After years of toiling in the bourbon trade, pitmaster cum whiskey magnate Casey Bringle is off to the world of rye, dropping this 8 year old expression of Peg Leg Porker as his first entry into the category. Made with the classic 95% rye, 5% malted barley mashbill — but in Tennessee, not Indiana — and made with his hickory charcoal finishing process, this is Bringle’s first whiskey release since 2020.
How does Peg Leg do in the world of rye? Let’s not dally as we work to find out.
The trademark smokiness of Peg Leg Porker bourbon is well in effect here, offering an aromatic combination of barbecue pit smoke, mint, and dry grass — classic rye character filtered unmistakably through the heat of the pit. Some chocolate and nutty elements add more approachability up top, alongside a hint of cherry, heavy on the pit. On the palate, the whiskey’s got plenty of heat, quite drying thanks to its boldly grassy quality and laden with the essence of hay being harvested out in the open field. I wouldn’t say water’s an absolute must, but it sure doesn’t hurt, coaxing out some needed sweetness in the form of honeycomb, peanut butter, and mint syrup, almost julep-adjacent at times. Toasty and mildly sweet but still a bit green on the finish, the whiskey acquits itself in the end as a hearty expression of rye that fully features the grain and lets secondary notes drift in and out as needed.