The wood involved in the whiskey aging process is important. This is where a lot of the flavor comes from. This is why distilleries always talk about how long a whiskey has aged, how it was finished, what kind of wooden staves may have been laid down or even, in the case of the recent Glendalough release , from where the timber was harvested.
WhistlePig Rye collaborates with first-round Hall of Famer David Ortiz on a unique aging process. It’s the Big Papi Barrel, an expression of WhistlePig’s PiggyBack that was finished off with a baseball bat grilled in the liquid. For real. This is the first release in a new single-barreled Legends series.
Ortiz is kicking off the series which will see WhistlePig collaborate with “living legends” on every release. This expression of WhistlePig’s rye whiskey was aged for six years in American oak barrels and finished in casks with a toasted version of the DO34 maple wood bats. You probably won’t find this combination anywhere else.
“If you ask anyone at the distillery, they’ll tell you my signature is ‘I’ll put anything in a barrel once.’ This experience has been especially fun as it brings together two of my favorite things: breaking new ground for rye whiskey and sport,” said Meghan Ireland, WhistlePig Blender. “It was amazing to collaborate with David Ortiz , whose roasted maple bats add layers of spice and caramelized notes to the bold, 100% rye character of WhistlePig PiggyBack.” Luckily, they didn’t say, “It’s a home run You can leave that for after you’ve explained whiskey to your friends and they’re like, “Hmm. Interesting. Is it good.”
It’s bottled at 96.56 proof, and with opening day delayed for the MLB season opener, you should be able to get one to enjoy at the start of the season on April 7. You can order one from the WhistlePig website starting March 31. The 750ml bottle will set you back $50. Alternatively, you can get a limited-edition bottle signed by Ortiz for $340. Proceeds from this limited edition will benefit the David Ortiz Boston Heart Classic, which helps children in need of heart surgery.