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View Full Version : Willett Pot Still - How come we never discuss it?



humchan2k
01-02-2013, 18:22
After all, it's got the coolest bottle ever...and it's won some tasty awards. Got one for Christmas, but haven't opened it yet....last bottle I had was 2+ years ago and I remember it being pretty solid. Does anyone dig this? Is it like Noah's Mill and other stuff where it's decent, but not something you'd buy yourself? Help! :)

HighInTheMtns
01-02-2013, 18:26
I have always passed on it because I don't want to pay for that ridiculous bottle ;)

Clavius
01-02-2013, 18:30
Sure the bottle is cool and the juice inside is alright... but at $37.99 here I pass on it regularly.

smokinjoe
01-02-2013, 18:30
I agree the "crazy bong bottle" is cool ( I wish I could remember who coined that phrase...one of the best). The family size model is absolutely hilariously absurd, BTW. For me, like most KBD whiskies, the QPR just doesn't justify repeat purchases. I will buy another, but only to "keep" the bottle this time. :D

WAINWRIGHT
01-02-2013, 18:33
It's not in my suited profile as I find it very nutty and buttery,not a pour I would turn my nose up at but never on my radar either.YMMV

MyOldKyDram
01-02-2013, 18:34
Bought it once. Drank it. Hated pouring from that bottle, but I did keep it.

squire
01-02-2013, 18:42
It's a very attractive, classy bottle containing NPP whisky. To call it Pot Still is misleading because the Distilleries that could have made the whisky do not use Pot Stills. It may have been run through a doubler (sometimes called a pot still by those who wish to create an 'image' for their whisky, Michter's also did that) but the majors all use a column still for the heavy lifting.

An exception would be Woodford of course but I do not believe they have sufficient excess production to be selling off surplus on the spot market.

Whether the bottle and label are worth a premium price is up to you. I wouldn't.

Lazer
01-02-2013, 18:50
Because the producer is a dirty fraud. Its a delicious bourbon in an awesome bottle. But KBD have been pissing Chuck off for 20 years so if he doesn't like them then we don't like them. Plus, look at what they did with Noah's Mill. It was a great bourbon with a 14yr age statement and then in went NAS and started using younger bourbon and totally ruined it.

Any non-disstiller producer, if they are buying bulk aged whiskey, then they are buying a finite amount. Once its gone, its gone. Look at Bourye. The second version had a new name, son of bourye, because there was no more bourye. So when is the current potstill going to run out and they're going to put something else in the same bottle and tell you its the same, but you know it isn't?

matthewdc
01-02-2013, 18:56
I had it at a restaurant once and thought it was OK. Some definite sweet notes--certainly drinkable but not very complex. Then when I was at a local store and inquired about it, the clerk had only mediocre praise and suggested spending $10 extra to get the Willet 8 YO, which he said was much better.

At its price point, seems like one is paying more for the "neat" bottle then the contents... but Hey! you got it as a Christmas gift so ENJOY!

fricky
01-03-2013, 04:29
Because the producer is a dirty fraud. Its a delicious bourbon in an awesome bottle. But KBD have been pissing Chuck off for 20 years so if he doesn't like them then we don't like them. Plus, look at what they did with Noah's Mill. It was a great bourbon with a 14yr age statement and then in went NAS and started using younger bourbon and totally ruined it.

Any non-disstiller producer, if they are buying bulk aged whiskey, then they are buying a finite amount. Once its gone, its gone. Look at Bourye. The second version had a new name, son of bourye, because there was no more bourye. So when is the current potstill going to run out and they're going to put something else in the same bottle and tell you its the same, but you know it isn't?

Calling KBD a "dirty fraud" is rdiculous and libelous. Who cares if Chuck doesn't like them? I have had great bourbon and rye under the Willett label. I don't have to know where a whiskey is distilled to like it.

wadewood
01-03-2013, 06:31
KBD's honey barrels all seem to be going into Willett SB bottles. As far as Willett Pot Still bottle, to me it's $12 worth of bourbon in a really fancy bottle that sells for $38. I'll pass.

sailor22
01-03-2013, 06:52
A 1.75 (really really big ugly bottle vs a smaller ugly bottle) at Costco sells for $55 in this market. That seems like a fair price.

Haven't had any in a year or so but I seem to recall it being soft, drinkable and a little uninspiring.
Not a bad pour at this price point but the bottle is such an abomination I can't bring myself to buy any. Bottles with huge wide bottoms, Birthday Bourbon also comes to mind, take up excessive space when stored and are clumsy to pour. In the case of the WPS 1.75 seem really fragile also, it would definitely require decanting into different bottles.

AaronWF
01-03-2013, 07:13
I recall it as tasting pretty generic, which is unacceptable at its price point. And of course, it's the bottle that's in the shape of a pot still, not the juice that has been pot-stilled. Like Wade alluded to, KBD puts their better barrels into their Willet Family Estate label, and you get them at CS and unchillfiltered; much more bang for the buck. I find their other labels these days like Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, Johnny Drum, to have muddled profiles.

Plus, who has room for a bong in their liquor cabinet?

VAGentleman
01-03-2013, 07:31
I actually like this bourbon and think its a good pour to have every now and then. Not too complex but quite tasty. Plus the bottle looks really cool sitting on my bar.

Lazer
01-03-2013, 07:40
Calling KBD a "dirty fraud" is rdiculous and libelous. Who cares if Chuck doesn't like them? I have had great bourbon and rye under the Willett label. I don't have to know where a whiskey is distilled to like it.
First of all they are frauds. The D in KBD stands for distillers, and they never distilled anything that they've sold. That's called fraud.

Second, I agree with everything else you said, my point is that you can't rely on them to be consistent. If I had a bottle of their whiskey three years ago, how can I expect a bottle with the same label to taste the same now? Its a roll of the dice with them that's all.

Lazer
01-03-2013, 07:42
Plus, who has room for a bong in their liquor cabinet?

You have to make a special shelf for these and the OFBB's.

