The Canadian American.
In 2007, aspiring Whiskey maker Raj Bhakta bought a farm in Vermont lovingly named Whistle Pig Farm. He teamed up with master distiller Dave Pickerell, formerly of Maker’s Mark, to bring genuine Rye Whiskey back to the forefront of American Whiskeys. What they do is outsource elements of their production to Canadian distillers, using grain produced by others. Their ultimate vision is to make Whistle Pig an “estate producer,” which means that all aspects of Whiskey production will be onsite, from growing the grain to bottling the spirit. But until then, this is the best choice of a Rye Whiskey hailing from Canada, and we can’t dispute that!
The first thing that you need to know is that Whistle Pig 10 Year Old is more than a regular straight Rye Whiskey. And by “more” we mean more Rye, more flavour, more spice, and more quality. You see, WhistlePig 10 Year Old is made 90% from Rye grain. Rye is the most temperamental of grains to distill, and the vast majority of Rye Whiskey on the market is actually a blend of at least 51% Rye, the rest being corn, barley, wheat, or whatever else might be laying around. This makes a BIG difference.
Another big difference is that all of this Rye is aged for at least 10 years. Again, most of the Rye out there is aged two or three years. And all of that ageing is in a combination of first-fill ex Bourbon casks and new charred American oak casks, then bottled at a whopping 50% ABV. In fact, don’t say that you have tasted Rye Whiskey until you have tasted WhistlePig 10 Year Old neat OR in your favorite cocktail.
What the heck is a “whistle pig” anyway? Even though the label for Whistle Pig Rye is adorned with the sketch of a tuxedo clad hog, “whistlepig”, groundhog and woodchuck all refer to the same animal.