Prior to Prohibition, Americans simply preferred rye whiskey. After that, our tastebuds shifted towards the mellower profiles of bourbons and whiskeys that came from more balanced mashbills. And while the style never disappeared, recent years have seen an emphatic rise in high-rye bourbons and rye whiskeys, which yield flavors that are more spice-forward. Among those leading the way is Vermont’s own WhistlePig, whose convictions begin and end with rye, innovating and thinking outside the box of its craft with a shockingly wide range of rye options. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t drift into the other lanes as well.
To complement and counterpoint its intrepid flagship PiggyBack 100% Rye Whiskey, the distillery has recently launched the PiggyBack 100 Proof Bourbon. While this new expression doesn’t quite come from a 100% corn mashbill, it veers pretty close and is sprinkled with a bit of rye as well. Just like the 100% Rye, the 100 Proof Bourbon is aged for 6 years in level 3 char barrels and bottled at a higher proof to better display the complexity and nuance of the liquor.
While the new bourbon is definitely the “sweet” to the 100% Rye’s “savory,” one would venture to guess that these two would pair excellently together just as they would individually. By itself, the 100 Proof Bourbon shines with a nose of caramel corn and oak, leading into creamy maple and vanilla notes on the palate, which give way to a finish of herbal tea and honey.
PiggyBack 100 Proof Bourbon is available now through select retailers for around $50 and is set to hit WhistlePig’s online store soon.