(North) American Whiskey Review #35: WhistlePig 18 Year Double Malt Rye
Distillery: Unnamed Canadian Distillery (This site believes its Hiram Walker)
Price: A phenomenal anniversary gift from my loving wife
Mashbill: 79% Rye, 15% Malted Rye, 6% Malt Barley
Age: 18 Year
Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.
Nose: (according to the wife) There’s a lot of vibrant and fresh fruit up front. Pears, apples, and grapes all make a showing. They’re joined by a sharp note of lemongrass and a very boozy vanilla note.
Palate: It’s sweet but not like sugary or caramel sweet. The distinct rye flavor is there but it has the sweetness similar to that of malted barley or what I imagine a sweet rye bread would taste like. Perhaps this is what that malted rye tastes like? Loads of vanilla follow after the malted grain note before giving way to the baking spices you associate so much with rye whiskey. There’s nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon but the spice level remains very well tempered and soft. Some cherry comes out and old oak finishes it up.
Finish: Medium to long in length. The rye spices and cherry are front and enter before vanilla creeps back in. The very last lingering notes are of that sweet rye once again.
Conclusion: In celebration of our anniversary, my lovely wife knocked it out of the park by gifting me with this well aged WhistlePig (in comparison, all I got her were a few pairs of shoes…oh dear). I could hardly wait to crack it open and give it a taste! The “double malt” in the name appears to refer to the two different types of malted grain that goes into it, malted rye and malted barley, rather than to two different distilleries. The nose teases that it’s going to be fruity but the palate absolutely subverts expectations in a manner befitting of Hollywood. That malted grain sweetness combined with the vanilla, baking spices, and cherry has so much depth and makes for a very lovely dram. The finish lingers for a while and plays back all of the notes you find earlier making you ready for the next sip. Fantastic whisky and one I’ll be cherishing for a very, very long time.
Final Score: 87.
(North) American Whiskey Review #35, Canadian Whiskey Review #3, Rye Review #7, Whisky Network Review #238
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.