Last week we visited the Whistle Pig distillery in Vermont for their annual Grand Party. Kyle had the opportunity to attend last year, but this was my first visit to the WP farm. They pulled out all of the stops for hundreds of invited guests over the two-day celebration that culminated with a black-tie gala.
I remember first trying Whistle Pig while tending bar at Rickhouse in San Francisco; shortly after the rye whiskey launched, Master Distiller Dave Pickerell visited for a tasting. At the time the rye was not their own distillate, but seven years later they are now selling spirit distilled and aged on the farm. After tasting the current 10 year, 12 year, Farmstock and 15 year bottlings (not to mention the whiskey named best in the world), I can now say I am a true fan!
The WP farm is located a short drive from Middlebury, Vermont, a quaint town almost too wondrous to be real (for more on Middlebury, check out our previous post). We stayed at the charming Middlebury Inn and were transported to the farm over two days by yellow school bus.
The welcome party on Sunday featured a hog roast, bonfire, games, and musical acts – like The Tricksters, an 80s cover band that was really lively and fun. On Monday we were invited to barrel, blend, and witness whiskey distillation before enjoying lunch from a local food truck. Monday evening we returned in our cocktail attire for the formal event with casino games, a fireworks demonstration and helicopter rides over the scenic Vermont countryside.
Aside from offering delicious whiskey and cocktails at every turn, the farm itself was photographic gold. Kyle and I earned a reputation for wandering off to capture the natural beauty and stage impromptu photo shoots, like the image above of me holding Farmstock in the field overlooking the distillery. Below are a few of my favorite snaps, and you can check out the #WPgrandparty tag on Instagram if you're thirsty for more.