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Whistlepig 10 vs Whistlepig Piggyback: Head to Head!

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

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
Similar toAngel’s Envy Rum Cask Rye

Most Rye Whiskeys are made from a mash that only carries 51% rye grain, 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 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 crazy about having a 100% rye whiskey take a look at the Alberta Premium which is crafted at the same distillery and waaaay cheaper.

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.
  • The Wall Street Journal named it one of the best 5 whiskeys.

Whistlepig Piggyback

NoseCaramel, rye spice, anise, mint
PalateRye spice, apple, caramel, cardamom
FinishShort, rye spice, old leather
Alcohol content96.56 proof (48.28% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toRussell’s 6

The Piggyback is also 100% rye and bottled at 96.56 proof, honoring the year 1956 in which the late master distiller Dave Pickerell was born.

The Piggyback is targeted for mixing in high-end cocktails, at its current price is right at the top end of what I’m comfortable spending on a mixer making me look into other alternatives.

Even the shape of the bottle is designed to be easier for bartenders to handle.

The nose is sweet with anise and signature rye whiskey mint hints.

The body is a bit thin, quite spicy with hints of apples and butterscotch. The finish shows spice that dissipates quickly and a bit warm.

This whiskey certainly gets better better when served rocks as it becomes less spicy and the warmth gets tuned-down.

Not blown away by the Piggyback by any stretch, but it is certainly a pleasing and decent rye nonetheless.

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

  • Aged for 6 years.
  • Earned 93 Points from the Wine Enthusiast.
  • The pig that decors the bottle is not wearing the usual WhistlePig top hat, but a Stetson.

Whistlepig 10 vs Piggyback: Price comparison

Price are approximate and stated in USD:

Whistlepig 10 Old Rye Whiskey$87
Whistlepig Piggyback$55

Whistlepig 10 vs Piggyback: Which is better?

The 10 Year is a sipper and the Piggyback a mixer

WhiskeyWhistlepig 10Piggyback
  • The 10 YO makes a better sipper than the Piggyback which was envisioned as a mixer, although I am not fond particularly fond of the Whistlepig 10 which is a bit too thin and uninteresting for a whiskey at such price.
  • Piggyback is a mixing dram meant to be used in high-end cocktails such as Manhattans in which a spicy note sits well.
  • As a general rule I never spend more than $30 USD on a mixer but you might have a different threshold.

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

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