WhistlePig 12 Year Old Madeira Cask Rye – Review

Whistlepig 12 Year Old Rye WhiskeyWhistlePig Old World 12 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

86 Proof

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.



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