HighHorse
01-03-2013, 08:09
Because the producer is a dirty fraud. Its a delicious bourbon in an awesome bottle. But KBD have been pissing Chuck off for 20 years so if he doesn't like them then we don't like them. Plus, look at what they did with Noah's Mill. It was a great bourbon with a 14yr age statement and then in went NAS and started using younger bourbon and totally ruined it.

Any non-disstiller producer, if they are buying bulk aged whiskey, then they are buying a finite amount. Once its gone, its gone. Look at Bourye. The second version had a new name, son of bourye, because there was no more bourye. So when is the current potstill going to run out and they're going to put something else in the same bottle and tell you its the same, but you know it isn't?

I'm having a bit of a hard time ingesting the "dirty fraud" lead in your post. Even though you come back and restate your belief that KBD is just that. At least you say that it's a delicious bourbon in an awesome bottle. I've found Drew, his dad & family to be nothing but honest, straight forward brokers of damn fine bourbon and rye that they nurture in their warehouses and offer up for folks to come and take their pick from. I .. and I suspect you .. have had many fine Willett offerings although I rarely, if ever, buy blind. Regardless of how and why and where their barrels come from .. there are some damn fine bourbons on those ricks. I have climbed through them and tasted a few out-of-the-park home runs. Those that don't hit that "honey barrel" bell go into blends and come to us as Pure Kentucky, Noah's Mill, etc., etc. As someone who knows the Kulsveens and KBD very well once told me .. "When you find a bottle of theirs that is great .. go buy as much as you can because the next batch may be different!" That's simply how it works and it doesn't mean that they slapped you in the face when one batch differs from another.
The Pot Still Bottle is a marketing gimmick .. surely you know that. It's neat on a bar .. and guests gravitate to it immediately. Not a damn thing wrong with that.
Bottom line .. your petty point about the D in KBD aside .. they, like High West, Jefferson, and others are artisans who have provided us with some tasty treats and will likely continue to do so ... with or without your or Chuck's seal of approval.

I also doubt that Chuck would take claim to being the final word on what we do or do not drink. So I'm going to assume you're just stirring the pot (still) for the sake of stirring.

The fraud business is wrong ... it's just wrong.

squire
01-03-2013, 08:16
Oh I'm not knocking the whisky fricky, Heaven Hill makes a good product. HH also sells it at a good price so I see no reason to pay extra to someone else.

Brisko
01-03-2013, 08:33
Ignoring the pointless "fraud" part of the conversation, I've always shied away from the WPS. Only because my experience with a lot of the other KBD labels is that they have been far more woody and dry than I like. The exception is perhaps the various Willett bottlings. I don't know if WPS is that way or not, and for the price I'm not that interested in finding out, plus I lack the shelf space for that ugly-ass bottle.

Does anyone want to speculate, does Drew like his bourbons well-oaked, or is that just what the distillers are selling him?

squire
01-03-2013, 09:45
Oh I don't think there's fraud in the full legal sense, at least I'm confident if I were defending we would beat the rap. A distiller who knowingly promotes column stilled whisky as Pot stilled (with it's connotations of small, hand crafted, higher grade product made to a higher standard) is extremely misleading though.

However, brand embellishment seems to have crept in as a permanent part of Bourbon lore. For instance:

A company started in 1935 implies it's flagship brand is a product of Kentucky's first distiller and claims an heritage dating back to 1783.

Another claims to make it exactly the same as they have since 1795, using the same yeast.

Jack Daniels tastes exactly the same today as the original whisky.

We invented wheat whisky by experiment with bread recipes.

George Dickel went running around the banks of Cascade Creek with net in hand to capture a special yeast.

Cabin Still brand prominently displays a pot still on the label when in fact it's made in a column still.

Al Capone preferred our white likker over the finest Champagnes, Cognacs and Whiskys in the World.

Michter's, well, I won't even bother.

Point is these patently untrue, misleading and sometimes downright silly claims are so widespread to start pointing fingers one could grow dizzy turning in circle. Maybe it's a holdover from the old days when advertizing was limited to a print medium where even the bottle labels served as billboards and the customers were not as sophisticated as today.

Perhaps we should draw back the curtain, tell the Wizard to go home, concentrate on what's in the bottle and refuse to pay more than it's worth.

Kalessin
01-03-2013, 12:30
Perhaps we should draw back the curtain, tell the Wizard to go home, concentrate on what's in the bottle and refuse to pay more than it's worth.

As a certain class of whiskey drinkers, we may try to do so, but if you start looking "behind the curtain" at marketing... customers (in the large aggregate) WANT the puffery, the lore, the image that marketing puts on the product without caring much how true it is.

squire
01-03-2013, 12:44
I recon so Kalessin, Jack Daniels is the World's largest selling whisky.

JB64
01-03-2013, 12:47
I have received a bottle of the WPS for Christmas each of the past two years. I have yet to open either bottle, not sure why just always seem to reach for something else. I think I might crack one open tonight and give it try. Count me as one who likes the look of the bottle.

squire
01-03-2013, 12:50
Have one for me Jim, and let me know what you think.

BourbonJoe
01-03-2013, 13:10
I'm having a bit of a hard time ingesting the "dirty fraud" lead in your post. Even though you come back and restate your belief that KBD is just that. At least you say that it's a delicious bourbon in an awesome bottle. I've found Drew, his dad & family to be nothing but honest, straight forward brokers of damn fine bourbon and rye that they nurture in their warehouses and offer up for folks to come and take their pick from. I .. and I suspect you .. have had many fine Willett offerings although I rarely, if ever, buy blind. Regardless of how and why and where their barrels come from .. there are some damn fine bourbons on those ricks. I have climbed through them and tasted a few out-of-the-park home runs. Those that don't hit that "honey barrel" bell go into blends and come to us as Pure Kentucky, Noah's Mill, etc., etc. As someone who knows the Kulsveens and KBD very well once told me .. "When you find a bottle of theirs that is great .. go buy as much as you can because the next batch may be different!" That's simply how it works and it doesn't mean that they slapped you in the face when one batch differs from another.
The Pot Still Bottle is a marketing gimmick .. surely you know that. It's neat on a bar .. and guests gravitate to it immediately. Not a damn thing wrong with that.
Bottom line .. your petty point about the D in KBD aside .. they, like High West, Jefferson, and others are artisans who have provided us with some tasty treats and will likely continue to do so ... with or without your or Chuck's seal of approval.

