Personally I didn't see enough difference between the Willet 4 and 7 to warrant buying a bottle of the 7. The 12 is a totally different story! I tried to find a bottle but couldn't. I'll call around and maybe locate one on my next trip to Kentucky.
To me, the Mariage burst with chocolate on the nose along with a hint of berries. The chocolate exploded on the pallet and remained through the finish. The finish was long and the chocolate got more bitter the longer it was in my mouth. An excellent dessert bourbon. Deeper reflection brought out a hint of mint. I had some with some 85% cocoa chocolate. WOW!
Just the way it hit my weird taste buds.
For me, the 12 is the best of the bunch. Just the right balance of maturity and oak.
"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."
Some of the 4's definitely fiery but not the East Bay one, they picked good!
I would accept that our selection was good and I would also accept that it was a bit fiery. In contrast, I thought Doug/Toddy's 4yo of last year was more well rounded. If I had to choose one to represent a balance of the good qualities of bourbon, I would recommend Doug's 4yo over ours. Ours was chosen because we thought it was an unusual and excitingly spicy specimen - what Ken called "bourbon on steroids."