By now you’ve probably read about HomeStock, WhistlePig and Flaviar’s unorthodox and groundbreaking project that saw 1000 Flaviar members blending their own whiskey at home — from samples of 100% rye, wheat, and barley distillates — then voting for a winner during a live tasting of the finalists.
The winner, an unusual blend of 45% rye whiskey, 30% wheat whiskey, and 25% single malt, has now been bottled and it’s available to buy, whether you got to participate in the blend or not. 20 percent of sales from WhistlePig HomeStock are being donated to the USBG Foundation’s Emergency Assistance Program, which provides COVID-19 relief grants to bartenders.
I got to taste my home-blended version of HomeStock during the event. Now it’s time to see how it presents itself in its final, commercial form — which is also known as Farmstock Crop 004, as it’s a loose continuation of the Farmstock series. Thoughts follow.
In its ultimate incarnation, I still think there were better whiskeys to be blended from the three source spirits. The nose here is fine but quite grainy, with a lot of fresh cereal to inhale. Notes of hemp rope and some clove give the nose a mild pungency, but it’s never overbearing. The palate largely falls in line with the nose, coming across like a blended Scotch with lots of sweet cereal in the mix. Chewy, with notes of coconut and peanut arriving later on, the whiskey is a stark departure from WhistlePig’s usual spice-forward ryes, the finish running to brown butter and graham crackers — the latter slightly overbaked. It’s enjoyable enough and fairly harmless on the whole, but I’m still not sure it’s the best way to showcase any of the three underlying spirits.