Stave Skiing and Rye Whiskey

Combine whiskey and skiing and what do you get? A barrel of laughs.

At various periods in history, skiing on repurposed barrel staves, the planks of wood that make up the sides of a barrel, has been a thing. In 1965, after having been forgotten at some point between World War I and II, skiing on staves—or “staving”—made a brief comeback in Vermont before falling by the wayside once more. 

Now, WhistlePig Whiskey, based in Shoreham, Vt., keeps a few pairs of repurposed barrel staves fitted with bindings at its farm-cum-distillery. If you’re lucky enough to get an invite to visit in the winter, you might get a chance to give staving a shot. Spoiler: It’s like skiing on really heavy, fully rockered snowblades that don’t have edges. 

Not your idea of fun? Then just go skiing at Stowe and stop by the WhistlePig tasting room in Waterbury afterwards.

Three Great Rye Whiskeys Distilled for Après

Three rye whiskeys
From left: High West Double Rye!; 10th Mountain Rye Whiskey; WhistlePig Farmstock Rye.

High West Double Rye!

This extra-spicy rye combines a perfect—and secret—ratio of young and old rye to create a unique taste and finish. Try it in the delicious Cackleberry mixer at the High West Saloon in Park City, Utah. [$35,]

10th Mountain Rye Whiskey

Thanks to a mash-bill that includes barley this easy-drinking rye out of Vail, Colo., is surprisingly smooth and a great choice for an Old Fashioned or a warming sipper on a cold night. [$45,]

WhistlePig Farmstock Rye Crop No. 3

The latest iteration of the brand’s annual Triple Terroir release, No. 3 uses rye grain harvested at the WhistlePig farm, Vermont water, and local white oak. [$75,]