Best of the Best 2013: Spirits: WhistlePig TripleOne Straight Rye
Though ordering it from a bartender or waiter may elicit indignant glances from those within earshot, WhistlePig is nevertheless a serious rye for people who are serious about rye whiskey. WhistlePig TripleOne (www.whistlepigwhiskey.com, $111), as its moniker suggests, is 111 proof and aged for 11 years. This unmalted, 100 percent rye whiskey is distilled in western Canada from the grain grown by the distillery, then proofed in Vermont (making it legally an American whiskey), aged in new American oak barrels for seven years, and poured into ex-bourbon barrels for no more than two years before being transferred to hand-selected fresh bourbon barrels. This recent release is substantially meatier than WhistlePig 100 proof, displaying profound undercurrents of cherry, citrus, and vanilla atop a thin, firm sweetness that conceals its higher alcohol content.