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WhistlePig 12 YO The Boss Hog 67.3%

67.3% ABV Canadian Whisky

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@VictorReview by @Victor

1st Jul 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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WhistlePig 100% rye-mash whiskey is whisky distilled at Alberta Distillers Limited in Calgary, Alberta, and bottled in Vermont and sold as US Straight Rye whiskey. A WhistlePig is another name for a ground hog, or woodchuck. The Boss Hog is aged 12 years and is undiluted

I have wanted to taste 67% ABV Canadian whisky for as long as I have been loving the high-test whiskies. Until last night I had never encountered a Canadian whisky bottled above 45% ABV, even though I have read of a few bottled at 50%, and Glen Breton 17 Ice at 54.6%. The reviewed restaurant sample was 90 ml (a most excellent pour, I must say). The Boss Hog is a single barrel product, with there being 24 barrels bottled, and probably fewer than 3,000 total bottles. I do not know the barrel number of this sample, but I will report it if I subsequently learn it

Nose: amalgam of fruity and spicy rye scents together, it being difficult to sort them out. Lots of vanilla and confectioner's sugar come out if you give this 15 minutes in the glass. Medium intensity; significant alcohol greeting, but not too much

Taste: intense flavours, high and middle notes mostly; lots of rye baking spices--cloves, cassia, nutmeg; fruit comes out after 10 minutes in the glass. Lovely

Finish: long, with significant caramel adding to the fruit and spice

Balance: I've wanted some of this 'The Boss Hog' since I first learned of it. This sample was no disappointment. These are big flavours for the Big Flavours Lover

Comments, with water added: 1)brings out more sweetness in the nose, 2)the palate flavours blend in a heavy bundle and become more fruity, 3)...which leads to a more fruity finish. The Boss Hog is very good with water added, and many will prefer it this way

This WhistlePig 12 yo The Boss Hog is a collector's item and quite an oddity: a Canadian whisky at 67.3% ABV. It tastes very good indeed, but it is quite expensive, usually costing around $ 150 or more. I am delighted to have consumed 90 ml of it. Happy Canada Day today!...and how long will it be before a Canadian whisky brand releases a 67.3% ABV whisky on its own??!?

Comparing Boss Hog to the 'standard' 10 yo WhistlePig Rye at half the price, Boss Hog is only marginally more desirable, and that slight increase in desirability will be mostly for those who like the big intense flavours

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Frost commented

@Victor thank you for the review. I was not familiar with this one!

Do you usually find ordering at a bar/restaurant a risk on spoilt whisk(e)y? I think you got lucky and the period it was open was just right.

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Frost, there is most definitely a substantial risk of spoilage when working from samples from bars and restaurants. One cannot be sure how long the bottle has been open, or its storage conditions. In the case of The Boss Hog, this is a whiskey which has only been available for about a year, which cut the risk significantly. This particular sample was clearly in very good condition. One has a more difficult task of evaluation if the whisk(e)y doesn't seem to be too good: it could be either the whisky itself or the length or way in which the whisky was stored.

8 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Victor, Rarest of the Rare. This is indeed a highly desirable expression of Alberta Rye. I can only dream that some day Beam Suntory (Alberta Distillers) will release a cask strength version of their own.

8 years ago 0

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