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Willett Straight Rye Whiskey


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I just got a few bottles in and I must say I am impressed for such a young rye..

As for color I find it a bit darker than I expected. The nose is spice, honey, oak, ginger and a real sweetness. Very attractive with little of the proof coming forward.

As for the palate this is a very sweet rye... lots of honey, gingerbread and a rum/raisin ice cream kind of flavor. The mint is there but to my palate it is very reserved unlike the Bulliet Rye which was like mouth wash. No bitterness and surprisingly the heat while there is not a distraction. Decent complexity, good balance and what is most unusual, a nice long finish. I still can't get over the sweetness of this rye.... and I am a sucker for sweetness. Helping the length is the fact that it has a very creamy and coating mouth feel. To me this shows far better than a 3YO, possibly due to the proof. The best of the Willett 3YO rye's so far. This will make a kick ass Manhattan or Sazerac....

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I just got a few bottles in and I must say I am impressed for such a young rye..

As for color I find it a bit darker than I expected. The nose is spice, honey, oak, ginger and a real sweetness. Very attractive with little of the proof coming forward.

As for the palate this is a very sweet rye... lots of honey, gingerbread and a rum/raisin ice cream kind of flavor. The mint is there but to my palate it is very reserved unlike the Bulliet Rye which was like mouth wash. No bitterness and surprisingly the heat while there is not a distraction. Decent complexity, good balance and what is most unusual, a nice long finish. I still can't get over the sweetness of this rye.... and I am a sucker for sweetness. Helping the length is the fact that it has a very creamy and coating mouth feel. To me this shows far better than a 3YO, possibly due to the proof. The best of the Willett 3YO rye's so far. This will make a kick ass Manhattan or Sazerac....

Nice notes, picking up my two today from UPS!

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Nice notes, picking up my two today from UPS!

Kevin, I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on this rye....

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This has probably been covered but whose juice is this? LDI?

Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana, LLC

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They have a trade spec sheet floating around that lists the mashbill as 95% Rye, 5% Barley, so there is no doubt that it's LDI.

But hey, that's none of my f--kin' business.:cool:

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It's the Willett Estate label, 2yr(although some are now 3yr) LDI distilled, cask strength Rye. I've had the 108.2, the 110, and the 115.2. All are quite good, and taste shockingly complete for 2yr old Rye. Lots of Wintergreen and ginger.

If that's the cask strength after 2-3 years, LDI isn't barreling it at the high end of the proof scale. That's excellent. I wonder if it comes out of the doubler at a commensurately lower proof?

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  • 1 month later...

I Went to K&L yesterday, and found they had just gotten a big shipment of the 3 year, 109.6 proof Willet Rye in....and for $35 + tax, I had to give it a run....

Got home, and WOW, what amazing product for such a young rye. After having it, I actually grabbed a bottle of my Saz 18 out to compare, and amazingly, the Willett shows quite well next to the Saz. I love how creamy the mouthfeel of the Willett is, and it's got a great balance with almost no residual heat....baking chocolate, all spice and a touch of mint/coriander.....just delicious.

It's apparently a super small run, only 240 bottles, and I think I may need to head back to K&L manana and sneak 2 more bottles into my stash. :)

Well done, LDI, well done.

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  • 1 month later...

As mentioned in another post my take home of the day yesterday was a bottle of Willett Rye, 4yr, 110proof.

I was pretty excited to see the store get it in, and I've been on a bit of a rye kick lately, so that wax was broken open pretty fast last night.

Color was fairly dark for what i would consider a young product. But a good start.

Like most, I let it sit for some time after the pour. In this case, I actually didn't et around to it till about 30 minutes later. Which was a good thing, revisiting it today with a small taste, there is huge initial alcohol waft to it, not surprising considering the proof. So the extra time in the open air really gave it a chance to settle down and tame itself out.

Nice sweetness, this especially came out towards the end of the glass, But then i had bee nursing the ~2oz pour for nearly a hour. It really got better the longer it had been.

Has a bit of a astringency to it that I find interesting, making my mouth water after it. But in a good way. Loads of spice, and a bit of heat. Can really taste a bit tannins and damp oak in the finish, which lingers nicely for me.

More complex than Bulleit, and much more flavorful than Jefferson's Rye, I consider this a good buy. Nice on it's own, and should mix up wonderfully in some cocktails.

My recommendation, buy it, I think it's one of the better younger ryes on the marker, and possibly better than some older than it.

B

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As mentioned in another post my take home of the day yesterday was a bottle of Willett Rye, 4yr, 110proof.

I was pretty excited to see the store get it in, and I've been on a bit of a rye kick lately, so that wax was broken open pretty fast last night.

