For this quarter’s selection, we partnered with a distillery familiar to our shelves and to our customers, WhistlePig Distillery out of Vermont. WhistlePig produces one of the most awarded Rye whiskies in the country. We at PlumpJack, having collaborated on a single barrel offering with them before, jumped at another chance to provide customers with more of their unique offerings. This time around, we chose a whiskey that is 11 years aged and bottled at cask strength. The barrel yielded 132 bottles, with the majority of it allocated to the Whiskey club. If you enjoy it, be sure to re-order another one before you find yourself missing it once it’s gone!
Brendon Pineda, Spirits, Beer and Wine Enthusiast
WhistlePig PlumpJack Single Barrel Cask Strength Rye | 56.1% ABV | 11 years aged Warehouse 1/Rick-house A/Level 3
The beginning of WhistlePig dates back to 2007 when Raj Bhakta purchased a 500-acre farm in Shoreham, Vermont. The farm is home to pigs, sheep, goats, bees, horses and of course, their whiskey. The farm also includes 20 acres of maple trees, which the distillery uses to make maple syrup. With the help of the late Dave Pickerell, a master distiller who served a 14-year term with Maker’s Mark and advised hundreds of distilleries around the world, Dave and Raj began blending and experimenting with 10 and 12-year-old Canadian whiskey. Dave not only consulted with Raj on the distillery’s first bottles to market, he also designed the copper pot still which the distillery still uses every day. Their first label was released in 2015, a 10-year old blend that is now the most-awarded rye in the world, (according to WhistlePig).
Today, the distillery produces a variety of whiskies, mostly composed of Canadian whiskey but in some cases, distillate from MGP in Indiana and now their own. One of the whiskies that has some of their own distillate is ‘FarmStock’, a rye blend composed of 10-year old Canadian whiskey, 6-year old Indiana whiskey and 2-year old whiskey (distilled themselves). One of their more popular offerings is their 12-year old blend which is finished in a combination of casks that previously held Port, Madeira and Sauternes.
In 2018, Dave Pickerell tragically passed away while attending WhiskyFest in San Francisco. I was fortunate enough to meet him as he took the time to visit PlumpJack Wine and Spirits during his stay. He was a bright light who always wore a smile and whose passion shined even brighter. His legacy lives on through the brands he helped built. Cheers to Dave.
Aroma: Marshmallow, peanut brittle
Taste: whiskey soaked marshmallow, spice, fruit, medium oak tannin
The whiskey drinks well below its proof. Though a 100% rye, the pour is neither overly spicy nor oaky. The flavors meld well together and do not overpower one another. A nice, delicate balance of fruit and spice.
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