If the folks who make reality TV shows ever get around to making “Whiskey Dynasty,” chances are they’re going to try to track down Master Distiller Dave Pickerell as an advisor
By Tom McDermott
If the folks who make reality TV shows ever get around to making “Whiskey Dynasty,” chances are they’re going to try to track down Master Distiller Dave Pickerell as an advisor, or perhaps to play the lead. But, they better work fast, because Dave is in demand, sharing his love of making and tasting fine whiskey with both novices and aficionados in places near and far.
Fortunately, he was nearby at Harrison Wine Vault last Saturday afternoon, where owner Anthony D’Arpino and manager Gerry Nastasi hosted dozens of happy patrons to taste Whistle Pig’s “Boss Hog,” the Wine Vault’s exclusive Whistle Pig Barrel #6, and pulled pork from Brother Jimmy’s of White Plains.
Pickerell was the mastermind of both of these rye whiskies, 100 percent made from Rye grown by Whistle Pig on their farm in Shoreham, Vt., and distilled in Canada. But, as of January, according to Matt Eisenman, the company’s local Brand Steward, all of Whistle Pig’s products will be grown, harvested, distilled, and aged in Vermont by the 17 local employees.
Rye whiskey is making a comeback after playing distant third fiddle to scotch and bourbon for many years. But, don’t confuse Whistle Pig with your grandfather’s rye. “Boss” was made from one lot and aged for nearly 14 years, three to six years in one barrel, before finishing in a second barrel. Harrison Wine Vault’s own #6 is a single barrel whiskey, aged ten years.
To be most appreciated, these are sipping whiskies, with hints of maple – to this palate, anyway – and a texture similar to a lighter calvados or Armagnac. But, as Pickerell, who spent 14 years creating Maker’s Mark Whiskey noted, if someone wants to mix fine whiskey with Coke, “Who am I to tell them how they should drink it?”
As for Brother Jimmy’s BBQ? Make mine a double.