Was visiting family down near Pittsburgh for a weekend and decided to check out the city, as I’d never been before. In the Strip district we came across the Wigle Distillery. We went in and they were selling flights, so I decided to try this “most awarded craft distillery”‘s offerings (and see if it’s most awarded because of quality, or because they enter the most competitions).
They wax poetic about being the first in the area since prohibition and have a large line-up of organic offerings. Took a few notes on each:
First was the small cask rye. The mashbill is 69/17/14 Rye/wheat/barley. Aged in 15 gallon barrels.
Wigle Monongahela Small cask Rye – 42% ABV
- Nose: sugary, lots of spice, very sweet .spirity. only 3yrs old.
- Palate: Very oaky. Sour. Small cask possibly over oaks it. Bit sweet.
- Finish: Sour bitter after taste.
- Score: 62/100
not good. Bitter and very odd.
Next up is their straight Rye. Same mashbill, regular barrel ageing.
Wigle Monongahela Straight Rye – 50.2% ABV
- Nose: Similarly sweet and spicy. Off note. Oaky
- Palate: Even more wood. Cedar. Bitter and sour again. Not a fan.
- Finish: Spicier. Bitter finish
- Score: 64/100
again, not a fan
Next is their straight wheat. I was glad to get away from that rye mash. This one is 80/12/8 Wheat/Rye/Barley.
Wigle Allegheny Straight Wheat – 50.25% ABV
- Nose: Sugary, floral and grassy.
- Palate: Very harsh still. Age shows. Grassy, bready
- Finish: Bitter short
- Score: 69/100
better than the rye with a bit more flavour, but still harsh and spirity. 3 years is not enough for this spirit.
Finally, I had their Landlocked oak. Sadly the bourbon was supposed to be the last one in the flight but they had just sold out an hour prior. This is a honey whisky distilled and aged in oak.
Wigle Landlocked Oak – 42% ABV
- Nose: Not much here, sweet.
- Palate: very sweet sugary smooth.
- Finish: Sweet
- Score: 50/100
Having expected something more whisky-like this fails. If I was doing a liqueur tasting, I’d maybe like it more. Just one-noted.
so overall, not a place I’d recommend for the whisky. the atmosphere was great, the staff were awesome and helpful, but the whisky needs more time and probably some sort of process change to be good. We tried a few of their other spirits, including a couple of gins and their absinthe. We bought a small bottle of their barrel aged Ginever and I’d recommend it. It’s amazing with some Fever Tree tonic… maybe they should stick to non-whisky spirits.