Spirit Of The Week: WhistlePig ‘The Badönkådonk’ 25-Year Old-Single Malt Whiskey

The Vermont label unleashes its oldest, rarest and most expensive whiskey ever.


WhistlePig launched in 2007 with the clear, unrepentant goal of pioneering the luxury rye category, initially sourcing the best juice they could and applying great care in its finishing—such as with their core WhistlePig 12, the first of its kind finished in three old-world wine barrels. 

Once it was clear they were helping spearhead a national rye revival, the WhistlePig team began distilling from their own from a bucolic, 500-acre farm in Shoreham, Vermont. 

Their assault on the world of rye over the past 17 years has been wholesale, crafting everything from excellent core portfolio products to innovative LTOs to weird collaborations (e.g. Alfa Romeo’s F1 team, singer Robbie Robertson, the Barstool Sports crew, etc.) to beloved recurring series like their Boss Hog collection, which every year imagines a unique rye matured in highly creative ways never-before-seen.

Take for instance last year’s Boss Hog X: The Commandments, which used barrels seasoned with an experimental spirit infused with frankincense and myrrh resins.

In the interim, they’ve unabashedly described themselves as both the “No. 1 distiller in the ultra-premium and luxury rye whiskey category in North America” and as “driven to reinvent and unlock the flavor of rye whiskey.” 

That’s why it raised whiskey enthusiast eyebrows when, in 2022, WhistlePig tapped a new well in their creative font and launched FarmStock Bourbon, soon making it a permanent part of their profile. By the time they released their first in the American single malt category last year, The Béhôlden, it became clear WhistlePig was expanding from a “luxury rye” brand to an all-out whiskey juggernaut. 

“We say that we will try whiskey in any barrel at least once, and we mean that,” vows Meghan Ireland, WhistlePig’s Chief Blender. “Each edition of The Boss Hog is a world’s-first finish, never before dreamed of in the world of spirits, let alone whiskey. 

“Equally our single-barrel warehouse has upwards of 40 experimental finishes going at a time, from the worlds of wine, spirits, food, plants—even some we developed ourselves here on the farm,” she continues, nodding towards the Old Testament-inspired Commandments offering.

“Not all of them turn out, but worst case: We drink our mistakes!”

For their latest halo offering, WhistlePig unleash The Badönkådonk—the oldest and rarest whiskey the Vermont label has ever released. The WhistlePig “25 Single Malt” was distilled in Canada’s first single-malt distillery, then moved in 2020 to the Vermont farm for its final years of aging, including one month of second-cask finishing in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from the highly esteemed Napa winery Silver Oak Alexander Valley.

“While we legally can’t say where the whiskey is sourced from, it is sourced from the first single-malt distillery in North America, which absconded with its stills from the Scots across the pond,” Ireland shares coyly. “Now we’ve taken Great Britain’s treasure and converted it to WhistlePig’s Whiskey rebellion.”

Using as a base a (North) American single malt aged more than twice as long as any other American single malt, the whiskey already boasts a foundation with exceptional complexity. So what exactly did the WhistlePig brain trust hope to gain by influencing that juice with Silver Oak Cabernet barrels? 

“The Silver Oak winemaking team is like-minded in terms of quality standards and forward-looking personality, so our high hopes for the finish came true and more!” vows Ireland.

“Their Alexander Valley Cabernet barrels add incredible notes of stone fruit such as figs and plums, and a delicious toasted almond finish.” She adds that since those barrels are American oak, they also add an influence of caramel and vanilla.


Bottled as a Single Barrel to capture the individual complexity of each unique cask, WhistlePig “The Badönkådonk” 25 Year Old Single Malt is now available in highly limited quantities—with a price to match its rarity. $2,000

Follow Deputy Editor Nicolas Stecher on Instagram at @nickstecher and @boozeoftheday.