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ThomasH

Wistlepig rye!

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ThomasH

I got a bottle of Wistlepig today. Even though it technically comes from Canada, I still like it. The proof is just right and I like the age too. Would also like to see some of this at barrel strength!

Thomas

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unclebunk
I got a bottle of Wistlepig today. Even though it technically comes from Canada, I still like it. The proof is just right and I like the age too. Would also like to see some of this at barrel strength!

Thomas

I received a bottle for my birthday in October and only recently cracked it open. I really enjoyed it as well but found it quite different from the rest of the ryes on my bar.

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callmeox

I'm expecting a bottle in a week or two and I'm looking forward to running it through is paces (and my liver).

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nblair
I received a bottle for my birthday in October and only recently cracked it open. I really enjoyed it as well but found it quite different from the rest of the ryes on my bar.

I enjoyed a pour of this today, and you're right, it is totally different than any other rye I've ever had (due to the unique mashbill I assume). It is very complex, and I think it is very similar to a normal rye up until the finish. I like it a lot and am glad I bought a bottle, but don't know if I'd re-up for another $70.

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imbibehour

I love it also, even for the price I paid I would buy it again great stuff...

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dbk
Even though it technically comes from Canada, I still like it.

As a Canadian, I find this hilarious. Any time Canadian whisky is so much as mentioned on SB, it gets slagged off. Here, we've got a rye that just about everybody who's tasted it has loved, and it's "technically" Canadian—that must scare the pants off of some folks. :slappin:

Imagine what the world would say of American whiskey if it was judged solely on the taste of Old Crow and Jeremiah Weed. Yes, there is plenty of garbage produced in the name of "Canadian whisky," but there is also some seriously good stuff, like Whistlepig, Caribou Crossing, Forty Creek (e.g., Double Barrel Reserve, Confederation Oak Reserve), Alberta Premium (both the NAS and 25 year-old), Lot 40, and Wiser's (18 year-old and Red Letter).

It's just a shame to me that the only way people feel they can save face when enjoying a Canadian whisky is to precede the term with adjectives like "technically." :rolleyes:

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sku
As a Canadian, I find this hilarious. Any time Canadian whisky is so much as mentioned on SB, it gets slagged off. Here, we've got a rye that just about everybody who's tasted it has loved, and it's "technically" Canadian—that must scare the pants off of some folks. :slappin:

Imagine what the world would say of American whiskey if it was judged solely on the taste of Old Crow and Jeremiah Weed. Yes, there is plenty of garbage produced in the name of "Canadian whisky," but there is also some seriously good stuff, like Whistlepig, Caribou Crossing, Forty Creek (e.g., Double Barrel Reserve, Confederation Oak Reserve), Alberta Premium (both the NAS and 25 year-old), Lot 40, and Wiser's (18 year-old and Red Letter).

It's just a shame to me that the only way people feel they can save face when enjoying a Canadian whisky is to precede the term with adjectives like "technically." :rolleyes:

Point well taken and this thread should probably be in the foreign whiskeys forum, but I think there are a few reasons for this with regard to both WhistlePig and other Canadians.

First, Pickerell is not exactly promoting the Canadian heritage of this whiskey. While he very clearly states that it's Canadian, Vermont is on the front of the label and Canada is on the back, and it's labeled as a "straight rye whiskey," a US term, as opposed to a "Canadian Whisky".

And unfortunately, we don't get any Alberta Premium in the states, and I don't think I've ever seen those Wisers either. It's only very recently that we've been seeing any quality Canadians come over here. Up until about a year ago, the Canadian shelves of even really good liquor stores in the US were dominated by Crown, Club, Mist and other bottom shelf booze, with only Forty Creek standing for quality (and I haven't seen the Confederation Oak yet either). Now we have a few more, but not many, and WhistlePig is usually in the American whiskey section (because most liquor store owners probably don't know that it's Canadian or fear it won't sell if they stick it on that shelf).

I would love to try some of the interesting stuff coming out of Canada right now, and hopefully we'll get a chance at it.

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unclebunk
Point well taken and this thread should probably be in the foreign whiskeys forum, but I think there are a few reasons for this with regard to both WhistlePig and other Canadians.

First, Pickerell is not exactly promoting the Canadian heritage of this whiskey. While he very clearly states that it's Canadian, Vermont is on the front of the label and Canada is on the back, and it's labeled as a "straight rye whiskey," a US term, as opposed to a "Canadian Whisky".

