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Willett Single Barrel Rye 4 yo

Excellent Young Rye

0 1291

@VictorReview by @Victor

5th Dec 2011

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    91

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Willett Single Barrel whiskeys are selected by Even Kuhlsveen's Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd., from distillate from a variety of distilleries, then bottled and sold, often to companies such as The Party Source, located in Bellevue, Kentucky. Willett bourbons and ryes are in a range of ages. The current review is of a 4 yo Willett Rye Whiskey, barrel # 2612, bottled for The Party Source. The bottle is # 127 of 211 total. What is the purpose in reviewing an obscure whiskey, for which most Connosr members will not have the opportunity to acquire a bottle? Such a review makes available an understanding for the reader of the range of options available in the extended marketplace, assuming the reader is willing to go to, or order from, those places, where such options exist. The reviewed whiskey is at barrel proof/cask strength, in this case 55%/110 proof. This is a very low ABV for an American barrel proof whiskey, probably because of the young age.

Colour: full amber

Nose: intense fragrant maple, vanilla, and rye spice. This is very woody for 4 years in oak. This nose is woody like that of a whiskey 4 times its age. Beautiful.

Taste: once again this is remarkably woody for being only 4 years in the oak. Both wood and spice flavours are intense and very beautiful. There is the usual rye grain magnificence of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon/cassia, ginger and black pepper. The wood flavours of maple, vanilla, and, less so, caramel, are also in much abundance and are delightful. This is phenomenal flavour in a four year old rye.

Finish: long, strong, and consistent

Balance: other than Old Potrero, this is the most impressive young (less than 6 years old) rye whiskey that I have encountered. Excellent.

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12 comments

@AboutChoice
AboutChoice commented

Hi @Victor, I'm just browsing reviews to see what I'm in for (and of course your review reliably appears) ! :) I recently acquired a Willett Family Estate Sing Barrel Rye, 5 years at 55%, 78/180, barrel no 38. This was distilled in IN, and bottled at the Willett Distillery in Bardstown, KY. I was having 2nd thoughts, as it is so young, but after reading your review, I'm more eager to open it ... soon. Thanks for the usual informative review.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@AboutChoice, looks like you got an LDI Rye. It will probably taste a lot like Bulleit 95 Rye, which is LDI produced. Hopefully it will be noticeably better than Bulleit Rye, though Bulleit Rye is also good. @misslauren has a bottle of young LDI Willett rye. It was/is quite lovely and really sparkled!

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Also, the reviewed bottle, above, does not taste like an LDI rye. In addition to Bulleit 95 Rye, Lawrenceburg Distillers, Indiana also makes Templeton Rye, Redemption Rye, and a lot of the ryes vatted to make the High West Ryes. I would be delighted to have a bottle of Willett Rye like the one I sampled with @misslauren.

7 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

Wow, thanks for the review! Friend of mine is making a order and asked if I wanted anything from whiskysite.nl, I noticed that they have a sample of this. So a little bit of Googling around, which lead me to this review and now I just have to get it. Old Overholt is still waiting for the right moment in my cabinet so it's nice to get another rye for comparison, especially after this review.

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Rantavahti, good to hear from you. Try not to be too hard on Old Overholt Rye when you are tasting your Willett Family Estate bottle and Old Overholt side by side. KBD ages their own single barrels, and sells them at barrel strength. Willetts are top echelon US whiskeys, and almost every single one of their barrels is going to be wonderful. KBD now, for the first time since the 1980s is also producing and selling their own aged distillate, with a recently introduced Willett Family Estate 2 yo rye. It is excellent, and almost impossible-to-believe good for 2 years old. Any other Willett product than this 2 yo Rye will be one of the whiskies they have been sourcing since the 1980s.

Old Overholt was THE classic US rye whiskey standard-bearer during decades of rye whiskey dwelling in obscurity in the US in the second half of the twentieth century. N.B.the article in Whisky Advocate on the history of US rye whiskey for a description of the place of Old Overholt in the history of US Rye drinking. Old Overholt is an old western Pennsylvania brand bought out by Jim Beam after prohibition, and now produced in Kentucky. I would LOVE to see a version of Old Overholt at barrel strength. At 40% abv it will not be as intense, for sure, as your Willett will be. Remember too, that a bottle of Old Overholt will tend to actually get fruitier over, literally, a couple of years of air time.

Yes, I like to talk about rye whiskey. Loads of flavour there.

5 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

You're absolutely right @Victor, stunning rye whiskey this single barrel. Just took a sip without added water and (even though 55% ABV) tastes kinda smooth but powerful of course. I'll get back to you with my review but first I'll enjoy this beauty.

5 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

By the way, this is starting to make a pattern. My friends are ordering again and this time I noticed a sample of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 67,4%. Once again Google brought me to you: connosr.com/reviews/elijah-craig/…

I guess I'll be getting another sample unless they run out of 'em...

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Rantavahti, I don't see a bottle of that Willett Family Estate Rye in your cabinet. Will you be buying a bottle of it?

That fifth batch, 67.4% abv Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a batch which I have not yet tasted. I think @Nock will be bringing me a sample from his bottle of it soon, though.

5 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

@Victor I don't know yet. 48 euros it would cost, which is tempting...

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Rantavahti, I think that a bottle the of Willett Family Reserve Rye would seal the experience for you. 48 euros is only modestly more than we would pay for a 4 yo Willett in the US. Willett Family Estate Bottlings come and go. Once they are gone you won't see that barrel again, and it may be awhile before you have the chance to buy a bottling from another barrel. Among the top quality possibilities, a young Willett is one of the best values for money in US whiskey.

5 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

I was wondering how this one has even found its way to a webshop in Holland. I probably have to order it :)

5 years ago 0

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