I also doubt that Chuck would take claim to being the final word on what we do or do not drink. So I'm going to assume you're just stirring the pot (still) for the sake of stirring.

The fraud business is wrong ... it's just wrong.

I'm in total agreement John.
Joe :usflag:

White Dog
01-03-2013, 16:29
Because the producer is a dirty fraud. Its a delicious bourbon in an awesome bottle. But KBD have been pissing Chuck off for 20 years so if he doesn't like them then we don't like them. Plus, look at what they did with Noah's Mill. It was a great bourbon with a 14yr age statement and then in went NAS and started using younger bourbon and totally ruined it.

Any non-disstiller producer, if they are buying bulk aged whiskey, then they are buying a finite amount. Once its gone, its gone. Look at Bourye. The second version had a new name, son of bourye, because there was no more bourye. So when is the current potstill going to run out and they're going to put something else in the same bottle and tell you its the same, but you know it isn't?

I wasn't aware that being a member of SB meant allegiance to Cowdery.:skep:

Also, They didn't choose to drop the age statements. The Bourbon Boom caused that, just as it caused the loss of Weller age statements.

Phil T
01-03-2013, 16:39
I had my first taste of this Monday evening. Its not bad. But at its price point, there lots of stuff better, that can be had for quite a bit cheaper. YMMV

wadewood
01-03-2013, 18:02
Also, They didn't choose to drop the age statements. The Bourbon Boom caused that, just as it caused the loss of Weller age statements.

Of course they choose it. They made a business decision to drop the age statement. Sure the bourbon boom was an underlying cause, but they don't get a free pass from me on this.

White Dog
01-03-2013, 18:16
Of course they choose it. They made a business decision to drop the age statement. Sure the bourbon boom was an underlying cause, but they don't get a free pass from me on this.

Technically yes, and I was gonna put quotation marks on the word choose. My point was that if they could still bottle Noah's as a 15yr at the same price and profitability, I think they would. Also, if they still had 18yr old Bernheim Wheater, they'd still be doing the Vintage 17 Bourbon. The simple fact is that there isn't any excess old Bourbon laying around. If we can't get EC18, we sure as hell can't get Noah's 15.

White Dog
01-03-2013, 18:24
Also, the Willett Pot is fine, but I would not spend my own money on it. And the name that they use on this product does annoy the shit out of me. Column stills produce the best Whiskeys in the world. F--king embrace that fact!

Lazer
01-03-2013, 18:43
I've found Drew, his dad & family to be nothing but honest, straight forward brokers of damn fine bourbon and rye.... "When you find a bottle of theirs that is great .. go buy as much as you can because the next batch may be different!" That's simply how it works and it doesn't mean that they slapped you in the face when one batch differs from another.
The fraud business is wrong ... it's just wrong.

I'm not saying that there needs to be an investigation by a federal agency or anything like that. I'm just saying in terms of the way they market their products they make you think that they have a distillery and they are making the bourbon in your bottle just like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. That is the way they are selling themselves. You said it yourself they are BROKERS not distillers. There's nothing wrong with that except for when you hide it from the customers. Why? because of your next point. If you find something good from them that's all there is to it, you can't expect it to be the same whiskey next time you go buy the same bottle with the same label. And yes, if Heaven Hill is inconsistent we know that this is just the laws of nature, like baking a cake it isn't going to be perfect every time, but with buying and selling bulk whiskey it is BY DESIGN inconsistent. Hence, the slap in the face.

I'm sure Drew and his family are nice people and like I said, I'm not calling for any type of prosecution or litigation, I just mean "dirty fraud" in an informal sense. Like everybody in politics is a dirty liar. :cool:

White Dog
01-03-2013, 19:19
I'm not saying that there needs to be an investigation by a federal agency or anything like that. I'm just saying in terms of the way they market their products they make you think that they have a distillery and they are making the bourbon in your bottle just like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. That is the way they are selling themselves. You said it yourself they are BROKERS not distillers. There's nothing wrong with that except for when you hide it from the customers. Why? because of your next point. If you find something good from them that's all there is to it, you can't expect it to be the same whiskey next time you go buy the same bottle with the same label. And yes, if Heaven Hill is inconsistent we know that this is just the laws of nature, like baking a cake it isn't going to be perfect every time, but with buying and selling bulk whiskey it is BY DESIGN inconsistent. Hence, the slap in the face.

I'm sure Drew and his family are nice people and like I said, I'm not calling for any type of prosecution or litigation, I just mean "dirty fraud" in an informal sense. Like everybody in politics is a dirty liar. :cool:

Are you aware that they went live again at the start of 2012, and that they are using a pot still? Obviously, this has nothing to do with what they've been bottling, nor with the bottlings we're discussing, but I do think it's awesome that an old Kentucky Distillery has actually went live, after so many having gone silent.

http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/03/30/willetts-making-whiskey-again/

squire
01-03-2013, 20:29
A modified pot/column still which I understand Drew used because they couldn't get a coupling to work going to the primary column still. Are they distilling on a regular basis now?

White Dog
01-03-2013, 20:50
I don't live there, but as far as I've read they're distilling on a regular basis. Can anyone confirm or deny based on real evidence?

tmckenzie
01-04-2013, 03:26
I was down there last April and they where running the column and pot. Nice folks and the white dog off the column was nice stuff, and some being doubled in the pot still, which is a true doubling was nice stuff as well. That should be good bourbon in a few years.

VAGentleman
01-04-2013, 04:17
I was there in October and they were distilling also. So sounds like they are doing it on a regular basis

Dolph Lundgren
01-04-2013, 05:50
I was down there last April and they where running the column and pot. Nice folks and the white dog off the column was nice stuff, and some being doubled in the pot still, which is a true doubling was nice stuff as well. That should be good bourbon in a few years.


