It’s not every day that the attic of one of LA’s oldest public houses gets converted into a members only bar, but that’s exactly what has happened at Tom Bergin’s! What once was storage and attic is now “The Vestry” LA’s newest members only bar.
I eagerly arrived in an Uber at about 1:30 for a 2:00pm tasting at what has quickly become my favorite Hollywood bar, nay favorite bar PERIOD, Lost Property located in Hollywood, on Hollywood and Vine, but unless you knew what you are looking for good luck finding it from the street! There is minimal signage and that helps to keep the lounge/speakeasy feel alive. I’ve been to several events at Lost Property and the team there is amazing. So let me just take this moment to give a shoutout to my friends Jeremy and Rhino who own Lost Property! You two are awesome, and thank you for running such a great and welcoming space.
It’s not every day that one gets to attend a tasting for WhistlePig Rye Whiskey, one of the most well known rye whiskies in the country. For me, doing so so early in my drinking “career” I was very excited for this! But being that it was early on for me, please pardon the minimal notes. I’d had their 10 year once before and was quite pleased with it, and we got to try the elusive Boss Hogg. This wonderful evening was led by Mr. Daniel Khan and Ms. Shelley Buck.
WhistlePig 10 Year: This is their base-line whiskey, nothing fancy here. It’s aged in new American oak with rye whiskey from Canada. Kahn said “It’s got a finish so long it needs its own zipcode!”
Nose: It has a slight astringency on those nose with hints of orange and spice followed by vanilla.
Flavour: Spicy and warm with a sweetness on the back of the palette. Overall, a fairly simple flavour profile.
WhistlePig 12 Year(Old World): Aged in a Madera cask, which we were told was identified as the best barrel for a bourbon whiskey, it’s finished for 6 weeks in 3 casks, Madera, Sauternes (french), and lastly port casks. They are then married to make the 12 year Rye.
Nose: Complex spices, with subtle orange notes.
Flavour: Malty and sweet, with a slight creaminess to its flavor. Overall, it had a powerful yet still subtle flavour.
WhistlePig 15 Year: Oh man, this one gave me a lot of trouble! It’s a good expression, but I had a tough time discerning flavours and aromas.
Nose: The nose on the 15 year is typical of most other Bourbon’s or Rye’s, yet at the same time it was essentially impossible for me to discern any individual aromatic notes.
Flavour: The flavour on the 15 year was nice, and not too overpowering. It is creamy yet slightly bitter at the same time, all the while also having notes of white pepper on the back of the tongue.
The Boss Hog: Oh boy, easily the most anticipated pour of the evening was the legendary “The Boss Hog”. First released in 2013, there has been a release almost every year since, but stock is limited. In 2014 they introduced gorgeous heavy pewter corks with a cool design. Skipping 2015, the most recent release was in 2016 and was a 14 year old. “The Boss Hog” is aged in Scotch barrels giving it a unique flavor and aroma!
Nose: Sometimes less is more, that’s not the case here. The only thing I was able to discern aroma wise was scotch, and while I love a good glass of scotch as much as the next guy, I need my Rye whiskey to have more aromas than just that.
Flavour: By and large the most flavourful expression of the evening, “The Boss Hog” did not disappoint! It was scotchy and smoky, but smooth. It was malty and had some sweet notes all the while there was a creamy to it as well.
In all, I think WhistlePig is doing a great job and I look forward to their next release, and to hopefully getting my grubby little Nerd paws on a bottle of The Boss Hog, but that’s neither here nor there now is it?