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For a rye whiskey, the rye-centric notes play second fiddle to the fruit, but I bet the rye lays the foundation for the fruit after 10 years in barrels. The 50% alcohol is nicely subdued, otherwise it would probably overpower the delicate fruits.
Swirling WhistlePig releases a little more alcohol and wood that were hidden previously, but remains quite mellow. Ten years in barrels really shows. Fruits, honey, and vanilla are still front and center. When the glass is empty, the fruit subsides and I smell more pine and mint from the rye, and musty wood from the aging process.
WhistlePig 10 smells great. It has a unique smell among rye whiskeys and smells more like a Scotch aged in ex-bourbon barrels than a rye whiskey aged in virgin white oak. It’s complex and interesting, it just takes a little bit of time to open-up.
Nose: Vibrant fruits, including tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, and papaya, a wonderful blend of bright and lively with dark and savory. A little bit of honey and vanilla butterscotch appear next, followed by pine and peppermint.
Palate: Fruit-forward with primarily orange and pineapple with just a little vanilla. It’s a tropical cocktail, but not nearly as sweet. There’s also a light singe of alcohol, a gentle wood poke, and just a sprinkle of peppermint. This has the brighter fruit sweetness instead of the darker caramel and maple syrup sweetness.
Finish: Oily sensation that fades into wood, peppermint, and pine. After a minute, slightly bitter lemon rind appears, mixing with the peppermint.
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