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  1. #1
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    BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    This month we're not looking so much at a single bourbon, but rather a wide range of single barrel bourbons, each as distinct as the people who select them. I'm talking of course about the Willett line of Single Barrel Bourbon bottlings. This idea, conceived by the Kulsveens at Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, allows groups and individuals the opportunity to purchase the contents of one or more barrels and have them bottled privately using the Willett name. While the concept of private barrel selection and sales is nothing new, many on this site have participated in such a venture, Willett is the first brand known to be dedicated solely to this purpose. Right now I'm enjoying a pour of 16yo, 135.2 proof from Barrel number 3705, Distilled on 11/18/1991, selected by our friend Dave Gonano. Caramel, Leather, vanilla and oak characterize this lovely bourbon whiskey. Thanks again Dave!

    So share with the board your favorite bottling of Willett Family Reserve!

    Sound off
    Last edited by jeff; 03-05-2009 at 15:43.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  2. #2
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    I'm taken by the newest Willett offerings. I've only had the Willett 7yr from Toddy's and just got my shipment of the 16 yr (mine's only 122 proof), but the difference brings up a question. I noticed the 16yr came with white wax. I was under the mistaken impression that they used the white wax for rye bottlings. Is there any rhyme or reason to their bottling proceedures?
    By the way... I am a huge fan of the 7yr. At $40/ bottle I think it is one of the best buys on the market.
    I'm still waiting to try the 12 yr. Maybe I'll make it down to "Bourbon" to try the whole lineup in a "flight" to really do a fair tasting comparison.
    Bourbon is sunshine held together by water....

  3. #3
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    This month we're not looking so much at a single bourbon, but rather a wide range of single barrel bourbons, each as distinct as the people who select them. I'm talking of course about the Willett line of Single Barrel Bourbon bottlings. This idea, conceived by the Kulsveens at Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, allows groups and individuals the opportunity to purchase the contents of one or more barrels and have them bottled privately using the Willett name. While the concept of private barrel selection and sales is nothing new, many on this site have participated in such a venture, Willett is the first brand known to be dedicated solely to this purpose. Right now I'm enjoying a pour of 16yo, 135.2 proof from Barrel number 3705, Distilled on 11/18/1991, selected by our friend Dave Gonano. Caramel, Leather, vanilla and oak characterize this lovely bourbon whiskey. Thanks again Dave!

    So share with the board your favorite bottling of Willett Family Reserve!

    Sound off
    Jeff,

    Just saw Dave today and discussed that very bottling. He was kind enough to share it a couple weeks ago and it's really fantastic.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  4. #4
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by WsmataU View Post
    I'm taken by the newest Willett offerings. I've only had the Willett 7yr from Toddy's and just got my shipment of the 16 yr (mine's only 122 proof), but the difference brings up a question. I noticed the 16yr came with white wax. I was under the mistaken impression that they used the white wax for rye bottlings. Is there any rhyme or reason to their bottling proceedures?
    By the way... I am a huge fan of the 7yr. At $40/ bottle I think it is one of the best buys on the market.
    I'm still waiting to try the 12 yr. Maybe I'll make it down to "Bourbon" to try the whole lineup in a "flight" to really do a fair tasting comparison.
    My understanding is the wax color is a personal choice and not decided by KBD.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  5. #5
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    I will take more than 16 characters to say, "Greg is right."
    Jake Parrott
    Ledroit Brands, LLC

  6. #6
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    I cracked open one of mine tonight March '92 barrel 7789 122.2 proof.
    This has a really long burn. I mean really long. Not overwhealming like GTS, in fact I was a little suprized that it didn't burn more, but it just kept going
    I'll admit that I am a relative novice, so you'll forgive my amateur tasting notes.
    It is very sweet on first taste. A lot of caramel/toffee overtones. As it opens up it, those flavors tend to settle back into brown sugar. There may be a hint of clove in the background or maybe cinnimon, but the brown sugar flavor dominates. I also had a slight cherry scent as an afterthought.
    I'll stash one of these fo a long hold in the bunker. I like it!
    Bourbon is sunshine held together by water....

  7. #7
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    My favorite is the 12 yo sold by The Party Source last year.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  8. #8
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    I had a bottle of the 7 year a couple of months back. Not bad but not too remarkable of the ~$40 it cost. I don't remember where it was from or any lot info. Definatly sounds like I need to find a bottle of the 16 YO
    "I'm and optimist, even if the glass is half empty, there's still more in the bottle!!!!!"

  9. #9
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    Not to pick an argument, but I'd like to discuss how Willett comes across these barrells. It is my understanding that they are only a label and not a distiller, so in theory the same bourbon is sitting under a different label on a different part of the shelf.

    Help a naive newb through this!
    Bourbon is sunshine held together by water....

  10. #10
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    Re: BOTM 3/09: Willett Single Barrel

    "Willett" is a brand owned by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd., an independent bottler of bourbon based in Bardstown, KY. KBD blends and bottles several brands for themselves (including Johnny Drum, Old Bardstown, Pure Kentucky, Noah's Mill, and Rowan's Creek) and others.

    KBD offers the cream-colored Willett label to distributors and retailers who wish to bottle single barrels from KBD's stock (which is acquired via contracts with bourbon distillers) by themselves. Most of these bottlings are done uncut and un-chillfiltered, although my company (Ledroit Brands, a Washington, DC-based wholesaler) does do an occasional young barrel at 94 proof, primarily for on-premise purposes. Ledroit also markets KBD's brands in DC.

    Each Willett bottling is unique and reflects the tastes and strategy of the entity selecting the particular barrel. All of the cask-strength bottlings that my company does are given a silly name (which is printed in the "Selected For" line on the back label), which helps us keep the bottlings straight more easily than using a barrel number. To my knowledge, most other entities that buy barrels do not use such a mnemonic approach, but I don't know for sure.
    Jake Parrott
    Ledroit Brands, LLC

 

 

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