Whistlepig’s First Wine Cask Finished Rye Whiskey Release Shows They Aren’t Horsing Around

One fan favorite among the many rye whiskey drinkers out there is anything from Whistlepig, a Vermont-based operation tied to whiskey distilling legend Dave Pickerell. It matters little to those who love this brand that the whiskey from them at the moment actually heralds from other distilleries, which is a good thing considering the prices releases from them can command at retail. Now, fresh off the heels of the successful late 2014 release of The Boss Hogg: The Spirit of Mortimer, comes the first of their exciting new Old World Series.

Whistlepig announced late yesterday the first release of this wine cask finished series as a “limited availability” run which found aging time in ex-Sauternes casks. This type of wine is a famous sweet white type from France. What Pickerell and his crew did, after beginning to study last spring how whiskies of the old world (i.e. Scotch) are handled, was to fill these casks with 12-year-old rye that’s got a mash bill of a 95% rye and 5% malted barley from MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Whistlepig Old World Series: Sauternes Finish...and a horse. (image via Whistlepig)

Whistlepig Old World Series: Sauternes Finish…and a horse. (image via Whistlepig)

Bottled “by hand” at 90 proof on the Whistlepig farm, Pickerell told me this release, known formally as The Old World Series: Sauternes Finish, will price around $100 to $110 at retail when it becomes available in just New York, Illinois and California in a couple of weeks. It will be followed later on, according to WhiskyCast, by other limited expressions finished in Madeira and Port casks before a final, more regular offering drops sometime this summer.

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Tasting notes for this new Whistlepig release are below, courtesy of the distillery. And no, I don’t quite know why there is a horse in the photo above with the whiskey.

Nose: honeydew, salted caramel

Taste: soda bread, pistachio, honey

Finish: salt water taffy, yellow birch