Flaviar & WhistlePig Rye Whiskey have joined forces with four top chefs to release WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 to be sold exclusively via Flaviar.com. The four chefs who helped create WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 are Michael Gulotta of MOPHO/Maypop fame in New Orleans; Jamie Malone from Minneapolis’ stunning Grand Café; David Posey – one half of the dream team at Elske, Chicago; and Justin Woodward of Castagna in Portland. The four James Beard Award-nominated chefs worked together at the WhistlePig Farm in Shoreham, Vermont to create WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 back in June this year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given this was a blend created by chefs at WhistlePig, it is comprised entirely of wine casks. WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 is made up of 40% Madeira, 30% Sherry, 20% Port and 10% Sauternes – all drinks traditionally accompanied with food. Pete Lynch, Master Blender at WhistlePig, comments: “Madeira, Port and Sauternes are the magic trio in our WhistlePig 12, and the chefs’ decision to add Sherry Cask Finished Rye so prominently to the WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 takes that trio to a place we’ve never before seen. The blend showcases a rich complexity with subtle nuances, adding a great Sherry derived spice and nuttiness, and tremendously deepening the flavor profile.”
Grisa Soba, co-founder of Flaviar.com adds: “The process of blending a whiskey has much in common with the creative process of creating a menu and so we thought it would be an interesting experiment to take four incredible chefs, who are real bastions of flavor, and have them play around with the blend of a new whiskey expression. The collaboration is another way for us to challenge our members to try more new things, more often.”
Referring to the most challenging aspect of the blending process, Michael Gulotta, Chef Proprietor of MOPHO/Maypop, comments: “The realization that a small percentage change in the base spirits can drastically alter the final taste and finish of the whiskey made the blending an exceptionally difficult task.” Malone, adds: “I was incredibly surprised to learn and taste and smell how the different barrel finishes interacted with each other. In many ways to results were very unexpected, not exactly the sum of their parts, but much more complex.”
Only 1,000 bottles are available, so order yours ASAP!
WhistlePig X Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 (86 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Loads of grape right off the bat. An almost floral quality that blends fruit and oak into a blanket surrounding a softer base of spicy rye and warm malt. I’ve had plenty of wine cask aged whiskies over the years, but this one dials it up to 11.
Taste: On the palate, the rye performs the starring role with a prickly, peppery edge that easily cuts through the vine fruit presence. There is no doubt that this is a rye whiskey, but one that has an added essence of slight fruity sweetness.
Finish: Long and with a slight numbing cinnamon-like quality.
Overall: I can see where this would be a great whiskey to pair with seared beef, BBQ, crème brûlée and sweet potatoes. It doesn’t overwhelm that palate, but draws the flavors in from what you have on your plate. On the other hand, if you just want to enjoy a dram on its own, you will not be disappointed. This is a very self assured whiskey.
GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: Flaviar