had)?

    • MrTH says:

      A 100% rye whiskey is a different beast. Different grains produce different flavors, and it’s worth trying one of these in order to learn exactly what rye brings to the table, if for no other reason. Others I’ve had are Anchor’s Old Potrero and Hudson Manhattan Rye.

      • sam k says:

        Another difference worth noting is that Anchor uses all malted rye while the WhistlePig is all unmalted rye, and those two are totally different beasts. A side by side tasting between them should be an education in and of itself.

  8. George Jetson says:

    Okay, so count up how many 100% pure rye Canadian Whiskies there are out there. Are they all-malted rye, or unmalted blend? Don’t mean to be contradictory, but it’s not possible to have a 100% unmalted grain bill and still produce alcohol. The smart money says Alberta Springs, Walkerville or Kittling Ridge and I doubt the that John would ever sell his precious inventory.

    Lot No. 40 was a high rye content (and “small grains} “flavoring” Canadian Whisky produced in small batches from a pot still, but it laid a big turd because the Canadian Whisky drinking public weren’t used to the mother lode.

    Is WP pot still or column still? Big diff, but I guess that’s what the marketing bul****t is all about.

    And if this is Canadian, please drop the “e’ and call it whisky.

    • sam k says:

      George, I asked this question of Mr. Pickerell in another thread and received no reply. The enzymes have to come from somewhere…so where DO they come from? I’m glad I’m not the only one who has considered this situation.

      What Canadian distillery used a pot still for Lot 40, and why hasn’t it been used for other releases? (Or has it, and I’m not aware?)

      The bottler has the option of the “e” in my opinion. I don’t have any problem with that decision.

  9. thomas mckenzie says:

    I read somewhere that this is 100 percent unmalted rye. Where did the enzymes come from? Simple. Out of a bucket. These are the same enzymes used by countless micro distilleries and they are generally frowned upon. According to one of the main men behind Lot 40, it was a potstill it came from.

    • sam k says:

      Again I ask: what Canadian distillery used a pot still for Lot 40, and why hasn’t it been used for other releases? (Or has it, and I’m not aware?)

      Bummer about the bucket…I think.

  10. Gary says:

    Just picked up 2 bottles of this and I am looking forward to giving it a taste.

  11. Barry Jay says:

    Was just given a bottle as a gift. I like it…..sweet and smooth…

  12. Greenlander says:

    Very distinctive, almost skunky, middle and finish from the strong, spicy esthers. I like it — very more-ish. I am beginning to think of it as the “Hendricks Gin of Ryes”. Thanks to Dave.

  13. […] 10 year old 100% rye whiskey later this year at 94 proof. I tasted a pre-release. It reminded me of WhistlePig. I mean, it really reminded me of WhistlePig (hint!), but at a slightly lower proof (and what will […]

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