59.4% ABV, 750 ml
At the recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition, The Whistlepig "The Black Prince" was voted Best Whiskey in the World, the first time this ever happened for a rye!
From the Robb Report:
The fourth edition in the 10-year-old brand’s signature Boss Hog collection, it’s a straight rye that has been aged 14 years (initially at Midwest Grain Products of Indiana) and bottled at barrel strength. But what makes the distillate so distinctive is that it’s the first rye to ever be finished in casks formerly used to age the French brandy Armagnac.
“Each Boss Hog has its own story and is part of our vast experimental barrel-aging program—probably the biggest in the industry,” explains Bhakta. “We have taken what we think are the best aged stocks of various other spirits from Hungary, Portugal, Spain, and now France, and we age our great, bold American rye in those barrels.”
Armagnac’s long-standing allure can be traced as far back as the 14th-century and England’s Prince Edward of Woodstock, dubbed “the Black Prince.” During his Forays into France he plundered many of the region’s most valued possessions including the best Armagnac barrels.
According to WhistlePig’s master distiller Dave Pickerell, the Armagnac-accented oak contributes to the Black Prince being redolent with notes of apricot, fig, and plum on the nose, complemented by toasted almonds, baked apple, and allspice. Predominant on the palate are apricot, clove, and cinnamon, with hints of citrus and black tea. The finish, which seems to linger like the longing for a lost love, comforts with traces of toasted marshmallows, burnt sugar, and dried fruit.
“It’s got the boldness of rye, the smoothness of age, and a deep character that you’ll never find in another whiskey anywhere you look,” says Bhakta, brimming with the pride of a new father. “It’s something extraordinary.”
Capping off the contents is the bottle stopper featuring brand mascot Mortimer, a favorite pig that died in an unfortunate breeding accident. To match the theme of the Black Prince, Mortimer is arrayed in chain-mail armor, with each fanciful figurine and base handcrafted by Danforth Pewter out of Middlebury, Vt.