Whistle Pig PiggyBack 6 Year Old 100% Rye Whiskey (700ml)
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Whistle Pig PiggyBack 6 Year Old 100% Rye Whiskey (700ml)

$104. 99
$1259.88 Dozen
ABV: 45%

There have been a few iterations of the Piggy Back Rye, some finished in different barrels, others bottled at a higher ABV. This 'general release' for Australia aims to capture the classic, spicy side of the grain. It started in the summer of 2018, when late distiller, Dave Pickerell and Master Blender, Pete Lynch, returned to WhistlePig’s warehouses to realise their dream of creating the ideal rye whiskey for sipping and cocktails. It was launched in select US markets in 2019 as a permanent addition to the WhistlePig core range and was the final product Dave Pickerell created for the company before his passing.

It’s a 100% rye aged six years. The original was bottled at a purposeful 96.56 proof, in tribute of Dave Pickerell’s birth year – 1956. This edition lands at 45%. At that slightly lower proof it remains a charismatic whiskey that delivers the goods. The fusion of ripe peach and grain aromas also includes crusty rye as well as hints of ginger bread, vanilla and mint. Medium to full bodied, it's beautifully rounded in the mouth (borderline buttery) with a high ease of drinkability that lands on the sweeter side - think cardamon, cocoa, cafe cremes and fresh-baked rye with hints of anise lifting the finish. The expected rye spices don't fully develop, but this remains substantial enough to enjoy straight and will contribute texture to Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Vieux Carrés and more. Keen eyed followers of the brand will note the pig that graces the front label is not wearing the standard WhistlePig top hat, but rather a Stetson hat in honour of Dave Pickerell’s favourite head-ware. The bottle is also a slight departure from the standard Whistle Pig shape, making it more manoeuvrable for bartenders. 45% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... [96.56 proof bottling] The whiskey was created with cocktails in mind, but, as always, our review looks at the unadulterated product. Let’s dig in. The nose is boldly spicy in the way that 100% rye invariably is, with big cinnamon and clove notes complemented by a bold barrel char influence. Aromas of cherry pits, apricot, and an elusive tangerine note and some intrigue, but it’s the hint of maple syrup that drew me in the most.

There’s a lot going on, and with time in glass, the woodier notes begin to dominate, taking on a distinctly smoky character. That follows over the palate, which exhibits a lot of peppery bite at the start, though notes of salted caramel, gingersnaps, and banana walnut pancakes temper that heat. I get a mildly beefy edge later in the game, too. The finish isn’t as hot as expected, but it’s the lingering, somewhat raw spice quality that endures here the longest. All told it’s a fairly rustic spirit, a bit rough around the edges but dazzling in its complexity. Pickerell probably wouldn’t have had it any other way. - drinkhacker.com