Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Rye…. Aged in hand selected white oak barrels for 25 years. Hand bottled from barrel number 1770 at 50% alcohol. This is a Rare Release from the Willett Distillery. Willett had been distilling on their own for only a few years, so this is not one of theirs, but purchased and bottled by them. I had a friend recently visit the distillery and bring a bottle back for me. I am almost embarrassed to admit the cost of this bottle, but getting a 25yr Rye is almost impossible. The gift shop price was a little more than $300, and I’m happy to have this as part of my whiskey cabinet.
The color is very very dark for a whiskey, like an iced tea.
The nose is of smoldering fireplace, Drakes Coffee Cake, hot cinnamon buns, portabello mushroom burgers, Tootsie Rolls and burnt orange peals. The burn on the nose is minimal.
The burn is stronger than expected given the nose, but very enjoyable on the throat… The mouthfeel is excellent with solid wood tannins and a touch of wood oils as well. The finish is long and enjoyable. All the flavors on the nose are also present on the tongue. Each sip is followed by minutes of enjoyment.
So, this is a pretty awesome whiskey. But is it worth the money? No. This is the type of whiskey that is best to try at a generous friends house as opposed to buying yourself. I still have 9/10ths of a bottle left though. I plan on enjoying it slowly over a couple years and keeping it on the very top shelf so friends don’t accidentally help themselves. 94/100.
Bonus: I will send a sample of the Willett to the first person who correctly identifies exactly what I am watching on the TV in the background.