Over the past decade or two, the whiskey market has become…crowded. Bourbon and other corn-based whiskeys have been the norm in the United States since Prohibition’s repeal 90 years ago, but between the recent influx in craft spirits and the rye boom, distilleries are continuing to look for ways to evolve.
A new style that’s being talked about a lot lately is American single malt whiskey in the style of the revered spirits from Scotland, Japan, and Ireland. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently proposed for single malt to get its own official designation in the U.S., bringing awareness and credence to the category’s staying power. Since it launched in 2007, Vermont-based WhistlePig has played a big part in challenging our mindset when it comes to rye whiskey with its premium rye expressions. Now, it aims to do the same with its very first American single malt, dubbed The Béhôlden.
Swapping rye grain for malted barley, The Béhôlden boasts an age statement that would make even the most iconic Scotch whiskies jealous and claims to be the oldest North American single malt by at least a decade. Spending a whopping 21 years in ex-bourbon barrels, the liquid was then finished for about a month in the brand’s own rye whiskey barrels, imparting spice and smoke to a profile already flourishing with notes of dried fruit, maple, golden raisin, and graham cracker.
Only 18 barrels made up this small batch, and as such, The Béhôlden is released in limited quantities. You can grab yourself a bottle of the 92-proof whiskey from WhistlePig’s website for $800.