The Team

Raj Peter Bhakta
Founder & Chief Steward Of The Brand
Raj Peter Bhakta

The son of immigrants, Raj was born to an Indian father and an Irish mother who instilled in him a determination to succeed and a love of country.

Before graduating from Boston College with a dual degree in history and economics, Raj became an expert on the military history of the Austrian Empire. During a post-college Himalayan trek in which he sought the spiritual insights of Hindu gurus, an undeclared war broke out between India and Pakistan. Raj offered his services to an Indian artillery regiment, hoping to gain some experience before shipping off to the United States Marines.
When, in 1999, a serious ski injury derailed his plans, Raj returned to his entrepreneurial roots, and in 2005, he was cast on one of NBC’s highest rated shows, The Apprentice. He made it to week nine before he was ousted by now President-elect Trump.

Next, he pursued his passion for politics, winning the Republican Party’s endorsement for the United States House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district in 2006. Frustrated by the porous U.S.–Mexico border control, Raj illustrated the haplessness of current policy by crossing the border along the Rio Grande atop an elephant with a six-piece mariachi band near a U.S. Border Security checkpoint. During the campaign, Raj raised more money independently than any GOP candidate in the nation and led the Republican ticket for his district. Though unable to unseat his incumbent opponent, he received more than 74,000 votes of 180,000 cast.
In 2007, Raj found his true calling. He followed in the footsteps of George Washington (a legendary rye whiskey producer) and began his journey to create the world’s finest whiskey, purchasing a 500 acre dilapidated dairy farm in Vermont. By 2010, that dilapidated farm had been transformed into the 1,300 acre WhistlePig headquarters.
Through WhistlePig, Raj met his wife Danhee. They live on the farm with their three young children and pet Kunekune pigs.