WhistlePig is a brand that has gained a cult following among whiskey enthusiasts, with some of its annual releases fetching impressive premiums. One of their popular offerings is the 10-Year Single Barrel Rye Whiskey, which has piqued the interest of whiskey aficionados everywhere.
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Whistle Pig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye Overview
WhistlePig is a renowned whiskey brand, specializing in rye whiskey. They’re based in beautiful Vermont, US, and are dedicated to producing high-quality, single-barrel rye whiskeys. The WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye is one of their most popular offerings. The whiskey is aged for at least ten years using a combination of new virgin American white oak and bourbon barrels. This allows the whiskey to develop a unique and rich taste profile.
When it comes to the pricing, the WhistlePig 10-year single barrel rye typically retails for around $100 per 750mL bottle. It’s important to note that depending on the region and retailer, the price may slightly vary.
On the nose, the WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye whiskey has an inviting aroma that is a delightful mix of rye spice and sweetness. I can detect notes of cinnamon, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla, giving it a warm and inviting scent. There’s also a presence of floral notes, pine, and a touch of orange zest, which adds to the complexity and charm of this Canadian whiskey.
As I take my first sip, the initial flavor that hits my palate is that distinct 100% rye spiciness, followed by sweet caramel, dark cherry, and maple syrup. The body is rich with flavors of cinnamon, clove, and anise, which blend well with the whiskey’s herbal and vegetal undertones. Hints of black pepper and mint add a pleasant kick to the overall taste. The whiskey has a nice mouthfeel, and the 50% ABV alcohol content is well-incorporated into the flavor profile.
The finish of the WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye is long-lasting and satisfying, with flavors of honey, tannins, and a faint hint of bourbon from the barrels used for aging. The aftertaste leans more towards the sweet side, reminding me of pumpernickel bread and lingering cinnamon. The warmth from the alcohol lingers, but the experience remains enjoyable throughout.
My final score for the WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye whiskey is 8.5 out of 10. I find this rye whiskey to be rich in flavor and quite enjoyable, although the price point may not make it an everyday sipper for some. Regardless, the distinct rye and spice notes, combined with the sweet and herbal undertones, have made a lasting impression on me.
Mixing and Pairing
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When it comes to mixing WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye, I recommend using high-quality mixers to bring out its complex flavors. Some of my top choices include:
- Ginger Beer: The spicy zing of ginger beer can emphasize the rye’s pepper and cinnamon notes.
- Tonic Water: Tonic water highlights the more delicate flavors in the whiskey, such as honey, vanilla, and sweetness.
- Orange Juice or Orange Peel: Orange adds a refreshing citrus touch to the mix, complementing the orange and caramel notes.
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I enjoy sipping WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye neat, but it also works wonderfully in cocktails. Here are a few ideas:
- Old Fashioned: Muddle a sugar cube, couple dashes of bitters, and orange peel. Add ice and two ounces of WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye, and stir. Garnish with a cherry.
- Whiskey Sour: Shake two ounces of WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye, three-quarters of an ounce of lemon juice, half an ounce of simple syrup, and an egg white (optional) over ice. Strain and pour into a glass. Add a dash of bitters on top.
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Pairing WhistlePig 10-Year Single Barrel Rye with food can be delightful. Here are some suggestions that complement its flavors:
- Charcuterie Board: Serve with an array of cured meats, cheeses, and crackers to bring out the whiskey’s sweetness and contrast with its spicy notes.
- Dark Chocolate: Enhance the rye’s caramel, honey, and vanilla flavors with a small piece of high-quality dark chocolate.
- Smoked or Grilled Meats: The rich, smoky flavors in the meats will work well with the bourbon cask aging and pepper notes in the whiskey.
What struck me most about this 100% rye whiskey was the prominent rye spice. The aroma was filled with pepper, caramel, and subtle floral notes. This delicious concoction is the result of 10 long years of aging in oak barrels. For those who care about the technicalities, the mash bill is composed entirely of unmalted rye.
I believe the late master distiller, Dave Pickerell, left an indelible mark on WhistlePig products, and the 10-year Single Barrel Rye is no exception. The quality of this whiskey is reflected in its overall score, I’d give it a solid 8.5 out of 10.
Regarding the price, the MSRP is around $100, but you might find it for $80 at some retailers. The value of this expression, in my opinion, is definitely worth the investment as it’s not just a great sipper, but also a wonderful addition to your whiskey collection.
In summary, WhistlePig’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye is a beautifully crafted expression that showcases the potential of rye whiskey. Its complexity and balance make it an enjoyable experience, and I am confident that fellow rye enthusiasts will appreciate it as much as I do.