Tag Archives: WhistlePig

Event Notice: WhistlePig Tasting with Dave Pickrell

Join us at Holeman and Finch Public House next month as WhistlePig Master Blender Dave Pickerell guides guests through a tasting of the newly released Old World Series, including the onetime release of the Sauternes Cask, Port Cask, Madeira Cask, and the final blend of all three: Old World Cask.

Each of these fantastic rye whiskies will be accompanied by a delicious
bite specially paired by Chef de Cuisine, Chris Edwards. Following the tasting
Dave will sign bottles of these limited releases at H&F Bottle Shop
in the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Don’t miss your chance
to meet Dave and pick up one these exceptional rye whiskies.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 | 5PM | Holeman and Finch
Followed by a bottle signing at H&F Bottle Shop from 6-7PM
.   .   .   .   .
$72 per person

Call (404) 948-1175 to reserve.

WhistlePig Old World Madeira 12 yr
Smoked Duck, Watermelon Rind, Cured Shiitake

WhistlePig Old World Sauternes 12 yr
Foie Gras, Bruleed Citrus, Pistachio, Brioche

WhistlePig Old World Port 12 yr
Asian Pear, Dancing Fern, Crisp Pumpernickel

WhistlePig Old World 12 yr
Fried Chicken Liver, Johnny Cake, Peach, Poached Quail Egg

WhistlePig Single Barrel

Whistlepig 10 Year Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey
Selection by World Beverage, Duluth GA
Barrel 15-52

57.45% ABV
image1 (1)
What the Distillery Says:
WhistlePig produces a 100-proof, straight rye whiskey, aged for at least ten years through a unique double-barrel process. WhistlePig was released in the summer of 2010 to great critical acclaim, earning 96 points from Wine Enthusiast, their highest rating ever for a rye whiskey, a “highest recommendation” from Spirits Journal, as well as accolades from The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Forbes, Maxim, Imbibe Magazine, and many others. As Master Distiller Dave Pickerell notes, these extraordinary honors both “humble and set a high bar” for the company.
WhistlePig embodies the perfect combination of proof, purity, and age — hitting “the sweet spot” in all three categories. In short: more rye, all the proof, and the perfect age. All in. Full stop.

What Gary Says:
Nose: Musty sour oak, herbal, apricots, subdued dried orange zest.
Palate: Warm, bright citrus spice balanced nicely with the oak, peppery into the finish
Finish: Medium, wet with the pepper kicking up
Comments: This was a private selection of Whistlepig 10yr, bottled at cask strength. I’ve thought Whistlepig 10yr at 100 proof was always a bit pricey for my taste, and even at a great price – was a bit apprehensive on pulling the trigger on this one. I am SO glad I got over that! This is a lovely rye, that takes a bit of water really well (but doesn’t require it). A few drops knocked some of the oak off the nose and palate, while not dampening the fruitiness.
Rating: Must Try

What Richard Says:
Nose: Big rich hit of strong rye spice and minty comes jumping out. Citrus with notes of gingerbread cookies, licorice, honeysuckle, wisteria, and jasmine. Surprisingly little heat on the nose for the amount of alcohol.
Palate: Lime and blood orange zest floating over old leather, burnt caramel, white pepper, and polished oak.
Finish: The oak predominates but not in an overpowering way.
Comments: This is really a great rye. I’ve tried WhistlePig a few times and enjoyed it each time but I never bought a bottle until this one. The price is (in my opinion) still relatively high to comparable ryes but I can’t say I regret a penny of this purchase. A cracking whiskey for sure!
Rating: Must Try

New U.S. Releases – August 2011

August was a big month for new stuff. Here’s the rundown on what broke through the Whisk(e)y Apostle Fortress of Solitude.

Parker’s Heritage Collection 2011 – Cognac Finish
Timeframe: October 2011
ABV: 50%
Price: $85
This annual release is one of a handful I look forward to every year. This year’s release is 10 Year Old bourbon from the Evan Williams recipe that spent six more months finishing in 2 to 3 year old Limousin oak casks used for cognac. You don’t really see that much finishing in the bourbon category compared to scotch and other whiskeys. This should be very interesting.

Cooper’s Mark Bourbon
Timeframe: Now
Price: $25
This was an under the radar find. It’s a independent bottling (source unknown) by Fast Forward Brands, LLC out of Englewood Colorado.

Glenfiddich 1974 Vintage Reserve
Timeframe: September 2011
Price: TBD
This year’s Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve will be a vatting of 1974 Glenfiddich. This will be the first vatted Vintage Reserve from Glenfiddich. Only 1,000 bottles will be available.

Local 47th Ward Blend Whiskey
Timeframe: Fall 2011
ABV: 47%
Price: TBD
Koval in Chicago is adding a blend to their stable of single grain whiskeys. This will be a blend of four grains: malted barley, wheat, oat, and rye.

Buffalo Trace White Dog #’s 2 & 3
Timeframe: Fall 2011
ABV: 62.5%
Price: $15.99/375ml
The existing White Dog Mash #1 is seeing a couple of stable mates this fall. Buffalo Trace is releasing a wheated bourbon mash and a rye mash for sampling pleasure.