Color was fairly dark for what i would consider a young product. But a good start.

Like most, I let it sit for some time after the pour. In this case, I actually didn't et around to it till about 30 minutes later. Which was a good thing, revisiting it today with a small taste, there is huge initial alcohol waft to it, not surprising considering the proof. So the extra time in the open air really gave it a chance to settle down and tame itself out.

Nice sweetness, this especially came out towards the end of the glass, But then i had bee nursing the ~2oz pour for nearly a hour. It really got better the longer it had been.

Has a bit of a astringency to it that I find interesting, making my mouth water after it. But in a good way. Loads of spice, and a bit of heat. Can really taste a bit tannins and damp oak in the finish, which lingers nicely for me.

More complex than Bulleit, and much more flavorful than Jefferson's Rye, I consider this a good buy. Nice on it's own, and should mix up wonderfully in some cocktails.

My recommendation, buy it, I think it's one of the better younger ryes on the marker, and possibly better than some older than it.

B

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I completely agree with your comparisons. Of all the LDI Ryes that I've had, and I've had most, the Willett may be my favorite.

And everyone's notes seem to agree that it tastes older than it is, myself included. I have to assume that's due to the proof.

Thanks, nice to know that I'm not completely off base. :grin:

I was going to knock down the proof on a couple of glasses to see what effect it had, my guess it will "youth" it up a bit.

It certainly is interesting to taste and see that age is not completely everything. I think this is a really good example of how a younger product can be surprisingly "mature".......

B

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After a couple nights with the Willett, it's really growing on me!

Last two nights, and soon to be tonight also, I've knocked it down between 80 and 90 proof with some water. Very pleasantly surprised.

Unlike some other products where I've done this too to help open up or knock down the bite a bit, I've at time been let down in the results. Flavor too weak, one dimensional taste, or a taste profile that just doesn't live up to to the regular strength.

This was nothing like those past let downs.

The rough edges smoothed over, the flavor, if anything was almost better, without the additional proof bite, it allowed the flavor and aroma to really bloom. Wonderfully mouth coating thickness, and a great lingering finish.

Mellow is the word that just sticks in my mind, it was so just well behaved and well polished that it was one of the better bottles that I've had open in awhile.

Glad i picked up two more the other day

B

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After a couple nights with the Willett, it's really growing on me!

Last two nights, and soon to be tonight also, I've knocked it down between 80 and 90 proof with some water. Very pleasantly surprised.

Unlike some other products where I've done this too to help open up or knock down the bite a bit, I've at time been let down in the results. Flavor too weak, one dimensional taste, or a taste profile that just doesn't live up to to the regular strength.

This was nothing like those past let downs.

The rough edges smoothed over, the flavor, if anything was almost better, without the additional proof bite, it allowed the flavor and aroma to really bloom. Wonderfully mouth coating thickness, and a great lingering finish.

Mellow is the word that just sticks in my mind, it was so just well behaved and well polished that it was one of the better bottles that I've had open in awhile.

Glad i picked up two more the other day

B

While I rarely make mixed drinks(Most of my whiskey is consumed neat, or with certain cask releases a bit of water), I used Willett Rye in a "perfect" Manhattan, due to many people stating that Rye works better than Bourbon in mixers. The Bourbons I used against it were OGD BIB, and WT101. The Rye was the better drink, hands down.

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  • 3 months later...

I saw this as a 5 year old at local store now. Is this normal that they would just continue to send out the same juice with more age every year at the same price? It's still $30.

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One of my local liquor guys recommended the 4 year old and it is awesome. Very sweet and not super minty or thin. Bulleit Rye: thin mint.

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Can't agree more with you both. It is a outstanding product as it stands, but made even better by the price.

Would you mind sending me a PM on where you saw it, It would be something I'd be interested in trying.

Thanks

B

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I saw this as a 5 year old at local store now. Is this normal that they would just continue to send out the same juice with more age every year at the same price? It's still $30.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Old Lamplighter
Note: 5 year is 110 proof, for certain.

Anybody out there gotten a bottle of this yet? I have seen it online but cannot figure out if source is KY or somewhere else, IN? Hoping it is like a few others and was born in KY. In other words, not LDI....if, we can ever know for sure I suppose...lol:rolleyes:

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Anybody out there gotten a bottle of this yet? I have seen it online but cannot figure out if source is KY or somewhere else, IN? Hoping it is like a few others and was born in KY. In other words, not LDI....if, we can ever know for sure I suppose...lol:rolleyes:

It's LDI. Back of bottle states, 'distilled in Indiana.'

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