Whiskey Review: Wigle Oaxaca Rye - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Wigle Oaxaca Rye

By Jeneen Bell / September 20, 2019

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Wigle. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Pennsylvania distillery, Wigle, is having fun with finishing barrels. Anyone can see that innovation is clearly running wild – just check out their line-up to see. The Wigle Oaxaca Rye crosses boundaries, celebrating Mexican and American heritage spirits. It’s Monongahela Rye whiskey finished in mezcal casks. And I do enjoy a neat mezcal from time to time, so I was curious when I saw this bottle.

This project is a true barrel exchange. Wigle provided Wahaka Mezcal a used rye barrel and Wahakas provided Wigle a reposado barrel. Reposado con Gusano is the only aged mezcal in their line. They take  the Joven Espadín and age it up to six months in re-charred American oak barrels. If your curious, the Wahaka experiment is called Repo on Rye.

This whiskey is definitely on the drier side. It has a super thin mouth feel, so thin it took me by surprise. Instead of being creamy, it’s more on the astringent side. It dissipates quickly yet leaves a medium to long aftertaste. The spices continue on the front half of your tongue.

I haven’s spent any time with any other Wigle whiskies. So, to be fair, I can’t compare this whiskey to any of the other Wigle whiskies.  Also, I can’t compare it to any other rye aged in a mezcal cask since it isn’t common.

Wigle Oaxaca Rye

Wigle Oaxaca Rye (image via Jeneen Bell/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Wigle Oaxaca Rye

Vital Stats: 80 Proof, 40% ABV, 750 ml bottle bottle goes for $75. Rye aged two years in new charred American oak barrels, finished in a used mezcal cask. Mash bill is 65% rye, 13% malted barley, and 12% wheat.

Appearance: The color is darker than your average rye. Also, it doesn’t have the clarity of a chill-filtered whiskey, there is sediment visible when held up to a light. It comes in a rectangle clear bottle with vibrant gold, white, and black label. You’ll also find a sticker seal over the synthetic cork with wood top.

Nose: It’s gentle on the nose with an aroma of lightly toasted bread and green apple. Warm sugar notes come through with light hints of cinnamon, like cinnamon candy.

Palate: The oak is strong with this one. It has an astringent mouth feel, almost like it dissipates into thin air. Yet it is full of black peppery spice on the front of the tongue. It also has dried tobacco leaves and sawdust flavors.

The Takeaway


Having not tasted any of the Wigle whiskies before, it's difficult to compare with the rest of their line-up. It's too thin and astringent for my tastes to enjoy neat. However, it might be good to add a kick to a cocktail. It's a fun experiment and worth a taste. But, I will say it gets half a point for uniqueness.

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