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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.