WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye

Credit: Lost Cargo

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye is a rye whiskey produced by WhistlePig and is the flagship product in the brand’s PiggyBack lineup. It is made up of whiskies from several batches, ranging in age from 6 to 8 years.

Dave Pickerell, longtime distiller and WhistlePig’s master distiller since 2007, passed away suddenly in November 2018. PiggyBack was one of the last projects he worked on, and the first whiskey released by WhistlePig after his passing. Much of this release is a tribute to him.

PiggyBack is bottled at 96.56 proof, a tribute to the year of Pickerell’s birth, 1956. This is also why this is labeled as “distiller’s strength.” The neck label also features 1956-2018 artwork.

The pig in WhistlePig’s logo traditionally wears a top hat, but wears a Stetson hat on this label, a trademark of Pickerell’s.

Pickerell created PiggyBack specifically for cocktails and for use by bartenders, considering everything from the proof and 100% rye recipe to the shape of the bottle for ease of handling.


Offering a well-rounded and flavorful profile for both sipping and as a cocktail base, Dave Pickerell’s homage to the bartending community ends up being an homage to the late Pickerell himself: big, bold, and impactful.

5/10 • t8ke

Overall, this isn’t so bad. It drinks a hair young for a 6yr rye, but packs in a surprising amount of sweet, fruity, dessert notes.


WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye bottle front label close-up

Front label close-up

Credit: Lost Cargo

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye bottle neck label

Neck label detail with Pickerell's dates of birth and passing

Credit: Lost Cargo