And unfortunately, we don't get any Alberta Premium in the states, and I don't think I've ever seen those Wisers either. It's only very recently that we've been seeing any quality Canadians come over here. Up until about a year ago, the Canadian shelves of even really good liquor stores in the US were dominated by Crown, Club, Mist and other bottom shelf booze, with only Forty Creek standing for quality (and I haven't seen the Confederation Oak yet either). Now we have a few more, but not many, and WhistlePig is usually in the American whiskey section (because most liquor store owners probably don't know that it's Canadian or fear it won't sell if they stick it on that shelf).

I would love to try some of the interesting stuff coming out of Canada right now, and hopefully we'll get a chance at it.

Nice post, Sku. I see where dbk is coming from as well but, as you said, we've no doubt been jaded by the paucity of quality Canadian products on our shelves. I've been seriously interested in getting my hands on some Alberta Premium for several years but haven't managed to pull it off. Is the AP 25 still in production? I wonder if the WhistlePig and Alberta Premium share close similarities. Perhaps one of our Canadian friends can fill us in on that question if they've tried both. I think the WhistlePig Rye is terrific and heartily recommend it to all rye lovers.

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dbk
Pickerell is not exactly promoting the Canadian heritage of this whiskey. While he very clearly states that it's Canadian, Vermont is on the front of the label and Canada is on the back, and it's labeled as a "straight rye whiskey," a US term, as opposed to a "Canadian Whisky".

True enough, but my quibble isn't with how Pickerell chooses to promote it—it's with the constant digs at Canadian whisky, even though the sample available to the critics is admittedly very narrow. I'm not trying to stir the pot, just pointing out something I've noticed as a recurring trend. In any case, I've also noticed that some folks such as yourself, Sku, are giving some Canadian whiskies (such as Forty Creek) a chance. It's appreciated!

I wonder if the WhistlePig and Alberta Premium share close similarities. Perhaps one of our Canadian friends can fill us in on that question if they've tried both. I think the WhistlePig Rye is terrific and heartily recommend it to all rye lovers.

Good question. Here's what Gary Gillman has to say on that matter.

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birdman1099

The best Canadian whiskey I have ever had.....

The best 100%rye whiskey I have ever had....

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unclebunk
Good question. Here's what Gary Gillman has to say on that matter.

I thought I had read that somewhere, but I didn't want to pass along any misinformation. So, are we here in the US simply paying a "premium" price for extra-aged Alberta Premium? Not that I'm complaining, as it's a very fine whiskey.

.

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dbk
So, are we here in the US simply paying a "premium" price for extra-aged Alberta Premium? Not that I'm complaining, as it's a very fine whiskey.

Well, if I understand Gary's post, and assuming his hypothesis is correct, then the answer to your question is "no". You're paying for something that would only make up a small fraction of Alberta Springs, one of Alberta Distillers' whiskies; on its own, it has no specified market value, because until now it has never been on the market. That said, if people are swooning over it, then it seems that a price in the Caribou Crossing-Handy-Sazerac 18 range is to be expected.

That said, you folks in the US are the only ones paying for it, as it's not even available in Canada! Caribou Crossing is just making its way into Canada, and we're the ones paying a premium for it ;)

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sku

Davin at Canadianwhisky.org has a very interesting write up of WhistlePig in which he notes that Alberta Premium and Hiram Walker are the only two Canadian distilleries which make 100% rye mash whiskey. Alberta uses unmalted and Walker uses malted rye.

http://www.canadianwhisky.org/news-views/whistlepig-10-year-old-straight-100-rye-whiskey.html

Most people do seem to think WhistlePig is the flavor whiskey from Alberta, but I don't know that I've ever heard anything definitive.

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callmeox

While the distillate may be created in Canada, is it a Canadian Whisky in style? By this, I mean a combination of a straight with spirit whisky and up to nine point whatever percent other stuff.

My interpretation from those who have sampled it is that the "style" says American Straight not Canadian. Perhaps this is why people here use he weasel words when referring to it.

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OscarV
While the distillate may be created in Canada, is it a Canadian Whisky? By this, I mean a combination of a straight with spirit whisky and up to nine point whatever percent other stuff.

My interpretation from those who have sampled it is that the "style" says American Straight not Canadian. Perhaps this is why people here use he weasel words when referring to it.

Whistle Pig is 100% Rye whiskey at 10 years old.

The Canadian distillery that Dave bought it from had it to color and flavor GNS to make Canadian Whiskey.

It got to be 10 years old because Canadian whiskey is slowing down in sales. On that note there are some "premium" Canadians coming out.

Also he can't say who he bought it from, just like here when someone buys bulk bourbon and creates a label they have agreeded not to reveal the source.

