Must-Try

5 Things to Know About Wigle Bourbon

By Caroline Russock  |  July 16, 2015

These days shopping local is easy. Whether it’s heading down to your weekly farmers’ market or inspecting the signage at a certain upmarket grocery chain, grown close to home produce, meats, dairy, and even locally milled grains are more accessible than ever. But when it comes to booze, the locavore concept hasn’t really caught on, at least in the great state of Pennsylvania.

Enter Wigle, PA’s first-ever bourbon. Here’s what you need to know and where to taste it.

1. Citywide Specials aside, Pennsylvania has a long and storied history with bourbon making, but that all ended back in 1974. Now Wigle, a Pittsburgh-based distillery specializing in rye and genever is bringing it back after a 40 year absence.

2. While most folks associate bourbon with Kentucky, there’s no law saying that it can’t be made in other places, like, say, Pennsylvania. According to the bourbon bosses there are three rules: Bottle at or over 80 proof, age in charred, new oak barrels and make sure that your product is made from at least 51 percent corn.  

3. The bourbon is made with Wapsie Valley corn, an organically heirloom varietal that’s grown just miles from the distillery and milled on-site.

4. Bourbon nerds will be please to know that Wigle is available in two strengths, a smooth sipping 92 proof and a more powerful cask strength that come in at a fiery 107 proof.

5. If you’re interested in tasting one of these unique bourbons for yourself there are several spots pouring around town including Petruce et al, Barbuzzo, Oyster House, The Fat Ham, and High Street on Market. For optimal enjoyment order straight up or on the rocks but Wigle makes a very nice addition to classics like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.