Just in Time for the Holidays: A Barrel of Wigle Rye!

We've done it again: we bought a barrel. This time from none other than our friends in Pittsburgh, PA -- Wigle, who are single-handedly trying to revive the region's history as the bread basket (or should I say whiskey barrel?) of America's distilling culture. 

Before Prohibition ruined everything that we love about local, handmade spirits, the Monongahela River Valley was undoubtedly a hotbed of distillation, with about 4,000 stills in operation by the mid-eighteenth century. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this was that all grains used for making whiskey were sourced locally as a way to utilize excess grain before spoilage -- an idea that seems novel today but was simply a way of life. Rye was king, although corn, barley, and wheat also thrived in the valley's poor soils that are heavy in clay, with some sand, silt and gravel. These soils, however, yield rye that is perfect for making the rich, robust, and spicy style of Rye whiskey that has all but been forgotten, until now.

Wigle opened its doors in 2012, the first distillery in Pittsburgh to do so since Prohibition, with the goal of bringing back American whiskey to its former glory. Named after Philip Wigle, infamous for his role in sparking the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1780s, the distillery is also setting off a kind of revolution. They are supporting local, organic farmers by purchasing three tons of grain weekly, focusing on rye with the inclusion of barley and wheat depending on what is in season. They then mill all of these grains in their facility and distill in small pot stills (which are less efficient than the modern column stills used by many distilleries, but produce a higher-quality base distillate) to further preserve the quality of the grains being used. The result is the closest approximation to the whiskeys of yesteryear. 

We have always been big fans of Wigle's products, and are thrilled to be able to offer a Chambers Street selection of their flagship product: rye whiskey. This would be the perfect addition to any whiskey-lovers bar, or for anyone who wants to be able to taste whiskey as it once was. Tim Gagnon

*Our Chambers Street Selection of Wigle Whiskey will be available for pick up or delivery on Wednesday December 2nd.

SPECIAL EVENT: We are proud to partner with Ward III, one of NYC's premier cocktail bars, for a special Whiskey Monday featuring Wigle. Join us to meet the distillers and taste our Chambers St. Selection as well as the full lineup of Wigle products! Ward III 111 Reade St. New York, NY 10013 Monday January 18th, 8-10 PM


Wigle Pittsburgh Organic Chambers Street Rye 375mL (Arr. 12/2)

A Chambers Street exclusive just in time for the holidays! Our dear friend and former colleague, John Rankin, selected this barrel on a trip to the Wigle distillery last spring. This rye was double distilled in Wigle’s 750L CARL copper pot still, first with a stripping run to turn beer (whiskey speak for the fermented grain mash used for distillation) into low wine followed by a finishing run to turn the low wine into spirit. The grain bill: about 68% organic rye from Weatherbury Farms (in Avella, PA, about an hour drive outside of Pittsburgh), 11% organic malted barley, 11% organic winter wheat, and 10% Wapsie Valley corn. 

The new-make spirit was distilled to 145.95 proof (about 5-10% ABV lower than typical, meaning it maintains lots of spicy rye character), then diluted to 110.10 proof before entering the barrel (Small Cask #418) on January 29, 2014. The whiskey matured in a 15-gallon barrel for almost 22 months, coming out on October 20, 2015, at 112.4 proof (a slight increase in proof during aging). The finished whiskey was diluted to custom specifications, at 110 proof, and bottled unfiltered. 

Pronounced spicy, earthy aromas rise from the glass, along with baked cherries, burnt orange peel, and brown sugar. The palate is rich and robust with a fantastic balance of grain character and barrel spice making for a wonderful drinking experience. Long, complex, and delicious; this is a special whiskey to be sipped or mixed in your favorite cocktail. Less than 150 bottles were made for us, so grab yours before it’s gone! Tim Gagnon

  • rye whiskey
  • 48 in stock
  • no discount
  • $35.99

  • Organic

Wigle Pittsburgh Organic Chambers St Rye 750mL (Arr. 12/2)

For those who think that a half bottle of our Chambers Street whiskey isn't enough! In the immortal words of Mark Twain, "Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough."

  • rye whiskey
  • 18 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic
Nov 27 2015
One Great Gift: Chambers Street Gift Cards Are Here!
Our gift certificate format has always been endearingly simple. Customers never seemed to mind that we had to sit down, type and print out their gift certificates while they wait, but that's not a surprise -- our customers are pretty terrific. Nevertheless, an upgrade was long overdue. We've ju
Nov 24 2015
Holiday Classics from America's Finest: Kelley Fox, Steve & Jill Matthiasson, John Lockwood, Eric Demuth, Kenny Likitprakong, and More. (Plus a Last-Minute Thanksgiving 6-Pack!)
We're always eager to prod our customers outside of preferred regions, varieties, and styles - happily, it almost always works out!  This time of year, however, even the most adventurous drinkers among you seek out classic producers and varieties, often American, for gifts, parties, and feasts.
Nov 23 2015
Chiesa and the Roero
For several years I attended the annual giant tasting in Alba called Nebbiolo Prima; tasting 70-80 Nebbiolos before lunch is a truly interesting and challenging experience. By far the hardest group of wines to taste were from the Roero, the Nebbiolo-centric DOCG just north of Barolo. Poured first in
Nov 21 2015
Great Aube Champagnes
“Here we find people whose achievements will be snatched for the glory of others, whose sacrifices will be forgotten as detritus. The cleanest telling would draw one great person, in whom we could find a teachable narrative, an exemplar of what, should we give it our all, we could become. But those
Nov 19 2015
Muscadet 2005 - 2014 Featuring Luneau-Papin and Domaine de l'Ecu!
Once again, we find ourselves somehow possessing vast quantities of sensational Muscadet, both from the excellent 2014 vintage and, thanks to our friends the Luneau-Papins, the best vintages going back to 2005. We are especially happy to have the Domaine de l'Ecu 2014 "Granite" and "Orthogneiss" in
Nov 18 2015
Staying in the Holiday Spirit with Digestivos
While every wine retailer will offer suggestions on what to drink with Thanksgiving dinner, we’re determined to take it to the next level by telling you what to drink after Thanksgiving dinner! If one meal reminds us of indulgence (or even over-indulgence) it is Thanksgiving. And while we love the
Nov 16 2015
36th Annual Chambers Street Thanksgiving Email!
Recent tragic events in Egypt, Beirut, Paris and elsewhere may not inspire Thanksgiving, but life goes on - let's hope that an appropriate international response will someday put fanatic terrorism in the past. Thanksgiving — the wine lover's favorite holiday, when sharing our favorite bird-friendly
Nov 16 2015
Fontanafredda - A Reprint
What’s happened since last spring when text below was originally published? We’ve received another group of old Fontanafredda from an Italian collection, but more importantly we had a chance to taste a number of vintages (1958, 1961, 1967, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1988). I was too occupied during the tasti
Nov 14 2015
Apple Arrivals for Fall!
As soon as the temperature drops below the 60 degree mark, there’s a thought that we can’t get off of our minds: apples. Whether you prefer them plucked directly from the tree, baked into any sort of dish you can imagine, fermented into cider, or distilled into the sweet nectar of life known as appl
Nov 13 2015
Combate in the Gredos: Albillo and Garnacha from Maldivinas, plus new arrivals from Vinos Ambiz and Bernabeleva!
Through the airplane window on the scenic descent to Madrid, it is possible to view the majestic Sierra de Gredos mountains, part of the 600 kilometer long Sistema Centrale range and home to its highest peaks. Massive, storybook mounds from the sky, they are equally monumental from ground level