I can second that. And the stuff coming off of the still was really good (for distillate). I was down there in November and they had been distilling for around a year, since the begining of 2012 and around the same time the "craft trail" came about. When I was there, they had a rye whiskey (around 74% rye, I think) fermenting in their 4 fermentation tanks. Overall, it was a very intimate and wonderful tour experience. Plus, the have some amazing stuff in their gift shop (the wife got me the 25 year old rye for my bday!).

As far as WPS, I think it is ok. I haven't purchased one but I've been gifted a few. On the flip side, I love the family reserve stuff and buy it whenever I see a bottle; its always a suprise and rarely bad. I think this (now) distillery is the farthest thing from a fraud, echoing what was previously said.

squire
01-04-2013, 07:08
You would know good stuff Tom, thanks for the comments.

BradleyC
01-04-2013, 07:12
I'm not saying that there needs to be an investigation by a federal agency or anything like that. I'm just saying in terms of the way they market their products they make you think that they have a distillery and they are making the bourbon in your bottle just like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.

Have you ever heard of Old Rip Van Winkle distillery?????

squire
01-04-2013, 07:17
Sure have, located in downtown OZ, if I remember correctly.

BradleyC
01-04-2013, 07:34
Sure have, located in downtown OZ, if I remember correctly.

Yep. Right in the middle of town on Main Street. They really did pick a nice location.

Lazer
01-04-2013, 08:10
Have you ever heard of Old Rip Van Winkle distillery?????
Have you ever heard of Signatory?

In Scotland there's a lot more truth in labeling. Every bottle of single-malt tells you the truth where its made whether its a distillery bottling or an independent bottler like Signatory. Can't say the same for U.S. bottlers. In the U.S. everything is one big grey area. When it comes to KBD its a little more grey than others, that's all. If you don't think that's on some level a fraud you are either being dishonest yourself or ignorant. :cool:

BradleyC
01-04-2013, 09:08
The real ignorance of this conversation is calling American Whiskey NDPs frauds. There are very good reasons they don't disclose their sources and I'm sure they have no interest in catering to overly entitled consumers anyhow. If you don't like, don't buy it. Calling them frauds is not necessary or appropriate.

MyOldKyDram
01-04-2013, 09:23
Wanting to know where something was made makes one overly entitled? Okay then.

ChainWhip
01-04-2013, 09:33
For the Scottish example, it's only "mostly" true for Single Malts. You'll likely not know (or at least its difficult to find out) what the source is in blends and there are examples of Single Malts where the source is not revealed (e.g. Ellenstown, Port Askaig, etc.,)

Personally, I'd like to see sources for North American whiskey follow Tequila's lead where the NOM is clearly stated on the bottle.

callmeox
01-04-2013, 09:37
I skip the pedestrian KBD expressions due to Drew's "F U for asking" response to theories about their barrel sources here on SB. There are many respectable and respected producers of fine American whiskey and I choose to spend my money on their products instead.

I will purchase an Estate bottling if a friend or trusted retailer has selected the barrel since they are one-offs by their nature but I won't support their business otherwise.

squire
01-04-2013, 09:54
While it's true Scottish Independent Merchants disclose the name of the distillery on the label of high end Single Malts that's usually not the case for the lower price brands. McCelland's for example does not disclose the source of it's Highland Single Malt (Glen Gariogh at one time but they reserve the right to use any) but they sell it for $22.95 a bottle. When the price gets up into the premium range however the distillery is disclosed.

When an American NDP offers me a brand costing as much as, say, BT 2012 LE SmB, I believe it's reasonable for me to ask who made the whisky.

HighHorse
01-04-2013, 10:06
The real ignorance of this conversation is calling American Whiskey NDPs frauds. ... Calling them frauds is not necessary or appropriate.

Amen & period. It's totally unnecessary and, frankly, offensive to those who appreciate what they (KBD) do and the spirits they deliver. It's also moot, as has been pointed out, since they are, indeed an active distiller. Not being satisfied with that .. Lazer has to include me and anyone else who felt it inappropriate to be "dishonest .. or ignorant". WTF?

I think the WPS bourbon is fine. I think the bottle is neat and it does become a topic of conversation .. invariably .. as it sits atop the shelf holding my collection.

My post was meant only to object to the besmirching of the KBD name by blatantly calling them dirty frauds. I'm sure my opinion is colored by the fact that I like and respect the KBD family and I enjoy many of their offerings. Peace and out.

Gillman
01-04-2013, 10:18
I too would prefer to know where something is distilled but at the same time, a product can acquire a "house" characteristic in the hands of a NDP because of the way it selects and/or further ages it or possibly mingles it. A good example is Pure Kentucky XO which IMO for many years has had a very specific character, kind of a combination of old and newer tastes, that I've never found elsewhere, so I would buy that and it used to be quite inexpensive (not sure of the price right now), so that was an off-set to a degree for not knowing who distilled it. Same thing e.g., with Van Winkle rye, for a long time it wasn't clear where it was from although it finally come out I think, but I relied on the brand as a guarantee of quality and it was and remains so to this day.

Looking at the known-source side (distillery offerings), sometimes with these, it might have been contracted elsewhere at least as white dog - this is known to have happened.

HH used for a time Beam and B-F distilling plant when its own still had burned down for example so some of its product for a time wasn't from the old DSP 33 or entirely from there. Finally HH bought new Bernheim and makes great bourbon there (distills it I mean), so another variable is added as often occurs in the distilling business. Even where you are pretty sure of source - Maker's has always been made I believe in Loretto for example - bourbon can change in taste over time and IMO Maker's does not taste quite like it did 30 years ago. Age statements have changed for many brands, which can affect taste right there.

Finally, if we look back far enough, distillers originally did not typically age their product, they sold it to people who did so off-site or later on their site perhaps, but the point being the role of middlemen and NDPs was critical to the development of the American whiskey industry.

So I kind of view it in this broader sense and at the end of the day can enjoy what is in the bottle without needing to know where it originated.

Gary

squire
01-04-2013, 10:19
Not fraudulent? Probably not legally, but when any producer of NPP whisky intentionally makes a material misrepresentation of fact for their own monetary gain what do you call it . . . fibbing?

