WhistlePig's Newest Whiskey Was Made With Baseball Fans In Mind

With opening day for Major League Baseball less than a week away on April 7, baseball fans already had plenty to celebrate. Now they have something to celebrate with — a brand new whiskey with baseball connections and Hall of Fame credentials. According to Food and Wine, former Boston Red Sox slugger and three-time World Series champion David Ortiz has collaborated with WhistlePig Whiskey on the Vermont-based distiller's PiggyBack Legend Series: Big Papi Barrel, the first whiskey ever to be finished with actual baseball bats. 

The new single barrel release was dubbed Big Papi after Ortiz's nickname during his playing heyday, and is the first of three planned iterations in WhistlePig's "Legends Series." The Big Papi Barrel showcases 100% rye whiskey, aged for six years in American Oak, Maxim reports, before being finished in barrels with some of Ortiz's signature DO34 maple wood bats, which had been convection toasted for consistency. In total, less than 100 barrels were produced for bottling.

In addition to the partnership between WhistlePig and David Ortiz, the whiskey is also being released in partnership with media company Barstool Sports, per Food and Wine.

WhistlePig and David Ortiz's home run whiskey collaboration

The release of the new whiskey not only dovetails with opening day in Major League Baseball, but also comes hard on the heels of Ortiz's recent first-ballot election to the Baseball Hall of Fame (via Major League Baseball).

"It was incredible to collaborate with David Ortiz, whose toasted maple bats add layers of spice and caramelized notes to the bold, 100 percent rye character of WhistlePig PiggyBack," said Meghan Ireland, WhistlePig blender, via Food and Wine. "I think fans of the game — regardless of team — will find a home run in the Big Papi Barrel."

The 96.56 proof, 750-ml bottles are currently available for pre-order at $49.99, Thrillist notes, with limited edition bottles signed by Ortiz selling for $340 (not coincidentally, a multiple of Ortiz's former jersey number, 34). Proceeds from the latter are earmarked for the David Ortiz Boston Heart Classic, which benefits children in need of heart surgery.