Distiller: The Willett Distillery
Bourbon: Willett Straight Rye Whiskey
Region: Bardstown, Kentucky
Age: 4 years
The Barrel Cellar Score: 91 Points
Review Date: 11/12/2019
About the Bourbon: The bourbon I’m reviewing today is a small batch limited release By Willett Family Estate. Located in Bardstown, the center of the bourbon universe. The small distiller is holding their own among the other heavy hitting bourbon producers in the area. This Rye whiskey was aged in hand selected white oak barrels and aged for four years. It was bottled at cask strength and is a great example of why Willett Whiskeys have gained such a great reputation in recent years.
I enjoyed the bourbon for this review using a Prestige diamond whiskey glass.
Nose: Candied cherry, brown sugar, dried herbs, old tobacco barn, and cinnamon.
Taste: Earthy rye, brown sugar, honey, black pepper, and dried herbs including a hint of dill. Finish Cinnamon, black pepper, and peppermint candy (neat). Drop a couple of cubes in and the cinnamon notes take center stage. Slightly oily texture.
Assessment: There is nothing like a good rye bourbon, although there are relatively few of them that really hit the mark with me. This is one of them, it will probably put me on a rye kick for the next few months. There is a touch of sweetness and a weighty body to this one that really serves to elevate the earthiness of the rye in this beauty. The sweetness is balanced nicely by the heat spice resulting from the cask strength of the spirit. After a glass or two of this I think a little more oakiness would round it out nicely. I’ll have to see if I can find a 7 year aged bottle.
This bottle is well worth the cost at a price point of around $60. I recommend, because of the limited nature of this offering, that you buy two bottles.
Willett Small Batch Rye Whiskey (4 years) is a very good offering. The only thing holding it back from being exceptional is a few more years in the barrel. 91 Points
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