WhistlePig 12 Year – Whiskey Tribunal 2020 Pick

Quick Stats:

  • Distiller: WhistlePig Distillery
  • Spirit: Canadian Rye Whiskey
  • Aged: 12 years
  • Price: Around $124.99
  • Proof: 86
  • WhistlePig Website
  • Davidoff Tampa Website

    About The Distillery & Bottle: 
  • “WhistlePig was founded in 2010 with a single goal in mind: create the world’s finest rye whiskeys. Located in a 150-year-old renovated dairy barn, WhistlePig’s distillery is the culmination of five diligent years. Opened in 2015, we distill 7 days a week in our unique copper pot still designed by world-renowned Master Distiller Dave Pickerell.” 
  • “This 12 year-old Rye Whiskey is a marriage of whiskeys that have been finished in Port, French Sauternes, and Madeira casks. We’ve taken the elements that are most quintessential in an American rye, boldness and character, and fused them with the elegance and grace of a fine single malt scotch.”
  • Nose
  • Palate
  • Finish
  • Smoothness
  • Value

Notes & Review

Nose: Mossy rye funk on the front of the nose open up into lighter notes of floral white wine. Undertones of vanilla, baking spice, young ruby port, and raspberry preserves are prevalent throughout the back end of the nose. 

Palate: The initial palate is incredibly fruit-forward. Notes of cantaloupe, bright citrus, dried orange, and black currant hit upfront. After this initial burst of lighter notes, the rye begins to take hold, opening up to more classic flavors of spiced rye, menthol, and tanned leather.

Finish: Bittersweet cocoa, smoldered tobacco, and charred rye fade into lingering notes of dry rye spice and honeydew melon. 


Review: WhistlePig is one of those brands that I have had an interesting relationship with. When I first became interested in whiskey, I wasn’t a huge fan of rye. And, wouldn’t you know it, I bought a bottle of WhistlePig on a recommendation. 

Since then, I’ve really come to appreciate the complexity they bring to the rye scene and can completely understand why they’ve become such an indispensable brand for many whiskey enthusiasts. 

The WhislePig 12 Year brings the complexity and depth you’d expect from a rye this old. 

The spice is mellowed by the time in the barrel, allowing it to develop more subtle flavors. This married with the Pineau Cask give the pour some truly unique notes that really surprised us. The brightness of the citrus mixed with the floral sweetness at the beginning of the palate was completely unexpected, especially since the nose has such strong notes of rye at the front. 

That being said, this pour definitely hits the classic notes while adding some variety and complexity to the pour. 

The heat isn’t bad by any means, but it picks up about mid-way through the palate. At 86 proof, I didn’t expect it to be quite that hot, but that little heat-spike fades just about as quickly as it popped up. 

We gave the bottle a composite score of 4. 

1-2 = Drain Pour
2-3 = Try Before You Buy
4-5 = Worth The Splurge

User Review
0 (0 votes)

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