Whiskey Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye 10 Year

by Robin Shreeves on Jul 10, 2015 in Liquor

The current whiskey boom started with a renewed interest in bourbon, but it certainly hasn’t landed on bourbon and just stayed there. Now that Americans have a taste for bourbon, they’re branching out. Ryes seem to be where drinkers’ palates are heading. Sales of rye whiskey have grown over 500% since 2010. One rye that Philadelphia whiskey drinkers should be on the look out for is WhistlePig.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having lunch with the CEO of WhistlePig Whiskey, native Philadelphian Raj Bhakta. He offered to give me a tasting of his WhistlePig Straight Rye 10-Year Whiskey and tell me about a little about his eco-friendly Vermont farm where his “farm-to-bottle” distillery is located.

Traditionally, rye whiskey is made from at least 51% rye and aged in new, charred American oak barrels. It’s usually aged for two years or more, the longer the better. Often dry, nutty, spicy, rye’s taste is a contrast to the caramel sweetness of a bourbon.

WhistlePig’s Straight Rye 10-Year takes the basics of rye and adds a few twists. It’s a 100 percent rye, which is rare. While most ryes are around 80 to 90 proof, this rye is 100 proof. A double-barrel aging process is the final touch that sets this rye whiskey apart. It starts in traditional barrels, but is finished in bourbon barrels.

Okay, so it’s a little different than the traditional rye. Does that difference translate into a great rye? Bhakta told me before I had a sip that this method creates a “character and smoothness that’s hard to find in both people and whiskey.” I’ll admit that in my mind, I rolled my eyes at hearing that (but, hopefully, refrained from rudely physically rolling my eyes). I mean, come on; that’s a lot to live up to.

But darn, if he wasn’t right. The spiciness of the rye whiskey married with the smoothness that came from the bourbon barrel finish creates a balanced whiskey with a lot of character. This may be the best whiskey I’ve ever tasted. I’m not the first to love WhistlePig Straight Rye. Wine Enthusiast gave it a rating of 96, the highest rating it’s ever given a rye.

WhistlePig is available at dozens of bars throughout Philadelphia. If you’re new to it, I suggest ordering it neat or on the rocks to get the full experience of its smoothness and character. It works in cocktails, too, and some city bars are using it in their specialty cocktails.

Han Dynasty Old City’s take on an Old Fashioned, the Old City Fashioned, is upgraded with WhistlePig. The drink is made with whiskey, Demerara sugar, ginger, plum bitters, and a splash of club soda, garnished with cherries and an orange slice.

Fare, in the Fairmount District, uses the rye in the WhistlePig Sazerac, a combination of rye whiskey, brandy, and bitters.

Photos via WhistlePig

 


Tags: Spirits, Whiskey
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

As hurricanes continue to devastate the US some breweries are helping out, including most recently The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 19, 2017
Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the summer's sunshine, Philadelphia is full of great places to drink in the great outdoors....read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2017
SPONSORED
Skygarten Rectangle Ad
Philly's Best Happy Hours: Bistrot La Minette's $3 Wines, $4 Kirs, & Half-Priced First Courses

Philly's Best Happy Hours: Bistrot La Minette's $3 Wines, $4 Kirs, & Half-Priced First Courses

This week, we're turning the spotlight on Bistrot la Minette, Peter Woolsey's traditional Parisian bistro tuck...read more ›

by Drink Philly Sep 19, 2017
Celebrate Fall at Spruce Street Harbor Park's Fall Fest, September 14-24

Celebrate Fall at Spruce Street Harbor Park's Fall Fest, September 14-24

Visit Spruce Street Harbor Park Thursday, September 14 through Sunday, September 24 for the Third Annual Fall ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 15, 2017
Get Ready For The Drink Philly Fall Brunch Boat Party, September 30

Get Ready For The Drink Philly Fall Brunch Boat Party, September 30

On Saturday, September 30, prepare to hoist anchor for a three-hour tour of crazy proportions. We'll sail down...read more ›

by Drink Philly Sep 14, 2017
Philly's Best Happy Hours: $5 Snacks & Great Drink Specials Every Day of the Week at Bing Bing Dim Sum

Philly's Best Happy Hours: $5 Snacks & Great Drink Specials Every Day of the Week at Bing Bing Dim Sum

Our focus this week is on Bing Bing Dim Sum, the reimagined dim sum spot from Cheu Noodle Bar's Shawn Darragh ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Sep 12, 2017
Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 in Philadelphia

Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 in Philadelphia

Oktoberfest season is here, and Philadelphia is going all out with the events. From now until mid October, beer lovers and Germanophiles alike will ga...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 12, 2017
You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

A U.K. based company is making alcohol-infused popcorn at 5% ABV, if you really feel compelled to get drunk off your movie snack....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Sep 12, 2017
A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

Blue Spirits Distilling has created a 120-proof, pickle flavored vodka that is just begging to be poured into your next Bloody Mary....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 12, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close