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WhistlePig 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

Average score from 11 reviews and 15 ratings 87

WhistlePig 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

Product details

  • Brand: WhistlePig
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 50.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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WhistlePig 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

Whisky poured a blonde color, legs were long and ran slow. Aroma is big on alcohol, get some rye/allspice eventually. Slight oak/vanilla too. Flavor is heavy on rye, 50% abv magnifies the spice. Getting a straw malt/corn finish on this one, which is weird. Idk if my palate is off or what but this rye did not do it for me. Ive had it before and thought I liked it but dont think I'd shell out 80 bucks for the bottle

@cricklewood

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?

@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

@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!!

@talexander

WhistlePig is a distillery based in Vermont that, before they started making their own whisky, bottled 100% Canadian rye from Alberta Distillers. Otherwise, to be honest, I don't know much about WhistlePig. I vaguely remember tasting this at WhiskyFest in NYC a few years ago. This sample comes to me generously from @paddockjudge.

The colour is a light coppery gold. Floral on the nose, with fresh raspberries, chili powder, wood smoke, cardamom and a very light shade of mint. Candied orange peel. Eucalyptus, Green apple. The fruit is in the background, behind the floral, herbal notes - but water tames that a little bit. Not bad but a bit too perfumed for me.

On the palate, it's very, um, perfumey with more green apple, furniture polish, toasted oak and light honey. Rye spice and caraway are the dominant notes here, overpowering the more subtle fruity notes. Too much FWP though, that overpowers the palate, although water tames that overpowering, decadent flavour.

The long, developing finish is quite fruity (berries, orange) with anise and pine. Although for me it is simply too strong and overpowering with the floral rye notes, I detect and appreciate the oak and fruity notes behind it. Water really helps but nevertheless it requires a bit more balance for me to really enjoy it.

@talexander, "Too much FWP" reminds me of time well spent studying at l'Université Laurentienne. kiss

@jerryclyde

A few years ago, I was shocked to hear, on a local radio station, the claim that Vermont was producing a ten year old 100% Rye Whiskey! Now being a resident of the People's Republic of Vermont and somebody who tries to keep up with things alcoholic, I truly did a double take. Simple arithmetic told me that in order to have a ten year old rye, the distillation would have had to take place during the first few years of the new century. At that time, there was only one company authorized to distill in the state, Vermont Spirits located in St. Johnsbury, and their products were limited to vodka production - one made from whey (that's right, milk!) and one from maple syrup. These where pretty tasty products (especially the milk vodka) but were eons removed from anything remotely similar to whiskey.

Curious, I examined a bottle at my local liquor store to discover that the bottle of rye in hand was "hand bottled at Whistlepig Farm, Shoreham, Vermont." Nothing else. Sourced whiskey was the likely ingredient, but from where? Lately, Whistlepig has come clean and admitted that they are sourcing their rye from Alberta Distillers in Calgary (why they would want to keep this a secret is a complete mystery, given the quality of the Canadian distillery's products)until they are able to sell their own rye (distillation is planned to start this year, 2015).

It looks like they are serious. They have a beautiful location, a renovated and enlarged dairy farm in Shoreham, VT; they are growing their own rye on adjacent land, and they have the insight of Dave Pickerell of Maker's Mark fame to help guide them along. Here's hoping that they are successful. It would be wonderful to be able to drink a TRULY Vermont Rye Whiskey along with our amazing craft brewed beers (Heady Topper anyone?)

So, here are my tasting notes:

Nose: Dry dusty rye spice along with soft fruit notes, a touch of licorice and vanilla. The nose is somewhat subdued after than initial rye arrival.

Palate: Very firm on delivery, but for a 100 proof rye very smooth. Brown sugar and spices intermingle nicely then fade as vanilla and oak tannins make an appearance.

Finish: Much shorter than you would think. Spice and wood tannins are the predominant elements, but fade quickly.

Overall, a quality rye but one that is on the light side, especially for a 100 proof spirit. Some people have complained about the price ($75 in Vermont) but one must remember what you are purchasing: a 100 proof/100% rye from one of the premier Canadian distilleries. Even if it is a bit light I think the price justified.

