We live in the age of bespoke goods, and now that trend is hitting the world of whiskey. WhistlePig, a rye whiskey distillery in Vermont, is giving consumers a chance to buy and blend barrels of 10- and 12-year old ryes to create their own custom batch. After the blending, the bottles are sent to the buyer with a custom label.
“From the time we started making whiskey, we’ve always done things in our own way,” Dave Pickerell, master distiller at WhistlePig, says in a statement on the website. “Now we have the chance to empower you to do the same.”
To get started, the buyer chooses between buying a 10 Year Single Barrel that they hand select or mixing their own barrel from 12-year-old ryes that have been aging in port, sauternes and madeira barrels. Those who choose the 10 Year will receive samples to choose from, and people who select the 12 Year will get a blending kit sent to them. The choice is then made, sent back to the distillery and they bottle it with a custom label. Then it’s sent to a local retailer for pickup or delivery within 12 weeks of when the pick was made.
Other distilleries allow people to buy full barrels. Midleton Irish whiskey, Jack Daniel’s, Isle of Arran Distillers and Tequila Herradura all give die-hard fans a chance to pick their own personal barrel. WhistlePig’s blending program though, is something new, and gets about as close as the average person can get to being a distillery blender. Just be warned: Blending is an art, and it’s no easy task to get the different flavors of each liquid to combine just right.
Like the other barrel buys, getting a personal barrel of WhistlePig doesn’t come cheap. A 10 Year Single Barrel costs between $11,000 and $14,000, and a 12 Year blend costs between $16,000 and $19,000. According to The Spirits Business, each barrel will yield 132 standard bottles of whiskey, which brings the starting per bottle price to $83 for the single barrel and $144 for the custom blend. Not exactly everyday whiskey prices, but you’ll have so much of it you could definitely make it your everyday whiskey.