Perhaps the most bonkers spirit story to cross my desk this year, WhistlePig has taken rye whiskey and finished it in fig and Tentura casks - a Greek liqueur created from scratch by the distillery. It's old, it's cask strength, and the bottle is blinged out to match its annual Limited Edition status. This bottle features one of 9 limited bottle topper figureheads. Let's dive in.
Spicy and spice laden: spice drops, anise, balsamic and a touch of brine and maritime salinity. Brown sugar, toffee, honey and bold pepper and clove. Amazing how much apple, spice drops and balsamic roll through on this bottling.
Spicy! Oh it's spicy, and earthy, and savory. Pepper, clove, anise, spice drops, red wine vinegar. Maple and angostura bitters burst forth. Wildly succulent, savory and peppery on the palate, packed with bitters, a touch of brine and vinegar, plum and currant.
Wild finish, absolutely wild. Sweet then savory, peppery then salty, acidic then sweet and fatty and rich. Unbelievable chemistry of spice drops to apricot, honey to vinegar, angostura bitters to sweet vermouth and a funky maple finish.
This whiskey will not be for everyone, but for the right crowd, this rye will scream into their top whiskey of the year with little double in my mind. Fans of New York and Trinidad Sours, Sazerac cocktails and Negronis will all shout in delight on first sniff. Fans of rye who seek something "more" will likely be overjoyed. It's a polarizing whiskey, but perhaps the best I've ever had from WhistlePig, and no doubt the most interesting whiskey I've drank in 2022.
Disclosure: The producer provided this sample to review free of charge, and without expectation of review or rating.