During a year-plus-long search, David Pickerell, the previous Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark for 14 years through 2008, discovered this exceptional expression of rye in Canada; WhistlePig was not distilled by Pickerell and WhistlePig distillery yet, but rather sourced and bottled. Pickerell partnered with Raj Bhakta, an entrepreneur and former “Apprentice” reality show contestant, to establish WhistlePig and make this rye whiskey available to the public. Today, it’s bottled at Bhakta’s 500-acre WhistlePig Farm in Vermont, with the goal of becoming a fully sustainable “farm-to-bottle” distillery.
In spring 2014, Master Distiller Dave Pickerell initiated a unique experiment on the WhistlePig Farm, combining 12-year-old rye with premium European oak casks like Madeira, Sauternes, Port, Cognac, and Sherry. After single finish releases and industry feedback, the 12 Year Old World blend emerged, uniting three finishes for an exceptionally balanced spirit. The 2015 San Francisco Spirits Competition Double Gold award-winning Old World Series blends the boldness of rye whiskey with the elegance of European casks, resulting in an ultra-premium straight rye that pays homage to its Old World roots.
WhistlePig Old World 12yr is a blend of finished whiskeys: 63% from Madeira-finished barrels, 30% from French Sauternes-finished barrels, and 7% from Port-finished barrels. The whiskeys comprise 95% rye and 5% malted barley, and it’s bottled at 43% alc/vol.