It seems appropriate that my first blog for Whisky Mentors Single Barrel picks starts with a current Whistle Pig Single Barrel selection, QS09 My Seville. It’s a 12 year old finished in Vino de Naranja casks that I picked in late July of 2022. Why, the significance, you ask. Well, my first barrel from Whistle Pig came one sunny afternoon in the fall of 2015, when Dave Pickerell launched the Whistle Pig Single Barrel Program at Worldwide Wines Inc in Wallingford. Dave had selected his top ten cask strength barrels to present to a group of 25 retailers in Connecticut. They were lined up from left to right with increasing proofs from 110 to 120. We had little notebooks to add our tasting notes as he led us through each barrel. It was the first time I had ever had a 100% Rye Whiskey straight from the barrel at cask strength but I fell in love with it immediately. From the alluring aromas of caramel sweetness and rye spice on the nose sans grassy notes, to the powerful explosion of complex flavors on the palate with thick viscosity and an enduring finish of spice and warmth, it was apparent that I needed to buy a barrel of it. QS01 bottled at 120.2 P, if I was naming my barrel picks back then, would have been called “My First Love”.
Over the course of time, I will introduce you to all my other Whistle Pig barrels but for now, My Seville, is one you should not miss out on. The nose is reminiscent of a previous pick Irene’s Zen Barrel in complexity but the palate and finish is completely different, much drier with delicate hints of orange citrus notes, but equally complex and delicious.