Latest WhistlePig Boss Hog Rye Whiskey Gets Double Rare Wood Cask Finish

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / September 22, 2020

Boss Hog is the yearly high end, premium offering from the WhistlePig rye whiskey brand. Versions of it in recent years, priced in the hundreds of dollars, have seen finishing in one type of rarer wood cask, such as the Armagnac cask finish a few years ago. Now, for 2020, WhistlePig has soured two types of rarer casks for a double finishing offering.

The new WhistlePig The Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic, according to those behind it, takes sourced rye whiskey that’s been aged for 17 years in American oak and finishes it in Spanish oak and also South American Teakwood casks. The final expression is then bottled at 105.1-107.8 proof (52.6-53.9% ABV).

WhistlePig The Boss Hog VII: Magellan's Atlantic

WhistlePig The Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic (image via WhistlePig)

Getting into more specifics on each finishing wood type, the Spanish oak is said by the brand to be from the mountainous forests of Northern Spain (Cantabria). “Unlike American white oak, this Spanish oak is high in tannins, knotty and porous. It is incredibly challenging to make staves from and the final casks are prone to leakage and excess evaporation.”

The end result of the Spanish wood influence is said to be more intense flavors, “with heightened interaction between spirit and oak.”

The South American Teakwood, meanwhile, is sustainably sourced from Brazil and said to add “rich notes of baking spices and a sweet, toasted character, complementing the intense spiciness of the Spanish oak.”

“We have experimented South American Teakwood on just a handful of barrels in the past, and both this and the New Spanish Oak are uncommon in the whiskey world,” said Meghan Ireland, Maturation Chemist, WhistlePig, in a prepared statement. “It’s been the least predictable and most intensive edition of The Boss Hog to date, but well worth the trials and effort.”

“Our 17-year-old straight rye whiskey spends three weeks resting in Spanish oak before finishing in South American Teakwood for just three days,” added Pete Lynch, Master Blender, WhistlePig. “The whiskey world has never before seen this truly one of a kind combination of casks, nor has it tasted anything quite like the resulting product and liquid it has produced.

“A one-hour proprietary toast with the Spanish oak creates a small char layer that removes some tannins but preserves the good ones. A medium level toast grants incredibly aromatic cinnamon, allspice, and roasted nut flavors, while softening the overall intensity of the greener wood notes in the finishing cask.”

Plans call for Magellan’s Atlantic to price around $500 per 750 ml bottle. It is presented in a gift box “documenting the quest” and crowned with a collectible pewter topper depicting Magellan as a pig in traditional Spanish dress. There’s also a unique code on each bottle’s label that allows collectors to “access exclusive content” at TheBossHogVII.com.

You’ll find some official tasting notes at the end of the article. As a side note, the title Magellan’s Atlantic, according to WhistlePig, is “inspired by the first recorded circumnavigation of the earth” and that it “captures the historic voyage of an intrepid crew who embarked from Spain in 1519 and made landfall in present-day Brazil before navigating the perilous strait that would come to bear their captain’s name.

“Like Magellan’s daring endeavor, the path for finishing this precious, aged whiskey was anything but certain.”

On the nose, Magellan’s Atlantic is intensely aromatic, with cinnamon sugar, allspice, and maple. With time, toasted wood notes arise alongside creamy vanilla, roasted almonds, and a touch of ground espresso. Spicy cloves and sweet brandied cherries abound, with baking spices rampant. A closer look reveals subtle hints of charred oak, sage, and dark chocolate. Finishing with everlasting gobs of cinnamon, oak spice, and a gentle warmth demand another sip.


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