WhistlePig Old World Madeira 12 Year Old
Striving to distil Rye grain to its fullest potential, the WhistlePig farm nurtures a spirit of adventure and intrepid experimentation. It was with curiosity and intention back in late 2012 that Master Distiller, Dave Pickerell set out on a new adventure. He and his team wanted to marry age-old and distinctly European finishing techniques with WhistlePig’s unmistakably American 12 Year Old Rye Whiskey.
The result of one experiment is Old World Madeira which is just one of three limited edition experimental expressions. Aged in European Oak Madeira casks it joins ranks with Old World Port and Old World Sauternes.
Across the Atlantic, in a sub-tropical climate sits the Portuguese island of Madeira. In the 17th century, large ships would constantly drop anchor, filling their holds with Madeira-made Portuguese wine.
Today in Madeiran wine-making, the fortified wine is oxidized, kept for long periods kept at elevated temperatures, a process that replicates the primitive conditions the wine was subjected to as it crossed the warm and tropical 17th century seas. The heat and movement below decks altered the taste of the wine, a phenomenon unknown until a shipment which had traveled on a round trip was returned unsold to the merchant.
Aged in European oak Madeira casks, WhistlePig Old World Madeira is a complex expression that opens with a nose rich with caramel and juicy peaches, underpinned with oak and spearmint. Its taste experience is of peppercorn, dark black liquorice, the juice of black cherries, mint and chocolate. Its finish is smooth, toffee-sweet, woody-oak, clover and the zing of grapefruit.