Dolph Lundgren
01-04-2013, 11:30
Not fraudulent? Probably not legally, but when any producer of NPP whisky intentionally makes a material misrepresentation of fact for their own monetary gain what do you call it . . . fibbing?

Just that: a misrepresentation. Technically, it'd be a fraud if they lied on the bottle and said they distilled it. But they don't lie. Instead they use suggestive advertising to make you 'think' they distilled it.

Its kind of like what you see today with law schools and career reporting statistics; schools report 98% of students are employed 9 months after graduation, but what they dont report is that half of them are employed as cashiers at Walmart.

While I'm a big fan of Willett's releases (primarily the family reserve stuff), I'm def not a fan of misrepresentations (looking at you, Templeton). But when it comes to whiskey, especially with the interwebs, smartphones, and all that jazz, does it really matter? If you care to find out, it's easy info to obtain. And if you're just some schlub grabbing a bottle off of the shelf because it looks pretty, do you really think they care whether or not it's Willett juice? Prob not.

squire
01-04-2013, 11:55
Okay, I'm down with misrepresentation. Whatever term we choose the practice is smack in the middle of that grey area between falsehood and truth. Unfortunately, it's also widespread throughout the industry.

You would think they could at least come up with something funny.

JB64
01-04-2013, 13:10
Have one for me Jim, and let me know what you think.

I cracked it open last night and had a couple of pours. I thought it tasted OK, a little on the thin side, reminded me a lot of EWB. I will admit I would have been disapointed with the bourbon if had payed for the bottle. I still think the bottle looks good on my bar.

Max Power
01-04-2013, 13:36
Calling KBD a "dirty fraud" is rdiculous and libelous. Who cares if Chuck doesn't like them? I have had great bourbon and rye under the Willett label. I don't have to know where a whiskey is distilled to like it.

Amen, brother. :grin:

Max Power
01-04-2013, 13:45
For the Scottish example, it's only "mostly" true for Single Malts. You'll likely not know (or at least its difficult to find out) what the source is in blends and there are examples of Single Malts where the source is not revealed (e.g. Ellenstown, Port Askaig, etc.,)

Personally, I'd like to see sources for North American whiskey follow Tequila's lead where the NOM is clearly stated on the bottle.

It's strange that some of the most stringent standards for spirit bottling is in Mexico, but the NOM practice would be useful. However, the NOM only tells you so much because the source of the agave plant itself used by each brand can vary widely...as can many other aspects. The NOM basically gives you the address and likely the equipment and water.

ChainWhip
01-04-2013, 14:02
/rambling on

Off the top of my head, I think Bruichladdich will tell you where they sourced their barley for some of their malt (Organic or Provenance bottlings I think).

The vast majority of bourbon/rye/scotch grain sources aren't well documented to the average consumer. For Agave (in contrast with grains/cereals), I have this impression that terroir for the plants is an important factor (like grapes for wine). With corn, you start thinking about GMO versus non and my head starts spinning.

;-)

Back to the point though, there are indeed a lot of factors to consider but IMO the distillery information should be the very BASIC piece of data to have.

/rambling off

Edit: forgot to mention that Agave farm relationships with NOM is probably very different from grain sources' relationship to Bourbon/Rye distilleries.

Josh
01-04-2013, 17:08
It's like Deja Vu all over again. :deadhorse:

There are some of us who base our opinions of KBD's ownership on Drew's posts in the Whiskey Trails thread. I reserve the right to hold my opinion of him based on that and not on nice tours people have gotten at KBD.

I am glad they are finally distilling. It at least puts that whole "they don't even distill anything" business to rest.

To the point that many of made that "the only truth is what's in the bottle", the sad truth is that most of what KBD puts in the bottle is crap. The only bourbon I have ever purchased that actually got WORSE every time I drank it was the last bottle of Kentucky Vintage I bought. Bleck.

But that's just my opinion.

MyOldKyDram
01-04-2013, 17:16
*searches Whiskey Trails*

Still a fan of Vintage Bourbon and Rye, plus their Etate bottlings. But look forward to sitting back with something non KBD and reading this.

BFerguson
01-04-2013, 17:27
I cracked it open last night and had a couple of pours. I thought it tasted OK, a little on the thin side, reminded me a lot of EWB. I will admit I would have been disapointed with the bourbon if had payed for the bottle. I still think the bottle looks good on my bar.

That's going to be one of the problems with it, not that other lines don't suffer from the same issue, but the variances may be larger with a non distiller.

I've purchased and consumed just one of these. It was bought some time ago, maybe around the time when it first came to market.

Anyway, it was a fairly thick pour, great mouthfeel, almost creamy. It had the makings of something great, but the flavor killed it for me. It was a little too scotch like for me, I know that vague, and I'm not a huge drinking of things from across the pond, but that it what immediately came to mind. I tried to like it, but just couldn't. I'm sure somebody else would have loved it, but it just wasn't for me,

Stranger yet, I've cracked a bottle of GD Barrel Select recently. Has the exact same taste as the Willett.

So who knows what is in there.......

B

darylld911
01-04-2013, 19:02
Back on topic . . . I like Willett Pot Still well enough, but don't buy it because I think it is overpriced. I do plan on buying one bottle - mainly for the bottle.

I guess I've had better luck with their products. Johnny Drum Private Stock to me is damn fine bourbon for the money. I've had a couple bottles, and while I didn't do a true side by side comparison - the second didn't disappoint and was very similar to the first (and they were bought more than a year apart; in fact in different states). I never had Noah's Mill with an age statement, but like the current version pretty well (albeit a bit overpriced IMHO). It has a unique sort of mustiness, which some might find objectionable (as some find the peaty/medicinal qualities of Laphroaig objectionable), but from time to time I crave that "different" profile. Some of the best rye whiskey I've tried has been in Willett estate bottlings.

