Wigle Whiskey (not to be confused with WiGLE) is a Pittsburgh distillery named after Phillip Wigle, a local hero(?) of the Whiskey Rebellion. Anything having to do with liquor is a bureaucratic nightmare in Pennsylvania these days (what with the state Liquor Control Board's monopoly), so Wigle is one of just a handful of distilleries (well, legal ones) in what used to be a very still-heavy part of the country. They had a free tasting last night, so being a whiskey drinker of unsophisticated palate, I decided to go try their goods.
After a bit of a wait in the cold, I tried the following things (in roughly the following order, so it might be expected that things I tried later have slightly less accurate reviews):
- Landlocked Spiced: Landlocked is a honey spirit that has been compared to rum. I rather like honey spirits (eg Bushmill's Honey Whiskey, with Barenjager on my to-try list), and this one was OK but not amazing. Tasted a bit flowery almost? From their notes, I was probably getting too much vanilla over the honey, which is not what I was hoping for.
- Small-Batch Maple Wheat Whiskey (which I'm not seeing on their online store, curiously): Wheat whiskey aged in charred oak barrels with maple staves, if I recall correctly. I went through an "mmm, tastes like drinking a tree" phase a year or two ago, and this is representative of that style in the best possible way. Not to my current tastes, but if that's what you're into, probably pretty good.
- Walkabout Apple Whiskey: Wheat and rye whiskeys, barrel-aged, blended, and cut from cask strength using local cider rather than water. A promising premise, but there was definitely a discordant note that threw things off for me; I'm not sure if it was the rye or the woodiness from the barrel aging or something else, but something did not combine well with the apple flavor. Not a fan, but it's an experimental on their parts so I think we'll see further refinements in future.
- Landlocked Clear: I know, you're supposed to mix clear spirits, but this was pretty good. An unapologetic, uncomplicated honey spirit, would probably blend well with apple flavors.
- Straight Wheat Whiskey: One of their flagship whiskeys, and quite good - not as sweet as a corny bourbon, not as woody as a Tree In A Barrel, nicely balanced, tasty.