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WhistlePig 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

North by Northeast

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@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

31st Jul 2018


WhistlePig 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: WhistlePig
  • Type: Canadian
  • ABV: 56.7%
  • Batch: Store selection Third Base Market & Spirits

Last year a friend offered to mule a few bottles from South Carolina if I had them shipped to his place, funny enough 2 of the three bottles he brought back contained whisky distilled in Canada (the other was a Crown Royal hand selected barrel). This bottle is a store selection, a single barrel at 56.7% abv for Third Base Market & Spirits.

At this point it's public knowledge that the 10yr old Whistlepig whisky is 100% rye sourced from Alberta Distillers Limited, a powerhouse of a distillery that has over a million sleeping barrels of some of the best rye whisky. Sadly it's a whisky that we rarely see on our side of the border in anything but it's adulterated form (cut down to 40%abv or blended in the case of Dark Horse) or sold back to us by US firms under the guises of brands like Masterson's, Hochstader's & Whistlepig. This was the first time I was able to get a taste of ADL juice at cask strength (or nearly).

Nose: Waxy, rising brioche dough, rye toast and orange peel. It has a floral cologne like note, a bit of sandalwood, there is oak but it's restrained. There is an almost soapy note but it's fresh and clean it works well. The payoff with this whisky is to let it air out and then it really opens up, a sweet maple syrup like note with that mineral tang. Fresh and fermented grain, coriander seed and mint finishing on a bit of prune, almost like in Armagnac (perhaps from oak?)

Palate: Dry & sharp, floral & aromatic, there is a slight heat reminded you that this is almost 57% abv. Then it bursts with rye bread, a touch of cumin, apricots, candy apple & butter tarts. Full bodied, earthy and sweet salted caramel & cracked pepper, after the initial tickle there's very little burn on palate.

Finish: Creamy like eating flan or pannacotta, more oak, earthy sprouted rye and a slight chalkiness, green fresh coriander like feeling.

The Blab: This is a great full bodied dram, more of a winter whisky than a fresh summery one. The bottle is in it's last third and It's lost some steam on the nose. It's a bit closed and lost some of it's initial peppery-ness and full throttle in your face rye.

That said the palate has bloomed I don't remember getting as much dried fruits at first. This is really a sipper it takes time to discover and let everything come into play, it has a pleasant mineral waxiness that goes well with the sweetness, no dill notes either...so when do we bottle our own cask again?

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paddockjudge commented

@cricklewood, thank you for sharing this well traveled whisky with us through your review.

I love this whisky!

Yes, it is a well known fact that much of the WhistlePig juice comes from Alberta Distillers Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta. Some of their juice also comes from MGPI of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. WhistlePig Farms can no longer be called a Non Distilling Producer as they have laid down their own casks. They blend this aging rye spirit with whisky from both of the distilleries mentioned above and bottle it as Farm Stock. WP will soon have, if they don't already, aging distillate old enough to be called whisky.

To the best of my knowledge WhistlePig 10 YO Straight Rye is bottled exclusively with Alberta Distillers Ltd rye. The tell tale sign for me is a distinct Juicy Fruit Gum note on the nose, MGPI whisky does not possess this note. You could also check the back label.

The barrel proof version of WhistlePig 10 YO Straight Rye, although a product of Canada, is not easily found in its Country of Origin. Whenever possible I snap up a bottle or two of this extremely unique whisky. The price is generally found in the US$65 - $80 range. The price for a bottle of the standard 100 proof WhistlePig Straight Rye is $150.55 CDN. I can't imagine what the barrel proof version would cost in my region.

For those of you crossing the border from the United States of America into Canada, keep in mind, WhistlePig 10 YO is not is not an American whiskey. It is not subject to the 10% tariff. Check the back label, it should contain the words Imported from Canada.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@paddockjudge, thanks for the added content, it's true that Whistlepig uses MGP rye but I believe it is mainly for their finished whiskys, I am not sure why they prefer it to ADL spirit for this purpose but I won't complain. The initial impression I have heard from the farmstock releases are not very positive but I have to hand it to them they are extremely transparent about the proportions and ages of each component in this blend.

This single barrel selection has just increased the appreciation I have for ADL tenfold, I have always enjoyed their base products, yes even Dark Horse, which when it first came out was a solid rich whisky (later batches have not been as stellar). Tasting this at a proper abv, with a secondary finish in ex-bourbon casks makes you realize just how unique the ADL flavouring rye is.

These barrel selections are pretty good value for us used to LCBO pricing, I suspect that for our Connosr brethren south of the border they fall on the moderate/high end of the price scale though.

I ordered two more bottles from this cask but sadly my mule is grounded in Canada for now weary

5 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@cricklewood, I couldn't resist posting a comment about ADL juice. Their transparency with the information on Farm Stock is an about face from their initial release!!

5 years ago 0

Frost commented

Thank you both for expanding on this.

5 years ago 0

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