Okay, so it’s not often we showcase American whiskey here but when we do it has got to be the good stuff. WhistlePig, though interestingly named, make some absolutely delicious American whiskey. WhistlePig began when the founders purchased a farm in 2007. After a few years of deep consideration and personal reflection they committed to crafting the world’s finest and most interesting Rye Whiskeys. With help from Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, they discovered and purchased an incredible stock of 10 year old blending Whiskey in Canada that was being profoundly misused. That initial stock, for which we are forever grateful, is what kicked off their grand adventure. This 12-year-old Indiana-distilled rye expression was finished in a cask made of south-American Amburana wood exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. It’s very rarely seen in whisky-making, more commonly being used to age cachaca, and as such, adds a unique character to the whiskey that makes it like nothing else.
On the nose: you’ll be greeted by notes of sugar cane, candy sticks, vanilla and coconut. These initial notes are closely followed by dried spices, cinnamon and wafts of spearmint. Notes of lavender, banana candy, rhubarb & custard and crisp red apples start to emerge. Rounding-off the nose are notes of sultanas, almonds, cherries, green herbs and icing fondant. On the palate: those coconut and sugar cane notes are ever-present, followed by vanilla, dried spices, cinnamon and mint. Notes of maple syrup, bananas and raisins start to appear. Completing the palate are notes of candy apple, toasted oak, aniseed and a grassy note. The finish: is medium, sweet and oaky, with lingering notes of herbs, candy and spearmint.
The verdict: This is the first time, I’ve knowingly samples WhistlePig and I must say, it was a delight. On the nose there are lost of nice subtle and delicate notes but the palate has a lovely little note of sherried currants that was totally unexpected. It is so smooth on the palate and this coupled with the well-rounded and full nose make this Rye expression one of my favourite drams from our friends across the pond. Bottled at 43% ABV, there is no need to add water. That said, it does make the most beautiful paring for an Old Fashioned.
WhistlePig Amburana Rye 12 Year Old Whiskey is, as mentioned, has been exclusively bottled for The Whisky Exchange and is available to purchase from their online shop for £175.
For more information on this Amburana Rye 12yo expression , visit the official WhistlePig website.