View Full Version : Willett Family Reserve 22yo Single Barrel

10-20-2006, 07:06
This is the bottling that KBD did for Doug and his buyers group. As posted elsewhere, the package is impressive including the coat of arms on the front label. It's a straight Kentucky rye whiskey, 136.7 proof and aged 22 years.

In the glass (or bottle), it is extremely dark. I wanted to compare color to other extra aged whiskey, but have no similar aged whiskies at this proof. On the nose its rye spice but not the wood I was expecting from a whiskey this old. This first impression follows through on the tongue....rye spice on steroids, not too much wood.....and very balanced. No angular musty or earthy tastes at all....just rich rye flavors from start to finish. Its a keeper. The closest thing it resembles to me is the Old Time Rye 12 that Julian sold years ago......but this one is richer and cleaner tasting.


10-21-2006, 06:33
Sounds like a real winner.

10-21-2006, 08:54
Wooo Hoooo:grin: :grin: :grin:

I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on this:cool:

Winter break just can't come soon enough:smiley_acbt:

10-23-2006, 19:26
I got my bottles today. I opened the package and a tear came to my eye. Just a beautiful bottle. I don't know why, but that white wax is just perfect. I can't wait to crack one open.

10-25-2006, 05:50
I felt up to the challenge of the 3 rye shootout with Hirsch 21, 93 proof, Rittenhouse 21, 100 proof (bottle 76 barrel 3) and Dougdogs' Willett 22, 136.7 proof (bottle 148 barrel 618). Someone has to do the dirty work. :rolleyes: After using the C-PAF on the Willett to bring the proof to 100, I rated the ryes in four categories.

Unfortunately I cannot discern the nuances in flavor and taste that other esteemed members of this board can do so just rated those best (1) to least best (3). I let them all breath in the glass for about 10 minutes as I admired the gorgeous hue of the whiskeys.

Looking at my scorecard you can see that all had that wonderful reddish-brown, mahogany color. They all looked beautiful in the glass. In all the other categories the Rittenhouse and Willett were head and shoulders, same as the bottles in fact, above the Hirsch. The Willett and Rittenhouse had aroma and flavors that just overshadowed the Hirsch. The finish on the Willett and Rittenhouse were just tremendous, tingling all of the pleasure centers in my nose and throat. They were both superb. Same pedigree perhaps?

Later I went back to smell the glasses. Both the Willett and the Rittenhouse still had that wonderful bouquet left in the glass, the Hirsch, not so much. I found myself going back to those glasses periodically all afternoon and reliving the bliss of the shootout.

Overall, they are all keepers I would just like to keep more of the Rittenhouse and Willett.


10-25-2006, 07:21
I felt up to the challenge of the 3 rye shootout with Hirsch 21, 93 proof, Rittenhouse 21, 100 proof (bottle 76 barrel 3) and Dougdogs' Willett 22, 136.7 proof (bottle 148 barrel 618).


Thanks for posting your tasting notes. I like the chart. I think we can call that picture "rye porn". :)


10-25-2006, 10:49
While I am not able to do a complete 3 rye shoot out here yet, I can tell you the 21 yo Hirsch rye was a disappointment to me. I revisited it last night and while good, I'd rather have a pour of Saz Jr, Saz 18, or Ritt BIB anytime. As for the Willett's and Ritt 21, we'll see if I can manage to get all 3 together. It's looking more hopeful on the Rittenhouse 21 front anyway.

Man, I forgot to add, I really do think the labeling on the Willett's is the coolest I've ever seen, great pictures!

11-17-2006, 13:02
Oh. My. God. Just got my delivery about 5 minutes ago. And it's in the glass. And it's great. Sandlewood, mace, nutmeg, almost a violet thing. Lots of old-old cognac character. Spectacular, and nowhere close to showing its 68.35% abv. Bravo!

11-17-2006, 15:38
Took me more like 30 minutes, Jake -- I wanted a picture of the intact bottle, et al.
Anyway, 'busiest' American whiskey I've ever had, in a very positive way. Nose, palate, finish -- all just chock-full of evolving flavors: fresh oak, orange muscat, caramel, leather, tobacco, blueberries, flower garden (I thought violets, too!), rye grain. Just on and on.
First-rate experience.

Postscript: I just added a piece of Ghirardelli dark chocolate. Lovely pairing.

11-21-2006, 08:25
Congratulation's to this wonderful bottle of Rye!!:toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: on being named one of Malt Advocate's Top Ten New Whiskie's for 2006.

This is the description from this weeks Whisky Notes #467--

Willett Family Reserve Single Barrel Rye 22 year old, 68.3% ($175)
A great Rye whisky from beginning to end. The palate is clean, the flavors are deep, the spices are well-defined, and it is not one bit tired or woody at 22 years old.

They do great work at the West Coast Study Group. Thanks for this great rye Doug!!!!:bowdown: :bowdown: