Thursday, February 16, 2023

Wigle Phil's Shadow Rye Whiskey Finished in Maple Syrup Barrels

- $30 (375 mL)
- 92 Prof
- 3 1/2 years
- Pennsylvania

The timing of this post was almost appropriate, as Groundhog's Day was only a week or so ago. Had I made the connection, I would have made it a point to finish this bottle and get this post up that day. But here I am, a week late, and now it's just another review on any given day. I really screwed that one up.

In any event, this was a bottle that I had seen on the shelves many times, but was simply never interested in buying it. The fact that it's finished in maple syrup barrels tells me right away it's going to be too sweet for my taste.  And I know very little about its maker, Pittsburgh Distilling Co.  But, when a buddy of mine decided to be generous and gift me a bottle, well, who am I to turn it down! So I gave it a go!

On the nose I got a ton of (you guessed it!) maple syrup.  This is probably going to be a trend here.  Of course I expected a good amount of maple syrup, but this was all maple syrup. It did have some notes I identify with a younger whiskey, particularly a green apple note, but even that was lost behind the heavy aroma of a waffle house floor.

As to flavor, I got notes of vanilla and caramel and a hint of raspberry . . . just kidding!  I got maple syrup.  Lots of maple syrup!  At times I thought I might have caught notes of something else, like a hint of oak, some black pepper spice, maybe even some vanilla. But I'm fairly certain that was my imagination, because whenever I re-focused, all I ever got was maple syrup . . . and cavities. To be fair, as I wrote my notes, I did get a cereal note a couple times, kind of like corn flakes.  Still breakfast, though.

I don't think I need to go into the finish. I'm guessing given the pattern here you can fill in that blank.

Some people love whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels.  I am definitely not among them. Not only does it sweeten up the whiskey to the Nth degree, but, unlike some honey barrel finishes that I've actually enjoyed for what they are, the maple finish overpowers with flavor as well.  It's like making out with a Canadian.  If it's your thing, go nuts. But it's not for me (the finished whiskey, that is, I'm completely on board with making out with Canadians).

Grade: D

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