I wasn't on the board when apparently Drew irked various folks, but when I've met him and different members of the family - I found them to be fairly open and honest. During a tasting, Hunter went through to give us the number of barrels they used in different labels with approximate ages and mashbills (along the line of "This has 3-5 high rye barrels in the 7-9 year range, with 10-12 younger . . .") Every distillery has a different take on how much info they show. Four Roses is very transparent, while others won't disclose their mashbills. When I'm tasting a dram - I find the amount of information I have on the mashbill (or where it was distilled, where it was aged, etc) doesn't factor into my enjoyment of the spirit. Sight, smell, taste - that's where the rubber meets the road in my book :-)

Josh
01-04-2013, 19:11
Back on topic . . .

How dare you!

Mods, please delete Gary's on topic post.

BradleyC
01-04-2013, 19:28
Wanting to know where something was made makes one overly entitled? Okay then.

no. simply wanting to know does not make you over entitled. calling someone a fraud because they dont give you the answer you demand when they are contractually bound not to disclose is different.

squire
01-04-2013, 19:36
Bradley I believe the only paper involved is a bill of sale.

BradleyC
01-04-2013, 19:44
Bradley I believe the only paper involved is a bill of sale.

I have no proof but have heard otherwise. I've also heard that none of the majors are in the bulk whiskey marketplace. As Chuck says, "they don't sell bulk whiskey until they do." (please correct that quote if I got it wrong. I didn't look it up first so I"m sure I did mess it up)

BradleyC
01-04-2013, 19:51
Bradley I believe the only paper involved is a bill of sale.

How about this? A paper bill of sale and gentleman's agreement to keep your mouth shut?

ChainWhip
01-04-2013, 20:04
I like the bottle but it takes up too much room. It's an "ok" whiskey but I'd rather drink the other bottles in my cabinet - there's just so much other better whiskey out there.

squire
01-04-2013, 20:31
That's my issue Bradley, it's all hearsay, which makes interesting cocktail conversation but is dispositive of nothing. My reasoning is since the Shipiras started up Heaven Hill in 1935 they made a name in the industry for bulk whisky sales. They would sell it new, they would age it for the customer in their warehouses, bottle it when the customer was ready, use custom labels, etc., a ready when your want it service and certainly no secret. In fact today in States that allow grocery store liquor sales the house brands for Kroger, Albertsons and others are Heaven Hill products and it's no secret. Even smaller entities, I knew a fellow who owned a small liquor store in the Georgetown area of DC who sold his own house brand of Bourbon, which he claimed, was made especially for him by this little distillery in Kentucky. It was obvious, an HH standard bottle, DSP, address, all on the back label. The only thing custom about it was the label which did identify his store as the brand. It also sold for a couple of dollars more than the identical HH whisky on the shelf close to it. When I politely queried the owner he smiled, sorta winked and implied that it was a special deal that only a few people could get and It was a long standing relationship, which it probably was. My point is HH did this for one store which shows how involved they are/were in the we'll make it for you business.

With that history and open exposure as supplier to National chain stores why would HH single out little old KBD for a one off contract essentially saying 'shuss, don't tell anybody we sold you this, it's a secret'. Only KBD benefits from such subterfuge.

sailor22
01-05-2013, 06:07
I know, lets talk about something we haven't covered before.........Know where I can get some Van Winkey?

Restaurant man
01-05-2013, 06:40
I know, lets talk about something we haven't covered before.........Know where I can get some Van Winkey?

Actually, I heard they were putting the lost barrels into WPSR.

Halifax
01-05-2013, 12:10
I've rolled some fine women over the years. I knew next to nothing about them or their past. Didn't give a shit... It was great ass.

My name is Rod. I like GREAT bourbon. I don't give a flying flip where it comes from.

Josh
01-05-2013, 12:55
I've rolled some fine women over the years. I knew next to nothing about them or their past. Didn't give a shit... It was great ass.

My name is Rod. I like GREAT bourbon. I don't give a flying flip where it comes from.

Thanks for that insight into your life, Rod.

squire
01-05-2013, 13:11
I'm sure the ladies appreciated your fine sensibilities.

MyOldKyDram
01-05-2013, 14:28
Wondering if the Old Tub avatar refers to a bourbon or female conquest...

smokinjoe
01-05-2013, 14:37
Yo! Diceman!!! :lol:

Lazer
01-05-2013, 19:34
All the guy asked was why we don't discuss willet potstill and I think we have our answer now. :grin:

Halifax
01-06-2013, 13:13
Just trying to add some fun to an otherwise tireless conversation boys. I'll never buy another bottle of WPS, but there is some damn fine bourbon that comes out of Willett. You can chose to accept it for what it is, and enjoy great bourbon in the process. Or you can bitch and moan and pull out all of the excuses not to. Hey... There's plenty of Jim Beam on the shelf last time I looked.

callmeox
01-06-2013, 13:33
Just trying to add some fun to an otherwise tireless conversation boys. I'll never buy another bottle of WPS, but there is some damn fine bourbon that comes out of Willett. You can chose to accept it for what it is, and enjoy great bourbon in the process. Or you can bitch and moan and pull out all of the excuses not to. Hey... There's plenty of Jim Beam on the shelf last time I looked.

Tireless to some, but the OP asked a question and got a number of different answers. Had folks ignored the question, been disingenuous with their answers or linked back to earlier threads the boo birds would have complained about members being unfriendly.

Participation in threads is voluntary with no posting quota here.

Halifax
01-06-2013, 13:49
...Participation in threads is voluntary with no posting quota here.

Glad I was of help then. Cheers...

Gillman
01-07-2013, 08:46
Okay I will answer the actual question and it deserves of course a straight response. (At the same time, thread drift is inevitable because one thing leads to another and it would be wrong IMO to foreclose discussion because someone sees a different aspect to the question, relevant to him, that the first poster didn't think of perhaps).

I drank it at a barbeque party, it was a lunch at that BBQ shack outside of Bardstown, not too far from Cliff's place I believe. I think Chuck had organised it and a pleasant interlude it was.

I thought the whiskey was very ordinary, and never had it again.

Gary

tmckenzie
01-07-2013, 17:20
I have never had any, on account of the price, I am a thrifty Scot to the core. But give KBD some time and I think we will see some fine stuff out of there better than what they bring in to bottle.

CaptainQ
01-07-2013, 21:27
But give KBD some time and I think we will see some fine stuff out of there better than what they bring in to bottle.