@hunggar

I've got WhistlePig in my glass now. Apparently they have their own distillery in the works but for now the brand imports all their stock. WhistlePig is currently made by Alberta Distillers, and then exported to the States where it gets bottled and deceptively labeled as an American product. This annoys some people, understandably. But I’m willing to overlook that little tidbit because I absolutely love this style. Yes, I enjoy a good Canadian whisky, but I’m a sucker for these big, ballsy ryes that are made to US specs. Best of both worlds here, I guess.

Nose: Well, it’s rye alright. Clean and fresh. Pine, fresh cut grass, orange, anise, oak, caramel, toffee, spearmint and faint vanilla. Something floral pops up after a few minutes. This is an excellent and inviting nose.

Palate: Light bodied. Quite a smooth arrival when considering the abv. Rye, grass, anise, menthol, butterscotch, cinnamon, and light honey.

Finish: Long, herbal, and clean. White pepper burn ushers us into flavours of sharp rye, orange juice, mint leaves, hay, anise, clove, cinnamon, paprika, and charred oak.

Thoughts: Excellent. I’m a sucker for strong rye flavours. Straight rye with a healthy abv is my kind of whisky. It’s got all the bite that a good rye should, but it remains balanced and drinkable. A bit pricey, yes, particularly when contrasted to my Willett’s ryes, which are cheaper and more full-flavoured. But overall it’s an excellent dram. Recommended.

@JasonHambrey

This whisky is somewhat notorious for trying to disguise both the source of its origin (Canada), and the fact that they don't actually distill any of their product (yet). If you go hunting on the label, on the back, in the corner, is a small little statement "imported from Canada". Dave Pickerell, the former master distiller at Maker's Mark, a well known whisky consultant who has a love for rye, is at the helm of the Whistlepig operation - and this product has been a huge success. The hope of the Whistlepig farm (in Vermont) is to do a complete seed to glass process, growing their own rye, distilling it, and aging it.

This whisky is sourced from Alberta Distillers, like some other successful and excellent whiskies like Masterson's Rye. It is made from 100% rye, unmalted, - and, as the Alberta distillery does - this likely went in the barrel just short of 80% ABV, and came out likely above 80% before dilution. This shows the quality of the stuff that goes into the blends in Canada - typically a process with a "base" whisky which provides the bulk of the body and profile, and then this is "flavoured" with a stronger, perhaps spicier, whisky such as this one.

Nose: Oak, and rye - simple, and beautiful - strong off the nose, with some wonderful earthiness too. Caramel, orange, a bit of arugula...a very similar style to masterson's. Lots going on - vanilla starts to emerge, with some canola oil, tabacco, caramel, mint chocolate, star anise, a touch of smoke, and butterscotch - quite a wonderful and wide array of buttery and caramel notes. A bit of fruit, but it's not overly fruity - cherry notes are present. A few odd notes start to come out with time, which I don't like much - reminding me of ketchup chips (quite unlike anything else I've nosed). But, overall, quite good. 87%

Taste: Fairly sweet, with a sharp arugula-laced rye body (the arugula is interesting - I find it strongly here, in Masterson's, and in the Collingwood 21 Year old - all 100% ryes). There is a nice oaky underlying spice explosion (white pepper and cinnamon)- this is very, very enjoyable, and oak takes over towards the end. There is vanilla, too, wonderfully balanced in the palate. And, with all that, there are some nice, bright, floral notes hinting of lilac. 88%

Finish: Marmelade, caramel, black currant jam, cinnamon, and a bit of dry oak....and our arugula. It grows as you drink more, with more spice (cayenne pepper, clove) and more fruit (I find green apple comes out!)...and then woody notes like cedar start to appear. Very good body, spiciness, and sweetness. 93%

Intrigue: It's surprising to me how much it reminded me of Masterson's, but I am not suprised - they are both independently bottled from the same recipe and age of the same distillery. Whistlepig, though , is less intense - a bit woodier, and, perhaps darker - but less spicy, sharp, and refined with a bit less complexity and development. This is quite addictive stuff, and the more you have, the more you want. It's too bad that you can't get the stuff in Canada... 88%

Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 89.

