Price Point: $125 – $135 for 750 ML
Distiller: WhistlePig Farm
WhistlePig has taken some heat over the years. I won’t get into the details here, as a simple Google search should satisfy your curiosity. That being said, there’s no doubt that their whiskey is still good stuff in most cases.
I was recently on a business trip to Chicago, and was waiting for some co-workers at the hotel bar before dinner. I looked at the whiskey menu, and saw the new WhistlePig Old World collection. I ordered the Sauternes finish, and was pleasantly surprised with its quality!
Below, I am reviewing the Madeira cask finish. Let’s see how it goes.
The nose begins with notes of creamy vanilla, charred oak, and spicy rye. There’s also toasted marshmallows with a strong suggestion of a wine cask finish. To me, WhistlePig 12 Year Old Rye noses like a nicely matured bourbon; it’s very rich and full.
On the palate, this whiskey is hot, but not too hot at 43%. WhistlePig 12 Year Old Rye is definitely a rye but not as simplistic as most. Its complexity is borne from the wine cask maturation and extended time in the barrels (30% French Sauternes, 63% Madeira, 7% Port). It’s woody, with hints of black cherry and bubblegum.
The finish is smoky and sweet, full of zesty rye and rich wine flavors. There’s also a little bit of coffee on the back end to round out this whiskey.
Rating & Recommendations
WhistlePig 12 Year Old Rye earns a rating of 89 out of 100.
This is a very nice tasting rye that I would recommend. I think they are asking a little too much of the consumer on the price tag. $130 is obviously cost prohibitive to the average whiskey drinker, not to mention its limited geographic availability.