About WhistlePig Boss Hog Edition 六: “The Samurai Scientist”
Introducing the first American Whiskey finished in Japanese Umeshu Barrels. The result of a true collaboration between WhistlePig and Kitaya brewery on Japan’s Kyushu island, The Boss Hog Edition 六: The Samurai Scientist is inspired by WhistlePig’s passion for pushing the boundaries of Rye Whiskey, fusing Japanese and American techniques.
On the rare occasion that Dave Pickerell’s five promises are realized, WhistlePig releases a whiskey that epitomizes WhistlePig’s odyssey to unlock the potential of Rye Whiskey. This well-aged Straight Rye Whiskey was created using koji fermentation. Each bottle is adorned by The Samurai Scientist — Jōkichi Takamine — who pioneered koji fermentation in the American whiskey industry over a century ago. A true pioneer spirit, this powerfully complex single barrel rye is bottled at proof. This is an incredibly special WhistlePig release, distinctly unique from anything ever done before. Each is bottled at barrel strength, between 120 – 122 proof.
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Founded in 2008, WhistlePig is now the most awarded rye whiskey maker in the world. Their remote 500-acre hard-working farm in bucolic Shoreham, Vermont, is the perfect place to perfect their experiments with blending and finishing, ultimately leading to a portfolio of deeply complex rye whiskeys. In 2017 WhistlePig was awarded the coveted “Best In Show Whiskey” title from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Until his passing in 2018 the WhistlePig farm had been home to the founding father of craft whiskey, Master Distiller Dave Pickerell.
Their vision is to respect tradition and embrace progress, protecting what makes rye whiskey great, and at the same time innovating to make it better. After years of devotion to patient aging and innovative blending, WhistlePig has turned their attention to experimenting with grain, namely the practice of malting rye. Before industrial catalysts were introduced to increase efficiency, farmer distillers would malt a small portion of their rye harvest in order to access the grain’s starch content and set off the fermentation process.
As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.