Whistlepig 10 Year Rye – Single Barrel Selection by Bourbon Pursuit

Today we’re checking out “Sweet Oak”, which is both a funny nickname that Kenny Coleman from the Bourbon Pursuit Podcast suffers, as well as the title applied to this privately selected bottle of Whistlepig 10 year rye. This bottle comes in at 109.5 proof and is at least 10 years old. Let’s take a look!

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.


John H.




May 13th, 2020

The guys from the official podcast of bourbon certainly have a good track record of picking some killer bottles. Previous picks of theirs include one of my favorite Knob Creek picks of all time “Man of Few Words“, as well as picks from Willett Family Estate that have brought an insane amount of attention to their selections. This particular selection was done virtually with a team selected from the Bourbon Pursuit Patreon community. Check out the video from the selection here.

Generally speaking, I’m a fan of Whistlepig’s products. Their MGP products, their Alberta products, and their own distillate as well. It’s been a great evolution to witness as the New England whiskey maker that was built with the vision of the late Dave Pickerell. Growing their own grain and their own wood signifies the commitment to making a great product, but also expresses their desire to operate a sustainable farm in rural Vermont. Impressive stuff, but for now let’s try the whiskey!

Tasting Notes…

Nose – A floral and sweet bouquet.  This is really great.  It carries the classic Whistlepig rye nose to a new level with some oak and just tons of floral notes.

Taste – Mouthfeel is big, soft, and…velvety.  While it’s not thick or heavy, there’s just a certain structure that’s great.  Sweet caramel stands out first before the barrel influence shows up.  The oak is there, but not in a big way.  This is a bourbon drinker’s rye with the amount of caramel and vanilla playing here, the rye stands up more after a few seconds.

Finish – This finishes for a while.  At 109.5 proof it’s not hot at all, but that proof certainly plays well with the rye spiciness after the “Sweet Oak” fades away.  If you’ll suffer through me getting poetic here, the finish really bounces between two different feelings: it’s a sweet floral summer breeze, and it’s also a golden caramel sunset that ends with spicy autumn rye.  How’s that for a ridiculously pompous description?  You’re welcome!

Bourbon Finder Grade: B

Final thoughts…

If you’re totally new to Whistlepig’s products, this could very well ruin you for buying shelfies. I think this is a step better than the standard 10 year offering, and certainly leans toward the palate of a bourbon drinker as well. If you’re familiar with Whistlepig and you have space on your shelf for another bottle, there are a few of these left as of this post, you may want to scoop them up quickly…when they’re gone, they’re gone forever!

This bottle is available now at Keg N Bottle

Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is, so our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible–as such–we decided that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us (and didn’t accurately showcase variability in taste from day to day). We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because we feel it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day, so rather than focusing on a precise score today that may not stand the test of time, we are just sharing our overall grade of that pour for that one tasting. Pour a bit and enjoy, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!

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