About WhistlePig Old World Straight Rye Whiskey Madeira Finish
In 2006, a band of dedicated Rye enthusiasts purchased a 500-acre dairy farm in the rolling hills of Vermont's Champlain Valley. Today, the farm — which is being painstakingly restored to grow rye grains — is home to Master Distiller Dave Pickerell's magnum opus: WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey.
After leaving Maker's Mark, Pickerell embarked on a journey to find the perfect rye whiskey. "Rye, in its own essence, is just a brilliant grain," says Pickerell. "I wanted to do rye because it's America's historical whiskey." During the Revolutionary War, English blockades of American ports prevented the colonists from purchasing molasses used to make rum. As a result, American distillers, including George Washington, started making rye whiskey.
Pickerell completed his quest to find the perfect Rye with WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, which has already received a number of accolades: it received a perfect five out of five stars from F. Paul Pacault's Spirit Journal
, it earned a score of 96 points from Wine Enthusiast
(the highest score a rye whiskey has ever scored), Details Magazine
called it "America's Best New Whiskey" and it was named among the top five whiskeys of the year by The Wall Street Journal
Now, through WhistlePig’s The Old World Series, Pickerell pays homage to the fine Scotch and winemakers of the Old World by using various types of European casks to finish his rye. WhistlePig The Old World Series: Madeira Finish Rye Whiskey begins as a 12 year old, 95% rye whiskey distilled at MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg Indiana. Once it reaches its new home at the WhistlePig Distillery in Vermont, Pickerell finishes the whiskey for three-to-six weeks in barrels that previously contained Madeira, a fortified wine produced since the 17th century on the Portuguese islands of Madeira. WhistlePig The Old World Series: Madeira Finish Rye Whiskey is the first American rye whiskey to ever be finished in such casks.
This limited release is only available in small quantities in a select number of markets — be sure to pick up a bottle today!
Founded in 2008, WhistlePig is now the most awarded rye whiskey maker in the world. Their remote 500-acre hard-working farm in bucolic Shoreham, Vermont, is the perfect place to perfect their experiments with blending and finishing, ultimately leading to a portfolio of deeply complex rye whiskeys. In 2017 WhistlePig was awarded the coveted "Best In Show Whiskey" title from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Until his passing in 2018 the WhistlePig farm had been home to the founding father of craft whiskey, Master Distiller Dave Pickerell.
Their vision is to respect tradition and embrace progress, protecting what makes rye whiskey great, and at the same time innovating to make it better. After years of devotion to patient aging and innovative blending, WhistlePig has turned their attention to experimenting with grain, namely the practice of malting rye. Before industrial catalysts were introduced to increase efficiency, farmer distillers would malt a small portion of their rye harvest in order to access the grain's starch content and set off the fermentation process.
As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.