Lovely whiskies all three WhistlePigs, 10, 11 and 12 years old.

@JasonHambrey, thanks for your review.

Yes, indeed. Almost picked up the 11 on a trip last year but couldn't justify the price...but always wanted to try those other 2. I'm sure they are, as you say, quite wonderful

@JJBriggs

Nose- Quintessential rye notes of dusty spice, menthol, spearmint. As it opens up, vanilla sweetness with caramel, candied toffee. Peppery, pine and grapefruit citrus.

Taste- Gripping with grapefruit, prickly spice, leather and cloves. Hints of sweetness, vanilla. Pine and dry.

Finish – Long. Herbal and finish. Aromatic, peppery clove.

Comment- A go-to classic rye expression. Quietly interesting with a contemplative complexity to it. Perhaps not the juggernaut of flavor some claim and that is the main disappointment. Pricey, too.

spokanewhiskeyclub.com/2013/07/…

I've never tasted Whistlepig. I do not appreciate or "understand" rye.

English is not my first language. So like many successful multilinguists I like to be precise with language. The common accepted definition for "gripping" as an adjective is that is grabs the attention. This is not usually attributed to a boring underpowered flavour profile.

Similarly I would ask that you review common usage for the word quintessential. I am confident that once you have looked it up you will understand why your use of language in this review was disconnected from your concluding opinion of this whisky.

You are correct about one thing, @paddockjudge and I are two of the nicest people around, so I'm sure we appreciate your observation that we are "sweethearts".

Finally, I cannot speak for he western USA, but most people post reviews or opinions because they feel they have something of value to impart. If this is not true in your case,I would ask why post a review that you don't feel has value, and why do it twice? So it for the online equivalent pleasure of listening to your own voice? If that is the case, I respect that. Freedom of speech and all that.

Best to you

I feel like I'm Rick Grimes and you're the Walking Dead. There's no hope for me, you will keep coming with a single minded purpose and nothing can ever change it. Ever.

If you are going to continue to rely on someone's opinion of something, you need to endeavor to work harder than you have shown. You seem to want everything spoon fed to you on a nicely prepared platter. Descriptors are used to explain a particular thing. I usually give one in regards to the texture of a whisky in the taste/palate section. It's generally first. You get a gold star in that "gripping" can be used to describe the entirety of a thing. Like a gripping movie or a book, it's useful in describing if something is good or not. The word can also refer to texture, just like a tire can be graded on how well it "grips" a road. Therefore, gripping refers to the texture of a whisky. You do realize that this was in the taste/palate section of the review, right? Probably lost you on that one.

I read a definition of quintessential that read "a pattern well worth emulating or repeating" and I loved it in regards to WP. The flavors displayed in WP were fantastic IN THAT a person who is familiar with rye would not find it to be foreign but most likely enjoyable, which I did as well. This piece of information, again, a descriptor with a qualifier, DOES NOT, as you insist, BY DEFINITION need to refer to someone's evaluation of said flavor's INTENSITY. Please, tell me you get this. Remember my points of contention? Many at the time of the review's writing claimed that WP "had its own zip code of flavor" or that it was a "juggernaut." I like whiskies like that, I'm sure you do to. The $90 price tag certainly indicated a special experience. And it turned out to be not true. Therefore, I gave it a lower score than I might have had it been as advertised. Do you understand how whiskies are scored? Again, and YOU NEED TO LISTEN HERE, whisky scores are not uniform, not everyone assigns value in the same way you do. For the last time, my 80 may be someone else's 89, or 90, and so on. Please tell me you get that.

