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Whistlepig 15 vs Whistlepig 18: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Whistlepig 15 vs Whistlepig 18 in this head to head comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Whistlepig 15 Estate Oak Rye

NoseOak, vanilla, leather
PalateCaramel, floral, rye spice, vanilla
FinishLong, oak, tobacco, cardamom
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks

The Whistlepig 15 is one of the few 100% rye whiskeys as the vast majority only carry 51% rye in the mash.

Nose is quite interesting as it offers the oaky and leathery notes commonly found in long aged Scotch whisky.

The palate is sweet, rich in honeysuckle (honey-floral, perfumed flavor) up-front with a rich rye spice hit mid-palate. Soft mouthfeel carries a slow and pleasing warming effect.

The finish is rich in toasty oak, tobacco and fine spices with little to no burn.

Overall, the Whistlepig 15 is enjoyable, easy to sip, has an interesting and tasty flavor profile although a bit too sweet and floral but an improvement over the 12 YO nonetheless and most importantly the best Whistlepig release and one of the best 15 year old liquors across the globe.

Learn how it compares to the Whistlepig 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Whistlepig 15:

  • Aged for 15 years in three types of casks: new, charred American oak barrels; former bourbon barrels; and new, charred Vermont white oak.
  • Vermont oak has a tight grain pattern supposedly delivering more depth and flavor to the whiskey.
  • The white oak is grown in the Whistlepig estate in Shoreham, Vermont.
  • Earned 97 Points from the Wine Enthusiast.

Whistlepig 18 Double Malt Rye

NoseOak, leather, lemon, orange
PalateOak spice, rye spice, leather, vanilla
FinishLong, vanilla, oak
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks

The Whistlepig 18 is made from a mash comprised of 79% malted rye, 15% malted rye, 6% malted barley. The name Double Malt is for the two malted grains used in the mashbill.

The nose is high in oak and old leather at first, giving way to lemon and orange as you let it breathe.

Flavor hits hard with oak spice and rye spice on the first sip, but mellows out into old leather, vanilla and lemon as you let it develop.

The finish is long, heavy in oak and vanilla with a bitter note from oak tannins.

Not bad but too oaky which is kinda common among whiskeys that have been aged for so long. Adding water releases caramel but oak remains the same.

Overall, the Whistlepig 18 is quite smooth, inoffensive and unimpressive for a whiskey at such price tag. For the same money I can buy the Macallan Rare Cask which is supremely good or other top whiskies of the same age such as the Macallan 18, Highland Park 18 or the Talisker 18.

You might argue that those whiskies are not made from rye and belong to a different category, which is absolutely true, but they are definitely more complex and rewarding sippers

There is one fact worth knowing about the Whistlepig 18:

  • Before whiskey became an industry, farmer distillers would malt their rye harvest in order to access the grain’s starch content and set off the fermentation process; step that turns water and rye into whiskey.

Whistlepig 15 vs 18: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Whistlepig 15 Estate Oak Rye$250
Whistlepig 18 Double Malt Rye$440

Whistlepig 15 vs Whistlepig 18: Which is better?

The 15 YO is a better balanced whiskey

WhiskeyWhistlepig 15Whistlepig 18
  • The Whistlepig 15 makes a better option than the 18 which is too high in oak spice overpowering other flavors and extremely overvalued.
  • The 15 YO is a sweet, perhaps too sweet, whiskey much easier to sip as it is better balanced.
  • The 18 YO is not bad by any stretch, but it does not blow you away as you would expect from a whiskey at that price.

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