Whiskey Review: WhistlePig Piggybank Rye

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 in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

While whiskey connoisseurs tend to take their consumption and collection seriously, there’s something to be said for levity within the culture, and WhistlePig Distillery recently came in strong with their WhistlePig Piggybank Rye. Presented in a decorative 1-liter replica Berkshire Bitter Pig decanter that “proudly pours from the rear,” the whiskey almost guarantees countless photos shared on social media and, basically, built-in marketing.

A humorous disclaimer is included in the promotional package, stating “This whiskey release features self-deprecating humor created under the supervision of professionals. We make no apologies for this release either expressly or otherwise. Accordingly, WhistlePig and their retailers must insist that no one attempt to create or enact any stunt or activity performed with this bottle including but not limited to selfies sipping straight from the posterior.

WhistlePig Piggybank Rye was released last year in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the distillery, with the whiskey aged ten years and bottled at 110 proof. WhistlePig is housed in a 150-year-old renovated barn sitting on 500-acres in Shoreham, Vermont.

Jeff Kozac, the CEO of WhistlePig, takes pride in innovation and consistent forward movement. After winning their first ‘Best Rye’ award in 2012, Kozak boasts that WhistlePig hasn’t “stopped experimenting since. We’ve broken ground on nine Rye grain and experimental crop fields across 500 acres in Vermont, fermented yeast foraged from a ham’s hind, delivered the Great Beer Rescue, countless epic finishes, and even a whiskey fueled car. We’re erasing the boundaries of traditional whiskey making in an attempt to bring you the best of Rye the best way we know how – big, bold and unapologetic.”

The head of WhistlePig’s whiskey development is Liz Rhoades, who insists that this limited release and the whiskey that follow will “bring new frontiers beyond rye,” signaling a goal for the distillery moving beyond the familiar and into the unknown.

WhistlePig Piggybank Rye review

WhistlePig Piggybank Rye (image via Jerry Sampson/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: WhistlePig Piggybank Rye

Vital Stats: Aged for 10 years in Charred Oak barrels. Bottled at 55% ABV (110 Proof). Released in limited quantity in a 1-liter replica Berkshire Bitter Pig decanter. SRP $199.99.

Appearance: Pours a vibrant and rich dark copper color.

Nose: The whiskey emits mouthwatering notes of teriyaki, smoky soy, vanilla, and unshelled sunflower seeds.

Palate: There is a distinct presence on the palate, peppery and woodsy with fermented elements. I enjoyed an effervescent quality, with notes of cola and tarragon with a long finish that highlights the charred oak.

Whiskey Review: WhistlePig Piggybank Rye


I greatly enjoyed WhistlePig Piggybank Rye. Besides the fun of the decanter and the appeal of such a special presentation sitting on my shelf, the whiskey is delicious. I took my time with this tasting and really focused on picking out the complexities within the flavor profile. I found that there are really unique aspects of the whiskey that help it stand out from other rye expressions.

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Jerry Jenae Sampson

Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.