Willett Family Estate Small Batch 4YR Rye
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It’s no secret that some whiskies don’t make it to our shelves. Customers will come in regularly asking for hard-to-find bottles, and the best we can do is take their name and give them a call if we manage to find it. Willett Family Estate Four Year Rye has always been one of those bottles.
This week, we received a larger than usual allocation from our distributor, so for the first time we’re able to offer this incredible bottle to our full email list. Not only that, but as a thank you for being a Waterford customer, we’re offering it at the best price we have in years.
The Willett family has called Kentucky home since 1792, the year it attained statehood. John David Willett began making whiskey in the mid 19th century. He was one-third owner and Master Distiller at Moore, Willett & Frenke Distillery, he was also the Master Distiller at four other distilleries in Kentucky.
John David’s grandson, Thompson Willett founded the Willett Distillery on the Family Farm in Bardstown, KY in 1936, 3 short years after the repeal of Prohibition.
Over the following decades, Willett began making their mark with releases like the classic Old Bardstown and their Boutique Bourbon Collection, including Noah’s Mill.
Then, in 2008 Willett took the whiskey world by storm with the release of their Family Estate Bourbon and Rye. This whiskey was sourced from outside the distillery, and immediately started commanding steep prices on the secondary market.
Flash forward to 2017, and the first Willett Four Year Rye that came off the distillery’s own pot still was released. Not only had Willett proven that their own juice could live up to what they had been sourcing, but many believed they had surpassed that lauded initial release.
Each batch is individually proofed at cask strength, and the current releases are around 110%. If you haven’t had the chance to taste Willett Rye before, here are the notes from Bill Thomas of Jack Rose Saloon, owner of one of the foremost whiskey collections in the world:
Nose- Beautiful layering of brandied cherry over a mildly tart cherry. It opens up with time and is reminiscent of cutting into your dessert with your fork which releases cinnamon and baking spices with just a hint of oak to remind you that this is high proof youthful.
Palette- A robust rye with dark cherry, burnt vanilla, and spices for days. It's a delicious rye with a weighty mouthfeel.
Balance - It's insanely well balanced with the alcohol so perfectly integrated you'll forget its there, but you'll find yourself smiling more and happier with each dram.
Finish- the finish is long and the spices dominate this batch, while the cherry does punch its way through to the surface.
We couldn’t have said it much better than Bill. Hopefully you’ll be able to snag a bottle or two (or more) before this allocation dries up.