On my recent trip to the US I had the pleasure of travelling to some amazing whisky retailers in the Eastern States and happened upon a bottle of Wigle Organic Rye.
Having not reviewed an organic whiskey before and with some high praise from Jacob at The Old Wise Dog in Connecticut this was a no brainer.
Wigle Distillery is a small distillery in Pennsylvania (the first state to produce Bourbon) that uses heritage organic grains that they mill on site. They have an outstanding reputation for attention to detail and doing it right from start to finish.
Pronounced why-gl (not wiggle) I was initially told about this distillery by a good friend of mine who’s last name happens to be the same. So as it happens I also brought back a bottle for him so that he can drink a delicious Bourbon with his name on the label.
Wigle Deep Cut Organic Rye Whiskey
So lets get into the whiskey. Bottled at the cask strength of 57.5 and aged for 14 months only in a small charred new American oak casks. Made in small batches my bottle is from batch 17 that was bottled on the 30th October 2016. Tasted in my SWAC 1st edition Spiegelau whisky tumbler. Distilled in a copper pot still.
Colour: Really deep red giving a big clue as to the amount of charring those wee barrels received to allow for maximum whiskey/barrel penetration.
Nose: Rye and lots of it with the cask strength not really asserting how much alcohol the label tells me is present. This nose is exciting with a real richness to the spice load that makes me think the Heirloom Rye grains used here could hold more flavor than I have experienced in rye before. Lets see if the palate holds up.
Palate: This hits me as being all rye with some lovely bitter notes intertwined with just a mass of heavy spices. The alcohol while there only adds to the big punch this whiskey has. Despite the largess of the spice there is a lightness about the delivery on the tongue that has me picking out some more delicate chocolate and toffee notes. Big and oily.
Finish: There is a juicy Rye bitterness that runs through the finish that I think makes this a dram for a mature Rye whiskey palate. The high ABV just dries it all out a touch leaving some citrus zest and an oh so lingering knowledge that you just got spanked a little but in a good way.
Not a rye for the faint of heart it “cuts deep” to the heart of why Rye is such a cool grain. There should be more big Rye expressions like this at high ABV so that we can experience the truly untamed beast that is Rye whiskey.
This is going to make some cocktails that my wife will be very happy about 🙂 and I can’t wait to put it alongside some Connecticut wrapped cigars this Summer.
Wigle Whiskey is not yet available in Canada that I am aware of but if you are in the Eastern US you owe it to yourself to seek out any of their bottles.
I just love hand crafted small batch whiskey and Wigle are right up there for what I have tasted from the US in the past few years.
We will be getting our rum on again next time as Father’s Day looms and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise cranks out for the last time.