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.
Who isn’t excited when they realize it’s Boss Hog o’clock? WhistlePig, known for their way with rye, were recently up to their old tricks again (or, one could argue, a new trick – I’ll let you decide) with what some are calling “wild,” and “labyrinthine:” Siren’s Song. I don’t think it’s far outside their normal metier, but what is wild is that there’s no age statement, though WhistlePig claim it’s “some of the oldest rye on the farm.”
In keeping with the international inspirations of prior Boss Hog editions, Siren’s Song is an homage to ancient Greece. Liz Rhoades and Meghan Ireland of WhistlePig crafted their own barrel finish for the first time. This whiskey is rested first in a Greek fig nectar cask, and then in one that contained Tentura, a spicy, honeyed liqueur. The Tentura was made in-house with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and orange peel.
Tentura often has a base of brandy, but sometimes rum, and its color ranges from amber to dark orange-red. Typically served neat or over ice as a digestif, it can also be used in cooking and cocktails. Another name for this liqueur is transliterated as moschovolithra, which means “she who throws scent.” It’s been made in the Greek wine-producing region of Patras from the 15th century, by some estimates.
Patras is best known for the fortified red wine Mavrodaphne. This technique was developed after a local producer traveled to Douro in Portugal and learned how port was made there sometime in the mid 19th century. Patras also produces dry white wines from the Roditis grape and sweet white wines from Muscat.
But I digress. Expanding the tradition of bespoke pewter stoppers, The Boss Hog IX comes with adorned with one of nine (!) different muses (deep breath): Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, or Urania (in sow form, of course). This reviewer’s sample was guarded by Thalia. As in years past, these were crafted by Danforth Pewter of Vermont.
Tasting Notes: WhistlePig The Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song
Vital Stats: WhistlePig The Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song is a straight rye whiskey at 102.5-106.2 proof (this sample was 103.4 proof) that’s aged for an undisclosed length of time. It’s double-finished in ex-fig-liqueur and ex-Tentura casks. Find a 750mL bottle with select retailers nationwide for a list price of $599.99.
Appearance: This whiskey is a very clear medium amber brown that forms fat tears.
Nose: Officially, it smells awesome. Sweet cinnamon buns with vanilla glaze and the warm rich scent of fig.
Palate: On the attack it’s pleasant and warming with well-integrated alcohol, not mouth-numbing. Spice is strong but sweet, woven through with the savoriness of sandalwood, and pineapple-y sugar.
Whiskey Review: WhistlePig The Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song
Wow, this whiskey is delicious. It’s bold – this is not an exercise in subtlety, this is maximalism, well crafted maximalism. Jump at the chance to try it.
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In 2014 I founded Portland Bitters Project with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now our bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. I teach at two Portland colleges and visit private groups, distilleries and maker's spaces to spread the...