How much time? Will they let us have bourbon in the nursing home?!

squire
01-07-2013, 23:35
Fortunately, I don't have to wait.

deathevocation
04-21-2013, 00:39
Bought a bottle this weekend and it's not bad at all. Price is pretty high, though all bourbon is priced too high in Australia.

Richnimrod
04-23-2013, 14:07
I don't hate the bottle as much also some apparently do. It is a bit pretentious, but hey I don't mind 'em trying to be different and to stand out on a retailer's shelf. The problem with the bottle becomes apparent when it gets home and you try to find a place for it.
As to the juice; I agree with the majority opinion, I guess. It's allright and I'd keep it around, if I could buy it for half the dough. I find it a bit too dry, and kinda 'crisp' which isn't right in my preference center. I'll reach for mine (still on my first bottle) once in a great while when I want a cleaner pour. Usually I grab something a bit woodier, and even a little 'musty' (nod to Darryld). I don't see me ever buying it again. Once I empty the darn bottle, I'll have to decide what, if anything, to put in it. Since I paid half of the purchase price for the it, it's hard to just toss it.

squire
04-23-2013, 14:33
Which is why I refuse to pay extra for packaging, be it bottle or box.

doubleblank
04-23-2013, 14:43
Fancy packaging on bourbon reminds me of my first encounter with the "Wonder Bra"...........WTF?

darylld911
04-23-2013, 15:55
Since buying my first in February, I'm putting a dent in it mostly as an effort to empty it - although I'm also not sure what to put in its place. Pouring from the bottle can be a bit of a pain (as it wants to "glug" if you aren't pouring really slowly). Otherwise, I'd use it for SB blend so it has some utility besides just being purty. Maybe one of those colored sand things? I'll be glad to have it out of the cabinet though as its wide base takes up disproportionate space (same thing with OFBB, although some years that has been a total bargain for the money!)

WAINWRIGHT
04-23-2013, 17:09
I personally have never really found anything to like about any of the total package.I find it nutty and buttery and not really in a good way,overpriced with a lot of other offerings in this bracket and the pot still/toilet plunger bottle is unattractive and a royal pain in the ass.I have enjoyed a lot of the other Willett offerings,but this one never has fit the bill for me.

Danger
04-23-2013, 17:14
To call it Pot Still is misleading because the Distilleries that could have made the whisky do not use Pot Stills.
No comment on the acerbic KBD hating, but I was disappointed that my 'pot still' bourbon had never seen the inside of a pot still, and I did feel mislead. But, hey, it had a great rich buttery mouthfeel and some nice flavors. I was happy to drink it. It was hard to pour out of the bottle, but come on, that's just too picky.

squire
04-23-2013, 17:43
To call my words 'acerbic' and 'hating' is making a comment.

Grain Belt
04-23-2013, 19:24
No comment on the acerbic KBD hating, but I was disappointed that my 'pot still' bourbon had never seen the inside of a pot still, and I did feel mislead. But, hey, it had a great rich buttery mouthfeel and some nice flavors. I was happy to drink it. It was hard to pour out of the bottle, but come on, that's just too picky.

I call BS. I had a bottle as a gift and my first pour shot about 3 ounces across my counter. Was I drinking previously? Yes. Would a pour of OGD 100 have shot onto my counter even if I was .12. Hell no. :). That being said I have had much better in the price range and bottles don't mean squat to me.

tanstaafl2
04-24-2013, 07:09
I was disappointed that my 'pot still' bourbon had never seen the inside of a pot still, and I did feel mislead.

As far as I know we don't know with certainty where this comes from as is the case with a lot (all?) of the KBD products. But don't some major distillers use what is essentially a pot still as a doubler? I know FR does. So it could well have seen the inside of a pot still!

squire
04-24-2013, 08:01
Not really, the doubler serves a different function and is working with distillate that came out of a column still. The only major producer using a genuine pot still is Woodford and I believe all of their production goes into their own bottles.

tanstaafl2
04-24-2013, 09:46
Not really, the doubler serves a different function and is working with distillate that came out of a column still. The only major producer using a genuine pot still is Woodford and I believe all of their production goes into their own bottles.

Well, the doubler at FR at least kinda looks like a pot still!

15221

squire
04-24-2013, 10:12
Of course it does, my point is it's purpose is to increase proof and the distillers who use them do not call their product pot stilled.

tanstaafl2
04-24-2013, 10:33
Of course it does, my point is it's purpose is to increase proof and the distillers who use them do not call their product pot stilled.


Yes, I know what a doubler is. But it is basically a pot still and so my apparently failed attempt at a humorous point was that the whiskey going through it has seen the "inside" of a pot still which was my moderately tongue in cheek response to a previous posters comment about the Willet never seeing the inside of a pot still.


I was disappointed that my 'pot still' bourbon had never seen the inside of a pot still.

macdeffe
04-24-2013, 10:55
I visited Willet in the summer of 2012. The distillery was up and running. Here is a couple of photos of their "doubler" :-)

I tasted the newmake, it was a fine spirit in my opinion. I am a big fan of the Willet single barrels and we just got an importer in Denmark, importing a range of KBD and Willet products. I had the pleasure of servicing their stand at the recent danish whisky fair, and the danish importer also asked me to host a bourbon tasting with Willet/KBD products. Worst thing is that its hard to find info on their bottlings. They do a lot of single barrels and small batches. The Willet Pot Still is also single barrel. Some of their vattings are supposed to be a mix of mash bills

Steffen

1522215223

JB64
04-24-2013, 15:23
I have tried Willett Pot Still bourbon and while I thought the whiskey tasted OK it is in my opinion not worth the price being charged, cool looking bottle or not. I remember a few years ago Maxim magazine had a ranking of the top bourbons and Willett Pot Still was on the list. Also on the list was Hudson baby bourbon along side GTS and PVW20. When it comes to putting a list of hot babes together Maxim does a good job, when listing great bourbons, not so much.

brettckeen
04-24-2013, 16:46
I enjoy this product from time to time when I'm in the mood. The pric epoint wasn't too high for me not to buy a bottle to make pours from. Do I drink it every day? No. Do I know the origins of the juice in the bottle no? Do I like the juice? Yes Do I tend to prefer the Single Barrel Estate bottlings? Yes

I don't understand all the hatred. I find them to be really nice people who have always delivered products that I have enjoyed.... from Johnny Drum to all the other expressions they have put out. I can't wait for their distillates to mature because of all the raving about the white dogs.

