Weekly Whiskey- WhistlePig The Boss Hog 2014

The Boss Hog 2014 is an ultra premium 100% mash bill rye whiskey. Aged 13 years, and sits at 118 proof, respectively. This hot stuff boasts to be the finest rye in the world, also dubs this release as the "Spirit of Mortimer" after their late porcine companion. The pewter pig with wings that sits atop each bottle is a monument to their departed friend. 

According to Whistle Pig's Website: 

The 2014 Boss Hog was been selected from among our oldest and most unique barrels – Bond 77. Bond 77 entered wood on April 5, 2001. As part of a quadruple barrel aging process, the Spirit of Mortimer spent nearly 14 years in a combination of new American oak, and early use bourbon barrels. Bottled at cask-strength, the Spirit of Mortimer represents our purest, most powerful, and most primordial expression of the world’s finest rye.

I highly recommend checking out their Rye vs Bourbon page if you've ever wondered what the difference is between the two. Their notes on processes are also quite extensive. 

Although I don't agree with the founder's politics, I do appreciate this whiskey. For the price tag it is not the best value out there, but if you see it on a shelf, I recommend you get it while you can.

 



 

The Barrel Thief Lounge + Oregon Spirit Distillers (Bend, Oregon)

When in Bend... oh lordy, when in Bend... seek out all the makers, bakers, and shakers!

If you visit Bend, the food & beverage selections will NOT disappoint. After an already long weekend of drinking and merry-making with my good friend Maia, her colleagues invited us out for a recovery brunch, followed by (you guessed it!) more booze. This was the most memorable stop of my weekend, and hair of the dog yadda yadda (ie: AMAZING BLOODY MARY PICTURED BELOW) saved my life. Check. it. out. The pickled garlic was ahhhhh-mazing.

The award winning spirits at Oregon Spirit Distillers ranges wildly- Vodka, Genever, Rum, and my personal favorite, Bourbon. Yes! Bourbon can be made in Oregon. And it is, very well done. If you don't know what makes a bourbon... Sign up for my mailing list and get a cheat sheet right MEOW:

Oregon Spirit Distillers is a trifecta of a lounge, distillery, and tasting room. You can peer into the distillery and watch all the action (depending on the day) from the lounge. Tours are offered (no reservations required, first come first served).  Their mission statement according to their website:

"To distill with a commitment to local agriculture and Oregon’s bold independent personality.
To bring quality, premium spirit brands which are unique, interesting and outstanding in their class to the world market."

Their products are Oregonian as possible, and the team puts an emphasis on learning. They even use the term "Spirit Geeks"! That is a term I can get behind! A visit here is a completely spiritual experience. Have a taste, tour, then relax with a cocktail on their patio. I noticed they had huge fire pits outside, but as it was 90 degrees out, weren't necessary.

They also have an "Adopt a barrel" program if you'd like to buy a nice gift for yourself or someone special. You can buy a barrel for your bar, and you can even request a specific proof for your spirit!

Some other places to eat + drink in Bend:

Barrio - Tapas + Margaritas Galore
900 Wall - Great Whiskey Selection + Day time Happy Hour Menu is fantastic
Dogwood - Ambiance + Decor + Cocktails
10 Below - Classy Hotel Bar + Pork Belly Tacos + Late night Happy Hour
Atlas - Cider, Cider, + More Cider

4 Important Tips when Shopping for Scotch Whisky

by : Scotch Served Neat for cassandraericson.com

Here are 4 important tips to help you on your next Scotch Shopping Spree. After this article you will know how to Choose your style, pick a region, recognize finishing details for the product, and understand some whisky pricing factors. What matters? Style. Region. Finishing. Budget

STYLE:

  1. Choose Single Malt or Blend    First and foremost when shopping for Scotch the most important factor to understand is all Scotch whisky must be made in Scotland, but not all whisky is Scotch. Secondly, ask yourself what am I looking for?  “Single-Malt Scotch’ or “Blended Scotch”?  A Single-malt Scotch is distilled and aged using whisky from one single distillery in Scotland such as Maccallan, Lagavulin or Glenmorangie. A Blended Scotch such as Johnnie Walker, Chivas and Dewar’s is a blend of 2 or more scotches sourced from several different distilleries. A simple example would be that Johnnie Walker Green Label is a 15-year-old blend of Talisker, Caoila, Linkwood and Cragganmore, which are all single-malt scotches.

 

REGION:

2. Zone in on a Region: Scotch is broken down into 5 main regions, each having their own distinct flavor characteristics. An important question to ask yourself is, what flavor profile am I looking for? Do I want an extremely smoky, peaty scotch OR do I want a sweeter, floral, light scotch?

 

  • The SPEYSIDE region is known to produce the most complex and rich scotches accounting for roughly half of all operating distilleries in Scotland.

  • The HIGHLANDS region is known as the largest area and produces light and fruity scotches in the south and spicy, complex, and full-bodied scotches in the North, closest to Speyside.

  • In the LOWLANDS region there are only 3 operating distilleries (Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie). The whiskies produced in the lowlands are typically known as the lightest of all the single malt scotches.

  • The ISLANDS region produces scotches such as TALISKER and HIGHLAND PARK, which tend to be a transitional flavor profile that bridges the gap between Highland and Islay regions.

  • Last but definitely not least is Scotch from the Isle of ISLAY (pronounced eye-luh). Scotches from the Islay region such as ARDBEG, LAPHROAIG or LAGAVULIN are known for their strong, complex and peaty flavor profile. Scotches from Islay are very peaty and smoky due to factors such as the surrounding rough seas, temperatures and the amount of peat contained in Islay soil.

FINISHING:

3. Finishing Details: When shopping for a scotch you can look at which type of cask or barrels the scotch is aged in. Today, distilleries are becoming very creative with the type of barrels they use, but before we dive into these topics let it be known unlike most American whiskies, Scotch can be aged in used barrels. Often times you will see single malts aged in used American bourbon or Tennessee whiskey such as Jack Daniels or Bulleit Bourbon. For example, Glenmorangie 10 year old is aged ex-bourbon barrels. Other brands such as Macallan age their scotch in ex-sherry wine barrels, which will give the scotch a sweeter taste profile. All scotch labels will list exactly which barrels their scotch is aged in.

 

BUDGET:

4. Decide on a budget: Finally we approach a very important factor that plays a huge part in deciding the best scotch for you. The price of your scotch, which is impacted the most by the length of aging, which ties in with the scarcity of the product.. In Scotch, the age on the label is referring to the youngest drop in the bottle (rum age statements are complete opposite in that the age states the oldest drop in the bottle, but thats another blog post in itself). A perfect example of aging is The Macallan or Glenfiddich lines which offer 10 to30 years and up. You will recognize a significant difference in price from a 10 year old and a 30 year old scotch. Cheers and remember, it is acceptable to be promiscuous with your whiskies.


SCOTCH SERVED NEAT is a New York Based Whisky, Wine, and Cigar enthusiast,  you can find him on Instagram @scotchservedneat, Twitter @Scotchserved, or at www.scotchservedneat.com