Whisky Connosr

Willett Family Estate Small Batch 2 yo Rye

18th century style Willett Rye

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@Robert99Review by @Robert99

20th Feb 2016


Willett Family Estate Small Batch 2 yo Rye
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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No it is not an Old Potrero and it does not taste like one. The important word is style. This Willett is in the same highpitch style as the Old Potrero 18th, which, for me, is far from the regular American style. Even if the Willett has more wood notes than the OP, it is still all about the fruits... Or almost.

So let start with the nose. I get green lemon but neither bitter or very sour. The cherry notes that are characteristic, for me, of rye are there but way back. There is a hint of thyme, a nice but discreet rosewater with some white carnation and some light cucumber. After those les common flavors, some bread dough shows itself. Finally, you have wood notes, mainly nutmeg, that gives a barber shop soap surrounding to the whole. This last part will gain power with air. I prefer the nose on a fresh pour.

The palate: First thing that is obvious is the rush of rosewater and then the rush of citrus with a beautifull herbal lemongrass note. Some sweet balance very well the citrus and give some body and silkness to a whisky that would maybe otherwise feel thin in the mouth but never watery. The 55.9% abv shows itself to give some edge to the tangy palate. But the real star of this dram is the mix of mint and litchee that follows. Wow! I am very glad that the wood notes are not as present on the palate as they would have crushed the fruits.

The finish: After half a dram, you are left with a long fruity finish and more sweetness than on the palate. The herbal notes are there, if you pay attention. The wood notes have the humility to give the floor to the real star and stay out of sight.

Conclusion: This 2 yo Willett gives a lesson about how to work with young Rye (or whisky). It Let the fruit shine! I have to admit, that this highpitch style is my favorite style of Rye. The Willett has even more high notes than the Old Potrero, which feels almost malty in comparaison, but at the same time the wood notes give an American signature to the Willett that the OP doesn't have. I love it. I am now wondering if I would prefer the 4 yo or the 8 yo to this young 2 yo as I am not sure I would find the same profile in an older version with more wood influence. I am looking forward to the opportunity to verify that.


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