Wryguy
04-24-2013, 16:55
I enjoy this product from time to time when I'm in the mood. The pric epoint wasn't too high for me not to buy a bottle to make pours from. Do I drink it every day? No. Do I know the origins of the juice in the bottle no? Do I like the juice? Yes Do I tend to prefer the Single Barrel Estate bottlings? Yes

I don't understand all the hatred. I find them to be really nice people who have always delivered products that I have enjoyed.... from Johnny Drum to all the other expressions they have put out. I can't wait for their distillates to mature because of all the raving about the white dogs.

Here, here. I've been underwhelmed by the NAS Noah's Mill and Rowan's Creek, but overall I enjoy their products and I'm looking forward to mature expressions of their own distillate. Pretty much the best rectifiers in the game, have been for years IMO.

dohidied
06-25-2013, 13:52
What can I vat this shit with to get rid of it? Pure banana bourbon. If I were given this blind, I would have called it Jack Daniel's. I would thank the fact that it was a present, but it was a present from my wife out of our joint bank account.

squire
06-25-2013, 13:57
Vanilla Coke . . . . . . . . . ?

theglobalguy
06-25-2013, 14:01
Bourbon float maybe, vanilla ice cream?

Lost Pollito
06-25-2013, 14:02
Bourbon float sounds fantastic. You could keep it around for visitors that usually drink Jack.

Merkin
06-25-2013, 14:19
How about ghost peppers? I've never tried it, but it sounds like an interesting experiment.

camduncan
06-25-2013, 15:46
What can I vat this shit with to get rid of it?

Would you keep it as a mixer for guests? They're likely to appreciate you pouring their drink from such a unique bottle.

callmeox
06-25-2013, 16:01
Would you keep it as a mixer for guests? They're likely to appreciate you pouring their drink from such a unique bottle.

...the first time.

:D

mbroo5880i
06-25-2013, 17:05
...the first time.

:D

:lol: I have never had it but if it tastes horrid, I would try to mix it with something that has a bite. Maybe OGD 114. Just so that you don't junk good stuff with bad. The other option would be to add it to a summer time type mixer.

sutton
06-25-2013, 17:19
I'll second the Bourbon float - root beer and vanilla ice cream probably go pretty nice with a banana bomb.

squire
06-25-2013, 18:33
Yeah, I change my vote to Root Beer float.

dohidied
06-26-2013, 01:23
Fantastic ideas. Thanks guys!

PaulO
06-26-2013, 06:49
Trade it to some one that wants to make a bong. The contents are incidental.

Restaurant man
06-26-2013, 22:11
:lol: I have never had it but if it tastes horrid, I would try to mix it with something that has a bite. Maybe OGD 114. Just so that you don't junk good stuff with bad. The other option would be to add it to a summer time type mixer.

I wouldn't mix that crap with whiskey man, lemonade maybe. But not whiskey

P&MLiquorsEric
06-27-2013, 08:06
Its not bad stuff. A bit of piling on happening right now. Since it is a single barrel, variations will happen.

Wryguy
06-27-2013, 08:39
Yeah not the greatest stuff, but definitely not the unredeemable swill that people try to pass it off as either. It's a silly f@ckin bottle that is a pain to have around, but IMO the profile reminds somewhat of ER10 SB, and I've had similarly variable experiences with both ranging from very good to forgettable, but clearly YMMV.

HighHorse
06-27-2013, 20:59
I guess I'm the odd man out here. I like the bourbon (damn drinkable IMO) .. The bottle (always a conversation starter on my shelf) .. And I'm an admirer of the Kulsveen family business out Loretto Rd.

Can this many bourbon guys really think this juice is shit or, IS it piling on? Wouldn't be the first time here. Apparently there's some history folks can't put behind them.

Someday maybe.

Restaurant man
06-27-2013, 21:40
Ok so the "pot still reserve" is one of the most embellished marketing ploys I've seen. It's not a bottle that I'm gonna buy. I'm sure that I buy stuff others wouldn't buy. I do like how KBD operates in that they put a workhorse brand out there to pay for the interesting single barrels that have some very high points. That's probably how I would do it if I had the chance.

PaulO
06-28-2013, 07:02
I believe others have brought this up before. Probably the reason enthusiasts tend to be dismissive about this brand is that it is named "Pot Still' and the contents of the bottle do not come from a pot still. :shocked:

dohidied
06-30-2013, 08:44
Haha, my wording was a bit harsh the other day. Sorry about that, I should never post while in a bad mood. Definitely a bottle from the dessert end of the spectrum. A nice flavor when I'm in the mood for it. :)

bearmark
06-30-2013, 08:50
Friday, a guy told me this was better than any of the regular Weller's. He highly recommended it as one of the best affordable wheated bourbons. What's the complaint about this bourbon here (contents, not bottle)?

Old Dusty
06-30-2013, 08:57
Friday, a guy told me this was better than any of the regular Weller's. He highly recommended it as one of the best affordable wheated bourbons. What's the complaint about this bourbon here (contents, not bottle)?
I have no complaint about what's in the bottle, but it's not a wheater. So either you misunderstood or your advisor was mistaken.

bearmark
06-30-2013, 09:01
I have no complaint about what's in the bottle, but it's not a wheater. So either you misunderstood or your advisor was mistaken.

Interesting. I'll follow up with him to confirm next Friday. I can get a 1.75l for $54, which sounds great if its good.

squire
06-30-2013, 09:56
Oh, it's not bad (KBD buys some good whisky), just over priced. I suggest you taste before you buy, perhaps the friend who recommend the brand could offer a pour.

MauiSon
07-01-2013, 12:40
I'd be a buyer at that price ($38+/750 here). However, my wife is more interested in this one than I - and she really doesn't drink.