That's how reviews work, sweet cheeks. You try to describe the flavors and sometimes those descriptors refer to specific categories. WHEN IT IS ALL DONE, THEN you give your overall opinion. A person who has not tried a whisky wants to know another's opinion on it. You seem to be the kind of guy that drinks whisky with a lab coat on, grading and evaluating with an objective set of values. This isn't wrong, but the problem is when you demand that others use the very same ones in the exact same way.

Why repeat a review? Marketing. I wanted to drive traffic to my site. I abandoned the project and you CANNOT delete reviews once you post them. Your charge of vanity is also a source of great joy and giggles for me. Should a guy who has posted more on Connosr than anyone else (and spread his unsolicited opinion more times than I ever would) lecture another on vanity?

Your Trump comments betray you. Your arrogance and pride remind me of his. Which is also why you could never allow someone you believe to be stupid and inferior to have the last word. You need to be careful of whom you accuse of those things. But guys like you never are.

@whiskyjourney

“Wow. What a nose!” ? When I first came across this heavenly Rye Whiskey I almost missed it. As I passed by the table, I was slightly distracted and then at the last moment I noticed this smiling pig with a top hat. I had heard good things,but wanted to form my own opinion.

Boy, I am glad I stopped.

“Wow. What a nose!” ? ????I write this phrase more than once, because I said it more than once.

I want to make this into a scented candle!

I want it as my car freshener! ?? One of the main men behind WhistlePig is former Makers Mark master distiller David Pickerell. He is well respected in the whiskey world after his 14 years there, and WhistlePig is yet another feather in his cap. I love that this whiskey is not just a Rye…it is 100% Rye. That is pretty significant considering how tricky Rye can be to work with, and how most Rye whiskeys are actually only partially Rye to meet the 51% requirement…not 100%! Something else I like? The proof. Going at 50% ABV makes me a happy whiskey guy. I love being able to dictate the water content in my whiskey (which this needs nothing by the way).

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Light, Straw

Nose: Absolutely amazing. Trying to catch it all. So floral, beautiful wood notes, vanilla & caramel, slight fruitiness (orange peels?)

Palate: Cinnamon sticks in vanilla ice cream, full bodied and spicy, butterscotch

Finish: Even creamier as this goes on, with a slight hint of chocolate and oranges.

Overall:

This one is a stunner. To this date, I must say that it is one of the best Rye Whiskeys I have had. Worth noting that this juice is made in Canada and only bottled in Vermont. One of the joys of having Canadian friends that enjoy whisky is that you quickly figure out that Canada makes some of the best Rye whiskeys in world. It must be the extra years of aging and some magical Canadian yeast strains that help tame the pine cone characteristics that I tend to get in ryes. If I were a cocktail guy, I imagine this would make a great Manhattan, but alas, I will keep it nice and neat. Paired with nothing other than a glass. Man, that nose is absolutely fantastic. From a comparison perspective, the only other Rye that comes close to this nose , so far in my journey, is the High West Double Rye (also a high rye content option) but this one takes the aroma award. Once the sweetness fades a little and the cinnamon rye spicy kick pops in, I am in some type of nutmeg heaven. Worth seeking out.

@Swan

Made by David Pickerell, who served as the master distiller at Maker's Mark for more than a decade. This rye is for big flavor hunters. The first sip lets you know that it is brimming with vanilla, orange peel and other baking spices. The strangest thing I find each time I revisit this bottle is an ever-present note of arugula.This is a big, mouth-coating rye that finishes long and creamy, but never loses the kick of the rye itself. It is a very distinctive, probably polarizing whiskey. 100% Rye, 100 proof, 10 Year.

