Review: WhistlePig Farmstock Rye Whiskey Crop 002
After years of relying exclusively on sourced spirits, WhistlePig began bottling its own whiskey — haltingly — with last year’s release of FarmStock Rye Crop 001. FarmStock was hardly a grain-to-glass release, as it was blended with WhistlePig’s much older, sourced stock, but it was a start at least.
That start continues with FarmStock Rye Crop 002, which is also a blend but with a twist: It was “crowdsourced from over 500 bartenders, influencers, and consumers at blending events across the U.S.” over the last year. While FarmStock 001 had just 20% of WhistlePig’s homegrown whiskey in it, FarmStock 002 ups that proportion to 32%.
The estate-made whiskey is still young, just two years old. The rest of it is 6 year old whiskey from MGP (45%) and 10 year old whiskey from Alberta Distillers (23%). (Both of those sourced components are different from ’17, by the way.) Total production is twice last year, at 150 barrels turned out.
Whatever way you cut it, it is, no question, an improvement over 2017. The nose is fragrant; though ample with granary notes it finds nuance in black pepper, clove, cinnamon Red Hots, and a touch of smokiness, adding some intrigue. The palate hits with some red pepper heat, but a sweet honey and spiced nut character temper this quickly. It’s still very rough around the edges, but it’s definitely got a clearer path forward than the 2017 expression, and it’s still worth a sip or two today. That said, FarmStock appears to be on a direction that will ultimately take it to a place that showcases a burlier expression of rye — which is fitting, really, considering the name.