The WhistlePig story goes like this: after an appearance on the second season of The Apprentice, and then a failed run for a Congressional seat in Pennsylvania, Raj Bhakta found himself hiking the greenways outside of Vail, Colorado. It was a balmy day, one so comfortable that Raj decided to unfurl his bow tie and take a nap next to the trail.
He began dreaming about a giant trampoline made of tits, with tits jumping on it and splaying out against the sky.They were soft and warm, and the sun was shining. Tits were raining down from the heavens and bouncing off his face. The dream seemed to go on forever… and then he was jarred awake from his dream by a disheveled, seemingly-French mountain-biker who was passing by.
The wild man stopped his bike, walked over to Raj and began shaking him by the lapels, screaming, “Could eet be a wheestle teet? You know… wheestle teet? Like this?” He made a few puckering noises and undulated his hand before disappearing back down the trail. It was a bewildering moment, one Raj would never forget. I mean, “What the heck is a whistle tit?”
Shortly after that, Raj met Dave Pickerell, a former Maker’s Mark distiller who had recently found what he declared to be the world’s best rye and was seeking an outlet to showcase his discovery. After Raj and Dave joined forces, they began to build their whisky company on a farm in Vermont.
Reflecting back on the disheveled man’s declaration, Raj chose the name WhistleTit… er… I mean, WhistlePig. Wait… um. Okay, so I may have gotten some of those details mixed up, or even made them up entirely, but whatever; this whisky is definitely the tits and it was, indeed, a wandering Coloradan’s bizarre inquiry that gave the distillery its name.
For the curious, whistle-pig is slang for groundhog… sweet, delicious groundhog.
Nose: Bright wintergreen floats over stone and honey. Golden Grahams cereal. Coconut suntan lotion. Mellow vanilla. Green apple peels and light citrus. Waxy Twizzlers, pencil shavings and uncooked instant oatmeal. Clean, pure and mild.
Palate: White pepper towards the end with nutmeg and honey upfront. All of the apple peels build up and make way for ginger vapors in the finish. Some of the suntan lotion makes its way to the palate, but leaves most of the coconut behind.
The WhistlePig 100/100 is a very sunny whisky. It’s bright, clean and uncharacteristically mild for a rye; very accessible for someone who might not have developed a taste for the heady, knee-breaker rye whiskies. It’s aged in new charred casks first, and then in used ex-bourbon casks making it a hybrid of sorts, a milder rye without quite as much of the bold and cooling mouthfeel a straight rye usually exhibits.
I’ve seen it sell for $80 a bottle, but the most recent sightings I’ve made have seen it for around $60. It’s uniquely great stuff, but I still wish it were even $10 cheaper than that.
Thank you, Connor Burleigh, for the sample! Cheers!!!