• Distillery Dudes Rating 84% 84%

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Whistlepig Piggyback Rye Facts

Distillery: Undisclosed 
Type & Region: Rye, Vermont
Proof: 96.56 Proof
Mash Bill: 100% Rye
Aged: 6 Years
Price: $50

Whistlepig is a popular distillery located in Vermont, known for producing high-quality rye whiskey. One of their most recent releases is the Whistlepig Piggyback 100% Rye, a small-batch, cask-strength rye whiskey that’s quickly gained a following among whiskey enthusiasts. I have been getting into rye whiskey more and more recently so I was giddy to try this one. And for the most part, it lived up to the hype. Coming in with a score of 84 this is one of the higher-ranked Rye’s so far. 

About Whistlepig

There is a pretty neat story with this one. Whistlepig was founded in 2007 by Raj Bhakta, a former contestant on the reality show “The Apprentice”. Bhakta purchased a 500-acre farm in Vermont and began producing rye whiskey, with the help of master distiller Dave Pickerell. Whistlepig has since become a well-respected brand in the whiskey industry, known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

The Piggyback Rye has a deep amber color, with hints of orange and gold. It’s a beautiful whiskey to look at, with a rich and inviting hue that promises a complex and flavorful experience.

On the nose, the Piggyback Rye offers a bouquet of aromas that are both spicy and sweet. You’ll detect notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, as well as hints of vanilla and caramel. There’s a subtle earthiness to the scent, too, that adds depth and complexity.


The flavor of the Piggyback Rye is complex and intense, with a bold and spicy character that’s sure to please rye whiskey fans. You’ll taste notes of black pepper, toasted oak, and dark chocolate, as well as hints of dried fruit and honey. The whiskey has a full and rich mouthfeel, with a velvety texture that lingers on the palate.


The finish of the Piggyback Rye is long and satisfying, with a warm and spicy aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. You’ll taste notes of caramel and toasted oak, as well as a subtle smokiness that adds depth and complexity.

“You’ll taste notes of caramel and toasted oak, as well as a subtle smokiness that adds depth and complexity.”


The Piggyback Rye is a small-batch, cask-strength whiskey that’s priced at around $50 per bottle. While it’s certainly not cheap, it’s a good value for a whiskey of this quality and complexity. For me, it’s a bit pricy to be a daily drinker but if you’re a fan of rye whiskey, it’s definitely worth giving the Piggyback Rye a try.

What Makes Whistlepig Piggyback Rye Unique

What sets the Piggyback Rye apart from other rye whiskeys is its high rye content. Most rye whiskeys are made with a blend of rye and other grains, but the Piggyback Rye is made with 100% rye. This gives the whiskey a bold and spicy character that’s unique and unforgettable.

Additionally, the Piggyback Rye is aged in new American oak barrels, which adds flavors of toasted oak and caramel to the whiskey. The barrels are also charred, which imparts a smoky flavor that adds even more complexity to the whiskey.

Similar Whiskey To Try

Knob Creek Rye

Knob Creek Rye is a straight rye whiskey produced by the Jim Beam distillery, which has been making bourbon and rye for more than 200 years. Like Whistlepig, Knob Creek Rye is a high-rye mash bill whiskey, meaning that it has a higher proportion of rye in the mash than other types of whiskey, which gives it a spicy and flavorful profile. Knob Creek Rye is also aged in charred oak barrels, which imparts a deep color and rich flavors of vanilla, caramel, and oak. In terms of flavor, Knob Creek Rye has notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, and has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. While Whistlepig is often considered a more premium rye due to its longer aging and higher price point, Knob Creek Rye is a great option for those who want to enjoy a delicious rye whiskey without breaking the bank.

Bulleit Rye

I also enjoy Bulleit Rye, which is similar to Whistlepig in that it’s a rye whiskey with a high rye content (95%) and has a bold, spicy flavor. However, Bulleit Rye is a bit less complex and more approachable than Whistlepig. It has a smooth, sweet start with notes of vanilla and caramel, followed by a spicy finish with hints of cinnamon and clove. Bulleit Rye is also a bit more affordable than Whistlepig, making it a great option for those who aren’t ready to spend a lot of money on a single bottle yet. 

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

The Whistlepig Piggyback 100% Rye is a high-quality, small-batch whiskey that’s sure to please rye enthusiasts. With its bold and spicy character, complex flavor profile, and long and satisfying finish, it’s a whiskey that’s worth savoring. While it’s not cheap, it’s a good value for a whiskey of this quality and uniqueness. If you’re a fan of rye whiskey, I would recommend picking up a bottle of Whistlepig Rye at some point. 


What is the ideal way to drink Whistlepig Piggyback Rye?

There is no right or wrong way to drink this rye. Some of my friends enjoy drinking this neat while others prefer it on the rocks or even in a classic cocktail like an old fashioned. The only wrong way to drink it is to not drink it at all! 

How is Whistlepig Piggyback Rye different from other rye whiskies?

Whistlepig Piggyback Rye is unique because it is made entirely from 100% rye grain, which is uncommon in the whiskey world. This gives it a distinct spicy flavor profile and a smooth finish.

Where can I purchase Whistlepig Piggyback Rye?

Whistlepig Piggyback Rye is widely available at many liquor stores and online retailers. It can also be found at many bars and restaurants that specialize in whiskey.

Was the founder really on the apprentice?

He really was! Raj Bhakta, appeared on the third season of the reality show “The Apprentice” in 2005. He made it to the final five before being fired by Donald Trump. Despite not winning the show, Bhakta has gone on to achieve success as an entrepreneur and is credited with helping to establish the rye whiskey category in the United States.