WhistlePig debuts oldest whiskey to date

Vermont-based producer WhistlePig has released its oldest expression to date, an 18-year-old whiskey distilled from a mash bill that includes both malted rye and malted barley.

According to the producer, the new expression signals WhistlePig’s move from innovation to fermentation and distillation. Previous releases such as the Old World Rye ­– Aged 12 Years, Estate Oak Rye - Aged 15 Years, and The Boss Bog, focused on maturation. The new whiskey, called WhistlePig Double Malt Rye Aged 18 Years, was created after a “experiment in how grain affects flavour early in the whiskey-making process, in particular the bygone practice of malting rye”. The method of a ‘double malt’ mash bill “innovates on a traditional practice of malting a small portion of the rye harvest”. “To harness this tradition for our oldest expression of WhistlePig yet, we selected a whiskey distilled from 79% rye, 15% malted rye, and 6% malted barley,” said Pete Lynch, master blender of WhistlePig. “These grains form a harmony that spans the flavour spectrum, at once soft and floral, rich and savoury, and full of spice. Its complexity is only heightened after 18 years in the barrel." The 46% abv rye whiskey is presented in a decanter adapted from the traditional WhistlePig bottle shape, and comes with custom-made Vermont glass stopper. A “limited allocation” of the new whiskey will be released annually. WhistlePig Double Malt Rye Aged 18 Years is priced at US$399.99 and available from premium liquor stores, bars and restaurants across the US. It will be available for pre-sale via Caskers.com on 6 August. In April this year, WhistlePig received a US$55 million line of credit from investment bank JPMorgan Chase to “accelerate” its rye whiskey production. WhistlePig released one of the final expressions created by late master distiller Dave Pickerell – an “accessible” rye whiskey for cocktails.