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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Willett Week Two: 7 year old rye, barrel 56

On Monday, I reviewed a powerful scrumptious MGP-distilled Willett rye. It was 6 years old. Today, it's a 7 year old. And, it's my bottle!

I brought it along to the recent whiskey tasting that I've referenced a few times on this blog. From what I gathered no one there had ever tried something like this before. It elicited lots of Whoas. No one hated it. But I gathered that it was more respected than loved.

BottlerKentucky Bourbon Distillers (also known as Willett Distilling Company)
Brand: Willett
Range: Family Estate Single Barrel (WFE)
Type: Straight Rye Whiskey
Age7 years
MaturationNew American Oak
RegionBardstown, Kentucky (Distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana)
Barrel: 56
Alcohol by Volume57.2%
(From my bottle)

The nose has a layer of orange, cherry and lime hard candies. Some bubblegum too. But it also has a dirty, salty, candle wax layer which reminds me, oddly, of Clynelish. Some ham. After a while it flashes moments of cherry blossoms (I'm an asshole for that one). While those nose notes are often quite quiet, the palate is much louder. Tart citrus, mint and tart cherries. Mellower spirit action than in the 6yo. A mild bitterness. A medicinal note and seaweed saltiness. Citrus and cherries in the finish too, though it's never sweet. A little bitter and tart. More rye spirit. Grows saltier with time.

Fascinating. Its sniffer was silent for almost ten minutes, and didn't really open up for nearly a half hour. I wasn't worried about oxidation because I sealed off samples as soon as I'd opened the bottle. Meanwhile the palate was just as rockin' as any MGP rye. Then there are all the (good, but weird) coastal single malt Scotch notes. They're not the whole show, in fact they're sort of tertiary. But they're there. The finish was very solid and the palate never tumbles into sweetness or oakiness. It's very good overall, but no match for the 6yo.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86