Bottler: WhistlePig Farm
Score: 94 points
This single barrel release honors the Japanese chemist Jōkichi Takamine, who introduced Japanese koji-style fermentation to North American whiskies a century ago. It’s a 16-year-old rye distilled in Canada using koji-style fermentation, and was finished in Vermont at WhistlePig Farm using Japanese Umeshu casks.
The nose is aromatic and warm with a strong note of maple syrup and touches of bacon, honey, and baking spices. The taste is intensely spicy with clove and cinnamon balanced by charred oak, vanilla, and hints of pipe tobacco. The finish is long and complex with charred oak, lingering spices, vanilla, and a hint of maple syrup. Excellent balance and complexity, and the late Dave Pickerell would be proud of this Boss Hog! (December, 2019)