@Victor

This WhistlePig 100% rye mash reviewed bottle, acquired and opened 2 years ago, is almost certainly one of several expressions of Alberta Distillers Limited rye whisky which have been purchased and bottled as US Straight Rye Whiskey. Two other examples are Jefferson's 10 Yo Rye Whiskey, and Masterson's 10 Yo Rye Whiskey. This bottle has been open for about 2 years now, but remained about 90% full until now, and its flavours have changed very little, except to have mellowed out a bit over that period. There are recent rumours that WhistlePig is being sourced differently now, but I don't know about their accuracy. This is almost certainly whisky from Alberta Distillers

This review is in non-sequential (SQVH) format. See my review and comments on Royal Canadian Small Batch for more information on that format

Strength: rye flavours are strong throughout nose, palate and finish. Wood flavours are moderate throughout, and take second seat to the rye flavours. Score 22/25 all; 23/25 Canadian Category

Quality: the rye is extremely good here, with a bit of perfume and fruit, especially on the nose; the wood is a little non-descript. This gets quite fruity and quite sweet when it sits for 30 minutes prior to sampling; Score 23/25 all; 24/25 Canadian

Variety: US straight rye whiskeys get their variety from two sources primarily: from variations and combinations of the rye grain flavours, and from contrast from substantial flavours from the wood. WhistlePig Rye has strong and good rye grain flavours, but not a very wide qualitative range within them. Those flavours do widen out, however, when the whisky is left to oxidise for 30 minutes. The wood flavours are somewhat muted in WhistlePig, and give an adequate contrast, which would be improved upon if they were stronger. This does not taste like it was aged for 10 years in new charred oak. Score 21/25 all; 22/25 Canadian

Harmony: WhistlePig works nicely, but it could be even better if it had a little stronger wood and if the spectrum of rye flavours were a bit wider. Score 22/25 all; 23/25 Canadian

Total Scores: 88 all whiskies; 92 Canadian whiskies

I tried this at WhiskyFest NY - I enjoyed it and agree with your assessment - I don't like it as much as the Masterson's 10 Year Old, for example...

@talexander, yes, Masterson's 10 yo Rye is definitely fuller and richer, than is WhistlePig.

@dbk

The following review is something of an exercise in contrasts. I have tasted WhistlePig 10 year-old Straight Rye Whiskey independently on several occasions, and report my tasting notes below. I have, however, also tasted it against a benchmark rye: Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky Bottled in Bond, which I review simultaneously. Below is the result of my WhistlePig “study.”

Although the WhistlePig packaging bears all of the hallmarks of an American whiskey—the prototypically American spelling of “whiskey” gracing its the label; it is labelled as a straight rye, which by US standards implies at least 51% rye grain in the mash bill and that it is aged in charred, new oak; and it claims to originate from a farm in Vermont—it is a Canadian whisky. Dave Pickerell, former Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark and now currently Master Distiller at WhistlePig Farm, sourced 100% rye whisky aged 10 years from a Canadian distiller to bottle as WhistlePig 10 year-old Straight Rye Whiskey. The whisky is likely the “flavouring” whisky used by Alberta Distillers in their Alberta Premium Canadian whisky—the only Canadian whisky distilled from a 100% rye mash bill that has been aged for at least 10 years (Alberta Premium comes in a 25 year-old expression).

The nose is instantly expressive, with lots of buckwheat pancake sweetness, nutmeg, and brown sugar. It is also quite grassy. There are hints of banana, toffee, black tea, pecans, mint, and honey. It positively stuffs your nose with delightful scents.

The palate is slightly dry, with touches of grass and apricots. The finish is beautifully long, warm, and honeyed.

WhistlePig 10 year-old Straight Rye Whiskey is not a flawless dram—as much as the Rittenhouse was perhaps too corn heavy for a rye, WhistlePig could use at least a touch of corn in the mash bill for balance—but it is nonetheless a very good one. It is wonderfully flavourful, and reflects the quality of good flavouring whisky. I hope WhistlePig Farm, when it is up and running, eventually manages to produce a whiskey of such quality of its own.

@hp12 & @dbk, Whistlepig, as a Canadian whiskey by place of origin, is what I WISH most Canadian whiskies would taste like. Of course, I am a rye guy, and "Canadian Rye Whisky" hasn't had much rye in it for many decades.

I wouldn't want to diminish your expectations of WhistlePig, @HP12, as it really is a great whisky to sip on its own. However, a dash of it in a vatting experiment might go a long way to transforming a corn-heavy bourbon into something else entirely. Let us know how it goes!

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