Boss Hog, the annual limited-edition rarity that WhistlePig unveils like clockwork each fall has arrived and, according to the Vermont-based farm distillery, the release is intended to be big, bold, and unlike anything the brand’s done before. For the ninth iteration in the series, they’ve sailed far afield to find inspiration. Enter WhistlePig Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song.
Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song is a single-barrel straight rye clutching a cask strength between 51.3 and 53.1 percent ABV (depending on the particular bottling). Although officially a non-age-statement juice, we know it begins with a base of 12-year-old whiskey which is then double cask finished—first in wood that once held Greek fig nectar, then in cooperage formerly containing tentura—a Greek-style herbal liqueur native to the Pelopennesian city of Patras.
“We visited Greece this summer to source ingredients and learn from experts at an original tentura distillery,” explains Liz Rhoades, who heads up whiskey development for WhistlePig. “We were drawn to the distinctly unique flavors of Greece and how they would interact with the bold flavor of our aged rye.”
The maturation process represents an unorthodox odyssey, to be sure. But marking the ultra-premium rye as singularly epic is the fact that Rhoades—and head blender Meghan Ireland—actually crafted the seasoning components themselves, utilizing Greek ingredients along with herbs and spices foraged from around the farm.
“We are constantly trialing new finishes to find the next best whiskey experience, and in true WhistlePig fashion, this year’s edition is a world’s first,” says Ireland. “Our ambition to unlock the ultimate flavor complexity—and the nectar and tentura, which were new trials in and of themselves—was well worth the challenge once we landed the final product.”
We have to agree. There’s a pleasingly floral aroma to this rye, which you’d never expect from the category. It recalls the fresh fields and meadows of rural New England. But by the time you’ve ventured in for a sip of the copper-hued liquid, it’s already singing a wildly different tune—one that’s rich with fig jam, candied cherries, and cranberry sauce. As it slowly retreats, you’re left with seasonal spices evoking sweet potato pie and mulled wine. Just in case it’s not abundantly clear: This is a Thanksgiving Day dram if there ever was one. Though you might feel inspired to sip some regardless of the special occasion.
Speaking of inspiration, the title of this bottling takes its cues from the Greek sirens, daughters of muses who beckoned Odysseus and his crew with their mellifluous call. They’re each represented in one of nine bespoke pewter toppers enclosing the limited-edition rye.
Collectors can authenticate their bottle using NFC technology on the back label. If you wanna catch ‘em all, it’ll cost ya…Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song is set to retail at $600 a bottle.
It’s now available for pre-sale at whistlepigwhiskey.com.Get it
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!