Seems strange right? Well… not if you’re taking advantage of a rare WhistlePig Rye Whiskey tasting at 116 Crown in New Haven! Tip: If you’re looking to try rare spirits or save bucks on buying a bottle or single pours, a tasting or tasting/dinner pairing is the way to go. This one was $25 for the three tastings vs. spending $50+ per bottle or possibly $15+ on individual pours. And, in many cases you’ll be hard-pressed to find what you want to taste outside of a tasting anyway!
WhistlePig’s Brand Steward, ‘Farmer Greg’, came by to all tasters privately for a proper walkthrough of the three whiskies on hand:
10 Year 100 Proof,
Old World Triple Finished
The Boss Hog
Greg gave a brief history of WhistlePig including the arduous three years it took to open their own distillery at WhistlePig Farm in Shoreham, VT. -If you didn’t already know (spoiler alert), like many other whiskies, WhistlePig products come from Alberta Distillers in Canada or MGP Distillery in Indiana (whiskey factories that do initial aging). Ignore this because the taste is worth it regardless and they’ll be distilling on premise using farmed rye from their own property soon enough!
Greg, also being one of the whiskey still installers, explained that he made sure he was far offsite during initial ignition in case of any mishaps! (that would have been a major bummer to literally blowup three years of work).
Greg was extremely courteous and spot-on with his descriptions of the three whiskies that definitely did not disappoint:
The 10 Year didn’t have the unwanted heat of a 100 proof rye, instead the heat was inviting. Surprisingly smooth, with some sweetness making it obvious why this has become a heralded rye in the whiskey community.
Old World Triple Finished is the 10/100, but ‘finished’ in wine casks at WhistlePig Farm. What a treat – I love it when distillers take it up a notch and put a product through different barrel stages! Greg explained that the Old Word is cut to 90 proof (i.e., water is added) in order to avoid killing the wine cask finish with alcohol heat. This was such an easy drinker after starting with the 10/100 and it definitely made me wanting more! You could really feel and savor the wine-barrel aging.
The Boss Hog lives up to it’s moniker, but doesn’t leave you feeling like the Dukes after a night in the clink. This 122-proof beast went down very smooth and only gave afterburners – i.e., it didn’t burn the throat, but rather the belly, sips after the fact. I’m saying it: I like it better than Bookers!
There’s just something about the finish overall with these Pigs… I highly recommend and can’t wait to visit the distillery.
-The Sweet and Sweaty
P.S. – Stay tuned for future experiences of 116 Crown’s actual cuisine and craft cocktails.