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Whistlepig 10 vs Whistlepig 12: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Whistlepig 10 vs Whistlepig 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Whistlepig Rye 10 Year

Whistlepig-Rye-10-Year
NoseHoney, caramel, cinnamon
PalateVanilla, caramel, rye spice, oak, citrus
FinishRye spice, cardamom, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks

Most Rye Whiskeys in the market are made from a mash that only carries 51% rye grain, while just a few like the Bulleit Bourbon take it to 95%.

What distinguishes the Whistlepig 10 is that it’s 100% rye looking to provide a full rye experience.

The nose is mostly sweet with honey and caramel coming first followed by a nice note of cinnamon sticks.

On the palate the Whistlepig 10 offers a thin body lacking in texture with rye spice up-front. Vanilla, oak start to appear followed by a rich citrus note and a faint ethanol hint.

The finish has a medium length, is spicy at first but loses flavor all of the sudden leaving a salty trace behind. It has little to no burn which is good for a high-proof whiskey.

Adding a dash of water makes the Whistlepig 10 definitely better as it becomes more aromatic, less spicy letting vanilla and citrus shine.

Overall, the Whistlepig 10 is OK but not great and marginally better than the Bulleit 10 Year which is offered at a steep discount.

This whiskey feels a bit thin and not particularly complex enough for a whiskey at such price tag providing little value for the money.

If you are looking for a whiskey to make spicy cocktails the Piggyback is a better deal.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Whistlepig 10:

  • Aged for 10 years, first in new American oak casks and then in refill bourbon casks.
  • This whiskey is crafted in Canada and bottled in Vermont.
  • The 10 YO received 96 Points from Wine Enthusiast.
  • Whiskey expert F Paul Pacult gave it 5 out 5 stars.

Whistlepig 12 Old World Rye

whistlepig-12
NoseCaramel, earth, vanilla
PalateBrown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove
FinishCaramel, rye spice, peppermint
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks

The 12 year is crafted from a mash made with a “mere” 95% rye so it’s going to be just as spicy.

The nose is sweet, rich in caramel at first, followed by vanilla and an earthy hint.

On the palate, the Whistlepig 12 provides a better texture than the 10 YO as it has more body. Flavor is quite good as it hits with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove with some rye spice to it.

It pretty much tastes like a spicy fruit cake with very little heat making a very nice sipping whiskey.

Overall, the Whistlepig 12 is a good dram, perhaps a bit sweeter than most rye whiskeys but remarkably smooth while being quite flavorful and complex.

Perhaps a little pricey but that is the norm among Whistlepig offerings.

Learn how it compares to the Whistlepig 15!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Whistlepig 12:

  • Aged for 12 years using 63% in Madeira casks, 30% in Sauternes and 7% in Port. All these casks are sourced from Europe hence the name “Old World”.
  • This whiskey is distilled in the MGP Distillery in Indiana, source of other whiskeys such as: Angel’s Envy, Bulleit Rye, George Dickel and Templeton Rye.

Whistlepig 10 vs Whistlepig 12: Price comparison

Price are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Whistlepig 10 Old Rye Whiskey$87
Whistlepig 12 Old World Rye$140

Whistlepig 10 vs Whistlepig 12: Which is better?

The 12 YO is a big substantial upgrade over the 10 YO

WhiskeyWhistlepig 10Whistlepig 12
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Whistlepig 12 is an improvement over the 10 YO as it offers a better texture, is richer, smoother and more flavorful but still sharp.
  • The 12 YO is a bit sweeter than the standard rye whiskey as it tastes like spicy fruit cake with a peppermint note.
  • Perhaps not the best in terms of value as I think Michter’s is way better.

If you absolutely want to try an 100% rye whiskey look into the Alberta Premium, which is quite good and extremely affordable.

In fact, Alberta Premium and the Whistlepig 10 Year are crafted at the same distillery!

If you want to learn more about this brand read my post: Discover the best Whistlepig where I rank its releases.

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