An elegant whisky that defeats controversy.
Earlier this year I wrote about Raj Bhakta, the embattled CEO of rye whisky brand WhistlePig. Despite the company infighting that I described in the piece, WhistlePig has been successful in the craft spirits market by combining a great niche product with savvy branding. A perk of working on the story—one of my favorites this year—was visiting the brand’s farm and distillery in Vermont and tasting its various whisky expressions. This latest one, the 2016 Boss Hog, is a 14-year-old single-barrel rye that has been aged in oversized 250-liter casks. Brawny like its porcine namesake, my sample of the Boss Hog checked in at 120.6 proof, packing a spicy, buttery punch of cinnamon, caramel and vanilla, while keeping in check the sting that lesser ryes are known for. Only 30 barrels of the Boss Hog are being released this year. Whatever happens internally with WhistlePig, the product remains an absolute must for whisky lovers.