The Women Of WhistlePig pay it forward with the Whiskey Making Externship

The whiskey was finished on Big Papi’s baseball bat. Whiskey inspired by the nine ancient Greek muses. Whiskey spilled from the back of a pig. These are just a few of the outrageous, yet premium, whiskeys that WhistlePig Whiskey has released in just over a year.

Led by an all-female whiskey team – head of whiskey development Liz Rhoades and head blender Meghan Ireland – WhistlePig has become one of the leading independent craft whiskey brands.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Rhoades and Ireland are leading a group of industry-disrupting women to give young female spirit lovers (ages 21+) the opportunity to join them for a free week-long summer internship at WhistlePig Whiskey Distillery and Farm to promote community and education for women in a male-dominated industry.

Joining this effort are Freeland Spirits master distiller and partner Molly Troupe, Dr. Nicole Shriner who leads the brewing and distilling program at Michigan State University, and Lindsay Barr, CSO and founding partner of DraughtLab Sensory Software to provide an immersive craft distilling and maturation experience for three female students the week of August 21-25. Applications are open from today, March 8, 2023.

Located off the grid on a 500-acre farm in Vermont, WhistlePig Whiskey is crafted by a new generation of whiskey distillers and blenders driven to rediscover and unlock the potential of whiskey. Through their revolutionary pursuit to experiment and push boundaries in the industry, WhistlePig is committed to becoming the best whiskey on the planet and for the planet, starting with its locally sourced ingredients and sustainable supply chain and distilling process.

After finding her love of chemistry in high school, Ireland earned a chemical engineering degree from Clarkson University. During her freshman year she read an article in Whiskey advocate about a female chemical engineer who became a master distiller and immediately knew she also wanted to apply science to the craft of spirits.

Shortly after college, she began her career in hard cider, then made the switch and joined WhistlePig in 2018 to produce their own rye.

Ireland leads the way in whiskey quality at WhistlePig, ensuring through careful testing and tasting that each cask retains its award-winning flavour. He also directs cask-to-bottle whiskey and curates WhistlePig’s robust single cask program, a treasure trove of cask proof whiskeys and experimental finishes that serve to incubate WhistlePig’s future innovation.

Rhoades is a technical distiller and self-proclaimed right-wing scientist with over a decade of experience in the spirits industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in distilling from the Brewing and Distilling Institute and a master’s degree in food and fermentation science from North Carolina State University. Although she has worked in a variety of categories, whiskey is her passion, with experience in both great creations and fledgling craft.

Having grown up among the grain fields of Central Illinois, one of her favorite things about whiskey is its agricultural roots, which makes WhistlePig such a natural fit. She spends her days leading the team on a variety of initiatives, from grain quality to distilling and blending operations, to imagining WhistlePig’s next breakthrough innovation.

For example, last March the team released the first of three iterations in the new Legends Series, starting with David Ortiz “Big Papi” to launch baseball’s first toasted bat whiskey.

The Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song is inspired by Greek muses – mothers of creation and temptation – and marks the first release to feature cask finishes crafted by WhistlePig Whiskey themselves.

Upholding five promises of The Boss Hog – single cask, bottled at proof, powerfully complex, distinctly unique from anything they’ve done before and stunning – The Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song is a rye whiskey aged in American Oak and double cask finished in Greek fig nectar and his own WhistlePig tentaclea liqueur produced in the Peloponnesian city of Patras created by WhistlePig at their farm in Vermont using Greek ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, orange peel and honey.

Although notorious for pushing the boundaries, WhistlePig dominates the premium rye category with a 52% market share by value, and PiggyBack 100% rye is a fan favorite and core brand. In December 2022, WhistlePig released a commemorative limited edition 10 year old bottled at 110 proof in a 1 liter replica Berkshire Bitter Pig that proudly pours from the back.

Last month, WhistlePig released PiggyBack 100 Proof Bourbon Whiskey nationwide. Representing the savory and sweeter side of whiskey respectively, WhistlePig PiggyBack 100% Rye and PiggyBack 100 Proof Bourbon are a great pairing for any bar as they complement each other in any number of cocktails.

“The spirits industry is dominated by men, although women in spirits are emerging and revolutionizing the game,” says Rhoades. In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re offering the next generation of young female professionals the chance to learn more about the science behind spirits at WhistlePig Farm & Distillery this summer. Sign up for a random class and explore career opportunities in spirits. Sharing is caring and we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to learn!”

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