Classification: Rye Finished with Maple Wood Baseball Bats
Company: Moriah Ventures, LLC
Distillery: WhistlePig Distillery
Release Date: May 2022
Age: 6 Years
Mashbill: 100% Rye
MSRP: $50 (2022)
Maple syrup | Caramel | Vanilla | French toast | Cinnamon | Good intensity
Maple syrup | Amaretto | Marzipan | Unique mixture of dark, light, & toasted oak notes
Rye spice | Maple | Tannic oak | Cinnamon bark | Touch dry & spice forward
We’ve long talked about how gimmicks are good for the whiskey industry, but I’m not sure we had a whiskey like WhistlePig Big Papi Barrel in mind when we originally wrote that piece. We’ve now come to a point where we’re finishing whiskey with sporting equipment. This is probably the definition of jumping the shark.
Much like Blackened Whiskey, there’s a good deal of synergy going on with this whiskey’s origin and branding that can be appreciated if you’re into that sort of thing. Meant to celebrate David Ortiz’s inception into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the famous Red Sox’s slugger picked this particular single barrel and WhistlePig took it a step further (perhaps too far many would argue), and finished the rye in a barrel containing containing Ortiz’s new signature DO34 maple wood bats. It’s a batty idea (pun not intended) and you either think it's utterly ridiculous and hate its very existence, or so ridiculous it's just too much fun to pass up on.
Yet, this whiskey isn’t the trainwreck you’d think it would be and is probably better than it has any right to be. A lot of that is due to its base rye. Now originating from Vermont instead of Canada, the whiskey has a solid backbone of classic rye flavor notes. You wouldn’t expect much influence from the maple wood baseball bats (I can't believe I just wrote that), but there is an unmistakable maple influence throughout this whiskey. It's subtle yet beneficial to the end product. In the end, this is simply a whiskey with an uncommon wood finish. There isn’t anything about the whiskey itself that makes this a must have, but its finishing agent in all of its absurdity, makes you feel otherwise.