Pennsylvania's Wigle Whiskey Debuts A Rye Whiskey Finished In Ex-Mezcal Barrels - The Whiskey Wash

Pennsylvania’s Wigle Whiskey Debuts A Rye Whiskey Finished In Ex-Mezcal Barrels

By Nino Marchetti / December 12, 2018

The art of finishing whiskey in barrels which once held some other type of liquid is very common practice in today’s distilling industry. We normally hear of things spending extra time aging in ex-sherry casks, followed most commonly by various types of other ex-wine or ex-whisk(e)y barrels. Wigle Whiskey out of Pennsylvania has decided to branch out in another direction in the finishing arena, however, debuting a rye whiskey finished in ex-Mezcal barrels.

The new Wigle Oaxaca Rye, according to those behind it, takes Wigle’s two year old, straight Monongahela Rye Whiskey and puts it through the paces for an additional year in ex-Mezcal barrels. Wigle apparently came across these barrels as a result of a barrel exchange with the fifth generation family Wahaka Distillery, a premium Mezcal producer out of the Oaxaca region of Mexico, in which the American whiskey maker sent down ex-rye whiskey casks to the Mexican distillery.

Wigle Oaxaca Rye

Wigle Oaxaca Rye (image via Wigle Whiskey)

Wigle noted of this release that with the three years of total aging, the resulting rye whiskey, bottled at 80 proof, “has a soft, herbal smoke that reveals its time and contact with spicy mezcal oak.” Interestingly the batch of ex-Mezcal casks it was drawn from before final bottling were the second such group that had been sent to Wigle – apparently the first set of barrels were stolen in Austin, Texas and thus never made it to the distillery.

Wigle is planning a limited release of its Wigle Oaxaca Rye on December 14 at its location in Pittsburgh. It looks to be pricing for $75 per 750 ml bottle. There was no immediate mention of how many bottles in total were being released, or if this was just a one time offering. It was also not immediately clear if we might see a Wahaka mezcal emerge that had been specifically aged in the Wigle barrels.