Drambuie 15 Year Old
Timeframe: Fall 2011
ABV: 43%
Price: $56/liter
Have you ever wanted an older, more premium Drambuie? No, me either. However, soon there will be one for you anyway.

WhistlePig “Jr” & White Pig
Timeframe: Spring 2012
Price: TBD
Sometime in the next 6 months the folks behind WhistlePig 10 Year Rye hope to release a younger version in the 5 to 7 year old range and a white dog product called White Pig. I still have yet to get my hands on the original WhistlePig So I don’t know how exited I am yet but I’m always for more variety in the whiskey.

Collier and McKeel Tennessee Whiskey
Timeframe: Now
Price: TBD
This is a craft distiller operating out of Nashville. They have a new Tennessee Whiskey (and white dog) on the market. They use smaller barrels for aging similar to what we’ve seen at a number of other craft distillers.

2011 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch
Timeframe: September 2011
ABV: 55.05%
Price: TBD, but most likely in line with the 2011 LE Single Barrel
This year’s release of 3,500 bottles is a comingling of four different bourbons. The component whiskeys will be a 13 Year Old OBSK, 13 Year old OESQ, 12 Year old OESV, and a OESK aged 11 years.

E. H. Taylor Single Barrel
Timeframe: Fall 2011
ABV: 50%
Price: $59.99
This is the second release in the E.H. Taylor line. This release is bourbon aged 11 years and 7 months years in Warehouse C, which was actually built by Col. Taylor in 1881. I never got to try the first release so I’ll be looking hard for this one.

Masterson’s Rye
Timeframe: Fall 2011
Price: $79
35 Maple is releasing this 10 year old rye. This is another 10 Year old sourced rye. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up to Jefferson’s and WhistlePig.

Timeframe: October 12th
Price: TBD
No word yet on which Hakushu releases will hit the U.S. but it will be nice to see this lightly peated Suntory product on the shelves. Note to the Land of the Rising Sun…more whiskeys please!

Isle of Skye 12 Year Old
Timeframe: Fall 2011
ABV: 43%
Price: TBD
We’ve had the 8 year old for some time but I’m glad to see more EU exclusives making it across the pond!

Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No.1
Timeframe: Fall 2011
ABV: 40%
Price: $69.95
John Hall is a great innovator in Canadian Whisky. What’s even better is that unlike most of his counterparts in our neighbor to the north, he doesn’t keep all the really good stuff in Canada. I can’t wait to try this one!

That is all for August. I can’t wait to see what September holds!

Drink wisely my friends,


WhiskyFest NYC 2010 Recap

(I know I’m a little late getting this posted)

I have mixed emotions about this year’s WhiskyFest NYC.  Mostly, my mixed feelings come from personal issues (although I found the new floor plan disorienting).  Usually, I go in with a plan and a wingman (or woman).  This year, my work schedule kept my planning to a minimum and my wing folk were not there.  I noted the change in the layout on the map before entering, yet I felt lost with my first step.  I had a small plan, but that quickly unraveled as I was lost in the crowds.  My intention was to try all the microdistilleries (of which there where many this year) and some of the newer drams on my list of desirables.  Somehow, I tried fewer drams than ever, chatted with folks more than ever, but still came out drunker than I’ve been in many a year.  Long time readers will know that I abhor drunkenness, both in others and myself.  For those of you who may have seen me in such a state, I apologize.  For those who reached out and a hand and helped guide me home, I am deeply grateful.

Now that we’ve got the maudlin crap out of the way, let’s talk about the parts of the night that remind me why I return to WhiskyFest year after year.

When everyone is in the same room together like this, you can feel the heartbeat of the industry.  It’s electric.  This year, even more than years past, the heartbeat is driven by adventure and experimentation.  I’m not talking about a Wellesley girl’s curious dalliances.  I’m talking about mad scientist meets religious zealot.  And its not just for the kids anymore.

There were whiskies made from bottle ready beer and unusual grains, trusty standards bringing something new to the table and old timers drawn out of retirement to destroy what you thought you knew about whisk(e)y.

Before arriving, one thing high on my list to try was WhistlePig Rye.  After all, rye whiskey has not received this much press since Sazarac blew up the category some years ago.  Believe the hype (no matter what Chuck D and Flava Flav try to tell you).  Smooth, complex, spicy and hardy, WhistlePig is a muscular wrestler of a dram that will choke you out in a way that is close to auto-erotic asphyxiation.  To borrow an idiom from our friends in Edinburgh, this is a dram for David Carradine or Michael Hutchence.

I’ve been on a bit of a blended Scotch kick lately, so I thought I’d give Black Grouse a try.  It was so good, I decided to give the rest of the Famous Grouse line a go.  No dice.  For me (and the consensus I heard), the Black Grouse is the best of the line.  It is also quite affordable.  Score.

The next real stunner was Lombard Whiskies’ Dailluaine 1973.  File this under “dram I will never taste again.”  Rare and old, this is a Sherry bomb of immense complexity.

