New WhistlePig Rye Whiskey Designed By Palates Of Chefs - The Whiskey Wash

New WhistlePig Rye Whiskey Designed By Palates Of Chefs

By Nino Marchetti / September 30, 2019

One of the quiet successes of the WhistlePig brand in recent times has been their private barrel program, which offers a good degree of variability in finishing cask types which can be chosen as percentages of the final blend of a pick. All of this stems in some ways from the Old World release some years back, which saw a combination of rye whiskeys finished in ex-Sauternes, Madeira and Port casks.

Now one of the latest private barrel picks has surfaced over at Flaviar, a popular online spirits club, that’s been influenced by the palates of four well known American chefs.

The new WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019, according to those behind it, came about when these chefs – Michael Gulotta of MOPHO/Maypop fame in New Orleans; Jamie Malone from Minneapolis’ stunning Grand Café; David Posey – one half of the dream team at Elske, Chicago; and Justin Woodward of Castagna in Portland – ventured to the WhistlePig farm in Vermont earlier this year.

WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019

WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 (image via Flaviar)

There they worked together to come up with the components for this whiskey, which is comprised entirely of wine casks in the following make up: 40% Madeira, 30% Sherry, 20% Port and 10% Sauternes.

“Madeira, Port and Sauternes are the magic trio in our WhistlePig 12,” said Pete Lynch, Master Blender at WhistlePig, in a prepared statement, “and the chefs’ decision to add Sherry Cask Finished Rye so prominently to the WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 takes that trio to a place we’ve never before seen. The blend showcases a rich complexity with subtle nuances, adding a great Sherry derived spice and nuttiness, and tremendously deepening the flavor profile. This is definitely a whiskey you don’t want to miss out on.”

“The realization that a small percentage change in the base spirits can drastically alter the final taste and finish of the whiskey made the blending an exceptionally difficult task,” added Malone. “I was incredibly surprised to learn and taste and smell how the different barrel finishes interacted with each other. In many ways to results were very unexpected, not exactly the sum of their parts, but much more complex.”

As it stands now plans call for approximately 1,000 bottles to be released through the Flaviar website in October. Bottling strength for this 12 year old rye is 43% ABV, and official tasting notes for it suggest that “on the nose, plums, cherries and vanilla, with gentle cinnamon aromatics. The palate is spicy, with pipe tobacco and honey up front, giving way to dark fruits, and has a wonderful velvety texture. The finish is long and fruity, with a fantastic burst of Rye spice.”