I was visiting family several months back and ran across a store in Orangeburg, SC - Gibby’s Bottle Shop. You can see a write-up of these great people here but if you get the chance to visit them I highly recommend it. While in there the owner showed me several of their store picks and I decided to go with this Whistlepig because I haven’t had one from them yet.
We’ll get to the pick in a second but I want to discuss Whistlepig first. They are a distillery based in Vermont and are up in the ass of the rye world. Their top product is called The Boss Hog and was appropriately priced a couple years back. Queue a few awards and they decided to more than double the cost of this item. The reason I love capitalism is because the market responded appropriately and you can find The Boss Hog pretty much everywhere. I think most of their products are overpriced but I imagine they have to charge that much due to those fun Vermont taxes.
Anyway back to this store pick. This is the Old World Cask Finish that is 12 years old - of course aged in new oak barrels but then finished in a mix of 63% Madeira, 30% Sauternes and 7% Port. What does that mean? I don’t know. I can typically pick out Port notes in a spirit but I don’t get much here. On the nose I get mint and coffee which is kind of a weird getup but very pleasant. In the mouth region I get honey - it’s not a very warm spirit so for anyone new to the game I don’t think you’d be out of your league drinking it straight from the bottle.
Typically in store picks you tend to find a more complex and viscous consistency which is what I found very odd about this one. This particular bottle seemed to be thin but with the broader range of flavors. I haven’t found a store pick like that yet - if you watch my video about store picks you’ll see that sometimes you only have a couple barrels to pick between and I have no idea how Whistlepig does it. This observation is not negative - my personal preference is for A LOT OF MOUTHFEEL but the flavors were still very pronounced.
Like I mentioned before, go stop by Gibby’s and check out his store picks - he has a broad range and if that’s not your thing you WILL find something in that store for you.