Review #425 – Willett Family Estate 5yr Single Barrel Gift Shop Rye
Review #425 | /r/Bourbon Review #241 – Willett Family Estate 5yr Single Barrel Rye (Gift Shop Release)
The Schtick: Willett is the hot thing on the block these days. They’ve been sourcing whiskey and releasing it with no provenance since what feels like the beginning of time. But, when we last left our here…they were making their own rye distillate. I’ve tried the 2 and 3yr, missed the 4yr (boooo) but I was blessed with a sample of the 5yr from a recent swap. /u/airsabu offered to send me some Russell’s samples for the next (and last) phase of the Gobble Wobble (coming soon, just waiting on some stragglers) and he tossed this in with those samples. Thanks, bud!
ABV: 54.6% ABV
Age: 5 Years
Source: r/scotchswap sample
Nose: Clove, cinnamon, coffee cake. Some young new make notes, but not a lot. Lots of caramel. Really nice rye bite.
Taste: Rich, oily, lots of maple here. Sweet caramel, vanilla and clove. There’s a surprising oak presence that adds some nice depth. There is a little heat, here, though. Cinnamon makes an appearance pairing well with brown sugar and some more maple.
Finish: Medium and a smidge hot, but nothing unforgivable. Really seems to be a lot of oak here as well as woody tannis. Lots of maple and brown sugar are still present to balance though which makes it surprisingly complex despite its youth.
Overall: This is really quite good and I’m more than pleased with their distillate and how it is holding up so far. I’m not someone who is really picky about age on rye since I love THH and that is only 6 years old but the 2 and 3 year ryes from Willett were very youthful. This has definitely crossed the threshold into satisfactory aging, and now I’ll be looking to see how it reacts to further maturation and also to when it appears to be growing over oaked.
Thanks for reading!
1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite
10 | Insurpassable | No better exists