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New WhistlePig Variant Finished In Amburana (Think Cachaca) Wood

WhistlePig out of Vermont is one particular American distillery not afraid to embrace finishing whiskey in various wood types. You see that often with their higher end Boss Hog offerings, as well as their ongoing Old World expression. Though they have yet to say much about it publicly, an interesting new variant has been trickling into a few retailers that’s finished in a type of wood more commonly used for aging some cachaça, a popular Brazilian spirit.

WhistlePig Old World Cask Finish 100% Amburana
WhistlePig Old World Cask Finish 100% Amburana (image via The Whisky Exchange)

The WhistlePig Old World Cask Finish 100% Amburana starts as your typical 12+ year old sourced WhistlePig that ends up as a private barrel selection for retail stores. Where it gets interesting is that the distillery then puts it into the previously mentioned amburana wood, which is found in Latin America and tied to those who use it to age cachaca. More specifically, as spelled out by The Whisky Exchange (one of the retailers currently selling it),

the whiskey started out at MGP Ingredients in Indiana, made using the distillery’s 95% rye/5% malted barley recipe that is the base for many of the great American ryes available today. It was matured in new 200-litre American-oak barrels – medium/long toast and char 3. While the label says 12 years, it was actually 13-and-a-half years before the folks at WhistlePig decided to add their own twist to it.

They sourced new amburana casks from the Kentucky branch of the Speyside Cooperage and filled them with the now-mature rye for just ten days. That’s all it took to turn the whiskey from being a classic MGP rye into the complex beast it now is.

The net result is a whiskey with a lot of notes of coconut in it, at least according to The Whisky Exchange folks. They are selling bottles of it, as well as a couple of retailers thus far in the United States that we’ve seen as of this posting. It should be noted as well that, unlike other whiskeys you see emerge from WhistlePig’s Old World program, this is 100 percent finished in this wood type, thus resulting in a whiskey that, for some, may be a love it or leave it thing.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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