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imbibehour

Canadian whisk(e)y in general has a very bad moniker in the US among whiskey fans, with many people refering to it as "brown vodka".

People who do their research can find the stuff worth talking about.

As a dual citizen born and raised in Canada, myself and nobody I ever grew up with drank whiskey, not even my parents or their friends, everyone drank beer. Whiskey was for really old farts (and I mean OLD)...

That's changing, all be it slowly.

Whistlepig's naming and labeling is probably one part accuracy but also one part marketing.

What I do know, is that provincial liquor laws in Canada will make it near impossible for Canadians to get this product without paying a stupid amount of money, and that's a shame.

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Parkersback
Canadian whisk(e)y in general has a very bad moniker in the US among whiskey fans...

Yes and no. It's pretty big in Michigan, being so close to the border. When I go in to bars in rural southeast MI, it'll be Jim and Jack on the bar, flanked by about 5-6 Canadians: Seagrams 7, VO, CC, Mist, CR, etc.

I basically prefer straights, but I'm also partial to Crown Royal, and really like the new CR Lot 16.

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cowdery

The "technically" need not be construed as a dig at Canada or Canadian whiskey. Whistlepig is whiskey made in Canada, true, but it is stylistically unlike what we know -- at least in the USA -- as Canadian whiskey, not so much because it is 100% rye or 10-years-old, but because it satisfies the American requirements for straight rye whiskey, which I assume no other Canadian-made whiskey that's available on the market can do, the following specifications specifically:

- Distilled at less than 80% ABV. Most Canadian whiskey is distilled much higher.

- Aged in new, charred oak barrels. Most Canadian whiskey is aged in used cooperage.

So if 'Canadian whiskey' means whiskey made in Canada, then it's Canadian whiskey, but if it means whiskey made in the Canadian whiskey style and recognizable as Canadian whiskey, then it's not, hence the "technically."

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Gillman

Aren't Crown Royal, and the others mentioned, really popular in the U.S.? I thought Canadian whisky always had a good image in the States.

Gary

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dbk
The "technically" need not be construed as a dig at Canada or Canadian whiskey...

So if 'Canadian whiskey' means whiskey made in Canada, then it's Canadian whiskey, but if it means whiskey made in the Canadian whiskey style and recognizable as Canadian whiskey, then it's not, hence the "technically."

I would ordinarily agree with you on this point, Chuck, but in the context of the original statement, the "technically" seems like a dig to me:

Even though it technically comes from Canada, I still like it.

Having flanked "it technically comes from Canada" with "Even though" and "I still like it" implies pretty strongly that the "technically comes from Canada" is a euphemism for "comes from a place that makes crap whisky"—as in, "Even though it comes from a place that makes crap whisky, I still like it." ;)

Again, not trying to cause a ruckus; just wanted to cast another opinion on the matter.

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CorvallisCracker
Aren't Crown Royal, and the others mentioned, really popular in the U.S.?

Sure is, Gary. In 2009, close to 16 million cases, more than bourbon and JD combined. See:

http://www.discus.org/pdf/YachtClubTables2010.pdf

(2010 figures should be out in a couple of weeks)

I thought Canadian whisky always had a good image in the States.

Depends on who's doing the imaging.

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CorvallisCracker
Having flanked "it technically comes from Canada" with "Even though" and "I still like it" implies pretty strongly that the "technically comes from Canada" is a euphemism for "comes from a place that makes crap whisky"—as in, "Even though it comes from a place that makes crap whisky, I still like it." ;)

I still like George Dickel, even though it comes from Tennessee.

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Gillman

Well, all is in the eye of the beholder, true enough, but many bourbon fans will admit to a respect for the Canadian style (or the best of it).

Gary

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cowdery

The DISCUS data for 2010 is being released on Monday.

My "need not be construed as a dig" statement didn't mean it wasn't intended as, in part, a dig. I'm just saying that, in fact, "technically" actually is an accurate qualifier for an objective, not subjective, reason.

The image of Canadian whiskey in the United States depends on where you are, and tends to get more positive the closer you get to the Canadian border.

I have had a couple of instances where people wanted to get me a gift and as they said it, "I remembered you liked whiskey but didn't know what kind." A couple of times, the gift was Crown Royal, which has an image in some quarters as being a very fine, top shelf whiskey.

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Gillman

I can't count the times I've seen it classified as a bourbon on menus in numerous parts of the U.S. This ticks me off no less than any other fervent bourbon fan. Still though there are times I want a Canadian whisky.

Gary

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