Charbay was there with a whole line of whiskeys made from bottle ready beers (none ready for store shelves).  All were interesting.  I was in love.  There was on made from stout that was particularly good.  The bad news is that the last Charbay whiskey retailed for $300, so be prepared to give your left nut for one of these.  But, hey, if Lance Armstrong can get by with one, so can I.  The market for Neuticals just went up.  I know that the folks at Charbay are loyal Whisk(e)y Apostle readers so maybe they can send us more information on these enchanting drams.

The last whiskey to really get me going was Stranahan’s Snowflake.   Stranahan’s is a whiskey that keeps improving and the Snowflake bottlings really live up to the hype.  This could definitely keep me warm on a cold winter’s night.

Wemyss Vintage Malts should get an honorable mention here.  Nothing too stunning, but a solid line at a good price point.  My favorite of the bunch was the 15yo called “The Hive.”  More honeysuckle than honey, this would be an excellent summertime dram.

Now we come to the drams that I thought I would love but was unimpressed.  Of course, I assume this to be situational and would like to try them all again.

I’ve grown to expect a lot from Amrut and Yamazaki (Suntory) over the years, but I found both the Amrut “Intermediate Sherry” and the Yamazaki 1984 a little light on the palate.  This may be a timing issue.  I hit the Yamazaki table after WhistlePig and Amrut after Lombard.  Anything would taste bland after WhistlePig and Dailluaine 1973.  The Glenmorangie Finealta needs another chance as well.

Most of the oat, millet, and wheat offerings didn’t do much for me.  Too smooth and one-dimensional.  As these smaller distilleries grow, I’m sure they will find their legs and (hopefully) the right market.

There were a great deal of whiskies that I missed out on while I chatted with brand ambassadors, distillers, and other acquaintances.  I was glad to see that the U.S. Bartender’s Guild seems to be growing to be accepted at an event that caters mostly to the hard line “whisky should only be served neat” crowd.

Since Richard was not with me, I accosted Kris Comstock of Buffalo Trace for him.  I asked him to expand Atlanta’s allocation for the Antique Collection (I got your back buddy).  Fingers crossed on that one.

Well, that covers most of my night.  If you were there, let me know what you thought.

Remember:  Do as I say, not as I do.

Drink well, drink responsibly.


New U.S. Releases – April ‘10

I’m late with this again and I’m sorry. I was on vacation with my lovely wife. Without further delay, here’s what we heard about this month.

For those high rollers out there…
Glenfarclas 40 Year Old
Timeframe: The UK launch was 4/29 but I haven’t heard specific U.S. details yet
ABV: 46%
Price: $525
The release notice only gave a GBP price but based on current exchange rates I did the math for you. We know that about a quarter of the production for this release will be coming stateside. I have yet to try a 40 year old scotch but if anyone wants to get me something special…my birthday is in July.

For the microdistilling enthusiast:
Mckenzie Bourbon Batch #1
Timeframe: May 1st
ABV: ?
Price: $45
This is the new bourbon coming out of the Finger Lakes Distillery. Matt and I tried their rye and corn whiskeys at WFNYC 2009 and based on that experience this looks pretty interesting. Due to the small initial supply it’s only being released in New York State. However, if you’re in New York it should be available at around 130 different retail locations. Happy hunting!

We’ve got a couple of retired Master Distillers getting back into the game:
Angel’s Envy Bourbon
Timeframe: September 2010
ABV: 45%
Price: ?
This is a new project led by Lincoln Henderson, the retired master distiller from Woodford Reserve. Lincoln and his son Wes are launching a new bourbon and a new distillery. This first release is being made for them but they should be up and running at their own distillery around the same time.

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whisky
Timeframe: Late spring 2010
ABV: 50%
Price: $70
This is coming to us from Dave Pickerell who used to be the master distiller at Maker’s Mark. Dave found some 100% Canadian rye whisky that he thinks is pretty good. The mashbill is 100% unmalted rye and it’s around 10 years old.

Canadian Buffalo Invasion:
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky
Timeframe: May 2010
ABV: 40%
Price: $49.99

Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whisky
Timeframe: May 2010
ABV: 40%
Price: $29.99

Both of these are coming to us courtesy of Buffalo Trace. Matt previously mentioned this release but I thought I’d add in a few more details.

Finally making it across the pond:
Timeframe: September 2010
ABV: 46%
Price: $70
Kilchoman is finally making it to the U.S. It won’t be until this fall so I don’t yet know if we’ll get some of the Autumn 2009 release or if it will be a new 2010 release. Stay tuned.

Timeframe: May 2010
ABV: ?
Price: ?
Swedish whiskey makes it to the U.S. I might just stop by IKEA on my way home from buying some.

And finally:
Early Times 150th Anniversary Bottling
2010 marks the 150th anniversary for Early Times and they are putting it out in a special 375ml bottle for the occasion. The retail should be around $11.99 if you’re interested.

That’s it. If you know of anything I missed then please let me know.

Drink wisely my friends,