Barfly: WhistlePig offers Filipino twist on 8th edition of ‘Boss Hog’ rye whiskey

Barfly: WhistlePig offers Filipino twist on 8th edition of ‘Boss Hog’ rye whiskey

WhistlePig has introduced its eighth edition of The Boss Hog, known as LapuLapu’s Pacific.

Like each edition of Boss Hog before it, WhistlePig explores uncharted territory to create a whiskey that is powerfully complex, distinctly unique from anything they’ve done before, and – keeping true to The Boss Hog’s promises as introduced by WhistlePig’s founder – stupendous. 

LapuLapu’s Pacific is the sequel to The Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic, which was awarded Best Rye Whiskey at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Continuing the epic circumnavigation voyage across the Pacific, The Boss Hog VIII features Straight Rye Whiskey aged for nearly 18 years in new American Oak, followed by a double finish in high toast barrels that previously held small batch, single island, aged Philippine Rum.

The Boss Hog VIII draws inspiration both historically and symbolically from the Philippines, where Magellan met his fate at the hands of Filipino hero LapuLapu during the battle of Mactan. Magellan’s journey ended in the Philippines on April 27, 1521, when the local victory dispelled the Spanish fleet.

Five hundred years later, LapuLapu is celebrated as a symbol of strength and independence, with  his likeness captured in each of the  hand-made, collectible pewter pig that crown each bottle of Boss Hog.

The Philippines is one of the world’s lesser-known rum producers. The barrels for The Boss Hog VIII make their own long journey from a small island just southwest of Cebu, where they previously held small batch rum for between seven and ten years.

Just like rye whiskey, extended barrel aging enriches rum’s vanilla, caramel, and oak notes, mellows the profile and adds layers of complexity. The high toast profile imparts another dimension of toffee and spice flavors to the final product.

“On the heels of Magellan’s Atlantic, it was a great challenge to find the perfect finish for the most special Rye barrels in our warehouse. We were already tracing Magellan in depth, and when we discovered LapuLapu’s story we knew we had to track down the best Philippines Rum barrels we could for the sequel. Before maturing Rum for 7-10 years, the barrels were coopered from American Oak and originally held bourbon. In this way, they’ve made their own circumnavigation from American whiskey to the Philippines, and back again to us in Vermont,” says Meghan Ireland, Blender, WhistlePig Whiskey. “The whiskey rests first in 7-year-old small batch Philippine Rum casks, followed by a shorter finish in 10-year-old small batch Philippine Rum casks. The older rum is darker and bolder, requiring less time for its barrels to impart notes in the whiskey. The end result is an amazingly unique and delicious whiskey.”

“Like all of our boldest experiments, this one was not without its trials,” adds Ireland. “We actually attempted to send the whiskey itself around the world to Spain, to finish in the place where just one ship from the original fleet finally returned. Those barrels have yet to come back to us, so for the most daring collectors out there, the hunt is on.”

On the nose, lush vanilla aromas give way to delicate tropical notes including underripe bananas, freshly picked lemon and molasses. Upon tasting, LapuLapu’s Pacific offers an abundance of fresh ground cinnamon with citrus zest, butterscotch, and lights notes of toffee. The finish is rich with tanned leather, light brown sugar, nutmeg and allspice with a long-lasting black pepper rye spice.

The Boss Hog VIII: LapuLapu’s Pacfic is available in a 750ml bottle and is bottled at proof, between 104.8 and 106.5 (52.4-53.3% ABV), with a suggested retail price of $499.99. Like the other editions of The Boss Hog before it, LapuLapu is now available for sale at shop. whistlepigwhiskey.com.