Whistle Pig is making waves in the rye scene
The resurgence of rye in the United States is not a new story, but it’s one that keeps evolving. The cocktail craze in the ‘90s and 2000s put this spicy spirit back on the map and made the grain prime for the craft market to take over and put an elegant twist on the category. As the premium rye market grows, one brand has become hard to ignore, and some would argue it pioneered premium high-rye whiskey. Whistle Pig, best known for its deliciously bold and grassy rye whiskey, has been making waves on the rye scene for almost 10 years now, The mainstay age statement and the ultra premium Boss Hog series command an impressive price point and have respect among serious whiskey aficionados. But, while the age statement whiskeys are exciting, it’s what they are doing on a 500-acre farm in Shoreham, Vermont—growing, you guessed it, rye.
Like all farms, this one serves quite a few purposes—an office for some, a cozy place to relax for a lucky few guests, a place to grow crops and experiment with whiskey, and real farm-to-table food. It is also a place to hand bottle their Boss Hog limited-release whiskeys. You can’t forget the sugar shack tiki bar, on the top of a snow-covered hill in rural Vermont—slinging maple spirit cocktails directly from the maple trees on the property. That same maple sap doubles as the barrel aged syrup, the key to the perfect smoky sweet balance of the Whistle Pig Old Fashion. It’s this mix of creativity, agriculture, and people culture that has birthed the farm stock offering. A blend of sourced and estate-aged rye, “farm stock” melded together to create a unique flavor every time—and a place where master blender Pete Lynch feels at home. The experimentation has led to three releases, or crops, all with a different interpretation of what a high-rye blend can be. The most recent release is soft on the nose with hints of vanilla and roasted chestnut; the taste is of baking spice and toasted marshmallow.
The third release marks an important milestone for Whistle Pig and the farm. More than 50% of the rye used in the blend this year was rye grown on the farm. The farm-to-bottle model allows the team to control the water source, the wood, and the rye, solidifying their contribution toward sustainable practices and handcrafted quality. Bottled by hand in the barn at 86 proof, FarmStock Rye Crop 3 is offered at $72.99.
Words by Frank Torok