A Vermont slang term for ground hog, WhistlePig is a 100-proof, 100-percent rye whiskey, aged for ten years in new American oak barrels. Though this release was distilled in Canada and is holding court while the Vermont production has time to age, it is one of the purest expressions of rye to touch our lips this year. An intense nose of rye bread, vanilla and toffee with layers of caramel, brown sugar and s'mores on the palate that are both elegant and profound. Truth is we have a hard time keeping this one on the shelf at our whisky bar in Napa.
Whistle Pig represents everything we're looking for in a great whiskey; rarity, pedigree, and a great story. Located on one of the oldest farms in Vermont dating back to the early 19th-Century, this 500-acre property was once a thriving epicenter for grist and lumber. The farm remained in operation until 2006, when it was purchased by founder Raj Peter Bhakta and transformed into a rye farm and distillery. Bhakta's plan was to create a single estate rye whiskey that would stand as a model for fully sustainable agriculture in the US. A lofty goal that would require the help Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, who after a long career with Maker's Mark wanted to create his magnum opus. This combination of passion, experience, and just the right amount of insanity proved the perfect combination for driving success.