WhistlePig Brings Forth Its Oldest Rye Whiskey To Date - The Whiskey Wash

WhistlePig Brings Forth Its Oldest Rye Whiskey To Date

By Nino Marchetti / August 14, 2019

The evolving story that is Vermont’s WhistlePig, post Dave Pickerell, is primarily one of continuing to develop new expressions their late master distiller would be proud of. To date this has included their latest Farmstock Rye (with over half of it being from whiskey WhistlePig produced itself) and an expression geared towards rye based cocktails. Joining these now is what’s been billed as the oldest WhistlePig whiskey to date.

The new WhistlePig Double Malt Rye Aged 18 Years, according to those behind it, is an 18 year old expression that has a mash bill of 79% rye, 15% malted rye and 6% malted barley. This rare release, it is said, is “the result of a long-awaited in experiment in how grain affects flavor early in the whiskey making process, in particular the bygone practice of malting rye.  The 18 year old whiskey’s ‘Double Malt’ mash bill innovates on a traditional practice of malting a small portion of the rye harvest, as done by farmer distillers before industrial whiskey making processes were established.  This particular union of grains is not often sought out by modern distillers.”

Being as this being geared as a higher end expression, WhistlePig is putting this spirt in a decanter adapted from its traditional bottle shape, and accompanied by a Vermont glass stopper, custom made for the distillery by Burlington, Vermont-based AO Glass.  Each individual stopper is unique, having been pressed by hand on what’s said to be “one of the last remaining 19th century glass pressing machines. The antique machine was rescued from a historic factory and installed at AO’s Burlington glass studio the same week WhistlePig’s second still was installed at the distillery in March 2019.”

WhistlePig Double Malt Rye Aged 18 Years

WhistlePig Double Malt Rye Aged 18 Years (image via WhistlePig)

“These grains form a harmony that spans the flavor spectrum, at once soft and floral, rich and savory, and full of spice,” said Pete Lynch, Master Blender of WhistlePig, in a prepared statement. “It’s complexity is only heightened after 18 years in the barrel.”

This whiskey, of which a limited allocation will be released each year, is hand bottled at 92 proof and prices around $400 per 750 ml bottle. You’ll find some limited official tasting notes below for your consideration.

  • Nose: Sweet and aromatic, with toasted oak, berries, and nutmeg.
  • Palate: Elegant and spicy, mildly fruity, and pleasantly floral. Vanilla and oak notes appear with time.
  • Finish: Wonderfully long, clean, and spicy finish.