Whiskey Review: WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne

, | January 23, 2023

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Released in November of last year by WhistlePig Farm and Distillery, WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne marks the second chapter in the WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series. This new, limited edition 100% rye single barrel whiskey comes courtesy of Grammy award winning country music duo, the Brothers Osborne, who hand selected it. 

The first iteration from the Vermont distillery’s Legends Series, WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Big Papi Barrel, was released in March of 2022 and was a collaboration with National Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz. Cleverly released close to the start of the MLB season, this early Spring edition had the distinction of being the world’s first toasted baseball bat-finished whiskey. The intention behind WhistlePig Farm and Distillery’s Legend Series is to celebrate those who strive to give 100% in the name of greatness. 

WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne is aged for 6 years in American oak barrels before being finished with custom high toast barrel heads and is bottled at 96.56 proof (48.28% ABV). It is a small batch of around 100 bottles autographed by the Brothers Osborne. 

In a prepared statement, WhistlePig’s Head Blender, Meghan Ireland said, “We had a blast collaborating with Brothers Osborne to bring something new to PiggyBack 100% Rye that represents their unique sound and style,” adding, “High toast barrel heads bring sweet, spice and smoke notes to our bold high Rye profile, and nod to what’s been called the band’s instrumental slash-and-burn style. Like WhistlePig, John and TJ are true originals, and the Brothers Osborne Barrel release invites our collective families to join in and celebrate that individuality.”

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As a result of this collaboration, the Brothers Osborne became such fans of WhistlePig whiskey they even featured it in one of their latest videos. “We’re very proud to release a new kind of single for our family to enjoy this holiday season,” said John and TJ Osborne in a prepared statement.  “At its core, music is a string of notes that creates a perfect melody, and the same applies to whiskey. You want a combination of various components that complement one another, and whether it’s music or whiskey, it’s always a dynamic mix. We’re inviting everyone to raise a glass with us to something dangerously good!” 

WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne review

WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne (image via Jennifer WIlliams/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne

Vital Stats: Aged 6 years, 96.56 proof (48.28% ABV), 750 ml bottle MSRP $49.99, Product of Vermont. 

Appearance: Tawny.

Nose: Strong alcohol forwardness on the nose with grassy notes of cinnamon, orchard fruits, caramel, and oak sawdust. 

Palate: The palate offers a fierce combo of spicy black pepper and cinnamon along with very earthy, grassy notes of dry hay, raw green apple, walnut, damp topsoil, root licorice, and black jelly bean. 

Whiskey Review: WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne
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Summary

This rye whiskey has intense organic characteristics, a surprisingly creamy texture, and a slow burn of a long finish. The flavor balance leans more towards grassy earthiness with very little floral or sweet notes, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not very complex in that it boldly clings to its discernibly organic flavor profile. While it may not be the smoothest and most approachable rye for newcomers, I can see it being highly favored by those who prefer a more raw, unadulterated whiskey.

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Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams is a former Dallas, Texas bartender of 15 years where she developed an appreciation for patrons with a healthy respect for great whiskey. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2019 where she graduated from Portland State University as an English Literature major with a minor in Writing. While...