Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Southwestern Pennsylvania has a long storied history when it comes whiskey. The Pittsburgh region was once the most important whiskey-producing area in the country being home to more than a quarter of the nation's distilleries. Monongahela Rye was the most consumed whiskey in the country in the 19th century and after a significant lull in legal production and a new state law, local entrepreneurs are reviving the craft.
Wigle Whiskey, founded by the Meyer family in 2012, is the first distillery in the city of Pittsburgh in since prohibition. Located on Smallman St. in the Strip District, the distillery is named after Phillip Wigle, a rebel who was sentenced to hang for treason after burning down the home of a federal tax collector and sparking the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Wigle Whiskey produces an unaged White Rye Whiskey, White Wheat Whiskey, Wigle Ginever, a Dutch-style gin, and the Aged Whiskey. The unaged liquors are available anytime, but the Aged Whiskey is released periodically from their Small Cask Series after 6-8 months in the barrel. The first release was on December 15, 2012 and sold out in about one hour. For those interested in making their own whiskey, do-it-yourself kits are on-sale. Tours and special event bookings are made available to the public where one is able to observe the distilling process and sample Wigle's products.