Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Distillery: Sourced from Alberta Distillers.
Age: 15.5 Years
Mashbill: 100% Alberta Rye
BACKGROUND: WhistlePig is a new rye whiskey distillery in Vermont. They only have 100% rye whiskeys that is distilled and originally barreled and matured by Alberta Distillers in Canada before being shipped to WhistlePig in Vermont for additional aging in new barrels. Masterson's also gets their whiskey from Alberta Distillers but they bottles the Albert whiskey straight from Alberta Distillers. WhistlePig was founded by Dave Pickerell who is the former master distiller of Maker's Mark. Alberta Distillers follows US requirements when making their rye whiskey which is what makes Masterson's and WhistlePig rye whiskeys so flavorful. This barrel was privately selected by ABC Liquor Store in Austin, TX. Although this is labeled as a 10 year old whiskey, it is actually a 15.5 year old whiskey which that was barreled on 6/1/2005 and bottled on 1/21/2021.
NOSE: The nose on this private barrel is incredibly smooth and balanced. There are smooth baking spice and aged oak notes accompanied by scents of sweet vanilla, floral notes, cherry and clove. For a cask strength rye whiskey there is no burn and the rye spice is not overpowering which is really nice. This nose is sweet and balanced with complex and rich flavors. (23/25)
PALATE: As soon as the whiskey touches your lips they start to tingle just slightly. I was immediately welcomed in with rich brown sugar and caramel notes that are balanced out with well aged oak, smooth rye baking spice, and some citrus rind. There is no burn whatsover and the rye bite that I expected was no where to be found. (37/40)
FINISH: The finish on this whiskey just kept building and building. It started out with bitter tannins, oak, and leather with faint traces of rye spice but the rye spice just kept building and building. The finish is long, smooth, and warming. (23/25)
VALUE: This private barrel has an SRP of $89.99 which is an absolute steal when you factor in the age and quality. WhistlePig 15 year is a $200 bottle and this is the same age and less than half the price. (9/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I usually am not a fan of WhistlePig but this private barrel is fantastic. This whiskey is incredibly smooth, aged perfectly, and priced very fairly for the age. It is a whiskey that should be appreciated by anyone who enjoys rye whiskey. I strongly encourage you to get yourself a bottle from ABC liquor. This is our highest rated rye whiskey to date and for good reason.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Michter's 10 year Rye Whiskey (2020)
Similar & Equal Whiskey: E. H. Taylor Straight Rye
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey Willett Family Estate 4 Year Rye
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods
90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey
85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this
80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there
75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf
70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this
60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers
50-59: Not my cup of tea
Below 50: Give away