Whistlepig finishes whiskey in Spanish oak and teak wood casks

Vermont-based producer Whistlepig has released a 17-year-old rye whiskey finished in Spanish oak and South American teak wood casks as the seventh expression in its Boss Hog series.

The latest addition to The Boss Hog series is Magellan’s Atlantic, which is said to be the first whiskey finished in rare Spanish and South American casks. It is the seventh edition in Whistlepig’s Boss Hog range, which includes expressions aged in a variety of casks such as umeshu, Scotch and Calvados apple brandy. Previous whiskeys in the collection were only finished in one cask. Pete Lynch, master blender of Whistlepig, said the whisky industry “has never before seen this truly one-of-a-kind combination of casks, nor has it tasted anything quite like the resulting product and liquid it has produced”. The straight rye whiskey is first finished in oak casks from Cantabria in northern Spain for three weeks, followed by a second finish in South American teak wood casks from Brazil for three days. “The Spanish oak casks deliver a unique and unparalleled flavour and South American teak wood was among the most coveted bespoke barrels in our exclusive Single Barrel programme,” explained Jeff Kozak, Whistlepig CEO. “We anticipated that the combination would make for an unprecedented taste and we couldn’t be happier with the result.” The Spanish oak casks are high in tannins, knotty and porous, the brand said. While the oak is extremely difficult to make staves from and prone to leakage and extra evaporation, it offers “intense flavours with heightened interaction between spirit and oak”. Lynch added: “A one-hour proprietary toast with the Spanish oak creates a small char layer that removes some tannins but preserves the good ones. A medium level toast grants incredibly aromatic cinnamon, allspice, and roasted nut flavours, while softening the overall intensity of the greener wood notes in the finishing cask.” The teak wood provides the liquid with notes of “baking spices and a sweet, toasted character, complementing the intense spiciness of the Spanish oak”. 'Uncommon' in whisky “We have experimented [with] South American teakwood on just a handful of barrels in the past, and both this and the new Spanish oak are uncommon in the whisky world,” said Meghan Ireland, maturation chemist, Whistlepig. “It’s been the least predictable and most intensive edition of The Boss Hog to date, but well worth the trials and effort.” The whiskey comes with a collectible pewter topper depicting Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan as a pig in traditional Spanish dress before setting sail. Consumers who purchase the whiskey can use a unique code on the bottle’s label to access exclusive content. The Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic comes with an ABV of between 52.6% and 53.9%. It carries an RRP of US$499.99 per 750ml bottle and is available to buy from premium alcohol stores, bars and restaurants across the US. The expression will also launch in select global markets in the coming weeks and is available for pre-sale from Caskers.