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Kyjd75

Thoughts on Willett ryes

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Kyjd75

I was at Willett a couple of days ago and saw two interesting ryes in their gift shop. One was a Vintage 23 year old and the other a Willett FE 25 year old. Price was $229 for the 23 and $249 for the 25. Almost embarrassed to admit I was tempted but wanted some other opinions first. Anyone have any experience with either of these ryes?

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luther.r
I was at Willett a couple of days ago and saw two interesting ryes in their gift shop. One was a Vintage 23 year old and the other a Willett FE 25 year old. Price was $229 for the 23 and $249 for the 25. Almost embarrassed to admit I was tempted but wanted some other opinions first. Anyone have any experience with either of these ryes?

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c2walker
There are lots of reviews around of the Vintage 23, but it came out 4 or 5 years ago, so I assume what they have in the gift shop now is a new bottling that's not necessarily the same.

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tanstaafl2
I heard that they got some back from a distributor and just marked up the price. If true, that would suggest that it is the same V23 that was released a few years ago.

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michaelturtle1

I paid $54.99 for my V21s and have seen V23s for $74.99. That being said there are probably few left in stores

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ChainWhip
I paid $54.99 for my V21s and have seen V23s for $74.99. That being said there are probably few left in stores

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tanstaafl2
I paid $54.99 for my V21s and have seen V23s for $74.99. That being said there are probably few left in stores

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GaryT

I bought a 25 yr WFER last year for that price, and it is pretty bad. I was very disappointed - WAY over-oaked. Taste like char infused char. I'm experimenting with mixing it with some younger ryes in the hopes it will be drinkable.

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c2walker
What did V21 and V23 originally go for? I have never seen one on the shelf and wouldn't know what a "reasonable" price was. I suspect that $200 plus doesn't qualify as a good price though!

Same for Hirsch ryes. Only one I have seen was a Hirsch 25 rye at $233 and that didn't generate much interest either.

Like Mike, I have seen VR21 as low as the high $50s, but most bottles of VR21 and 23 that i have come across have been between $80-100.

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c2walker
I bought a 25 yr WFER last year for that price, and it is pretty bad. I was very disappointed - WAY over-oaked. Taste like char infused char. I'm experimenting with mixing it with some younger ryes in the hopes it will be drinkable.

I thought the same thing when I first tried a friends bottle. 6 months later he pulled it out again and I felt very differently. Either it had mellowed out or my palate was simply ready for it that night. Either way I enjoyed it immensely and the bottle was polished off.

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MyOldKyDram

The V21 I've found was just under $70. At that price I'd buy every one I saw without hesitation. And while I'd love, love, love to have more of it I'm just not in the market at 2 bills.

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GaryT
I thought the same thing when I first tried a friends bottle. 6 months later he pulled it out again and I felt very differently. Either it had mellowed out or my palate was simply ready for it that night. Either way I enjoyed it immensely and the bottle was polished off.

Thanks for sharing that - maybe I'll let it sit a while longer.

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MauiSon

More pricing data - I know of a bottle of VR21 sitting on the shelf @$110 and VR23 for something north of that, maybe $130.

Edited by MauiSon

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squire

I know a place where I can get a case of Barton 1.75s for $92.00 before tax.

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sutton
I know a place where I can get a case of Barton 1.75s for $92.00 before tax.

Makes me want to move to Mississippi ...

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wildrnesxperienc

I too was tempted by those ryes at the gift shop but just couldn't bite at those ridiculous prices. Then after reading some reviews it almost makes me mad that they would charge that much for whiskey that's less than great. Come on Willett!

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P&MLiquorsEric

All the gift shops inflate prices. They do not want to step on the toes of local retailers.

And those tourists come in with fatter wallets than your average liquor store customer. They see a high price and think its the best stuff. Tourist tax if you will.

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theglobalguy
All the gift shops inflate prices. They do not want to step on the toes of local retailers.

And those tourists come in with fatter wallets than your average liquor store customer. They see a high price and think its the best stuff. Tourist tax if you will.

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camduncan
More pricing data - I know of a bottle of VR21 sitting on the shelf @$110 and VR23 for something north of that, maybe $130.

I hope they're still there in November :)

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MauiSon

Uh, it's not looking good at the moment, Cam (but who knows what the future holds?).

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Shell
... A friend and I were at the gift shop last summer and he bought one of the 25-year FE bottles. We opened it a couple months later and thought it was pretty tired and over-oaked. For the price I wouldn't recommend it.
I bought a 25 yr WFER last year for that price, and it is pretty bad. I was very disappointed - WAY over-oaked. Taste like char infused char. ...

These observations raise a good question: Is there a too old age for ryes (and bourbons as well) - when they are past their prime? There are some highly praised 21 year old and 23 year old ryes. Yet, here are a couple of 25 year old spirits that are way past drinkability.

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tanstaafl2
These observations raise a good question: Is there a too old age for ryes (and bourbons as well) - when they are past their prime? There are some highly praised 21 year old and 23 year old ryes. Yet, here are a couple of 25 year old spirits that are way past drinkability.

Unfortunately too many variables for a single answer. The same mash in different barrels in different levels of different rick houses can produce different results. The palate of one person might find the same whiskey to be perfect for them whilst another person finds it to be tired, over oaked and not worth the cost. Age is only one piece of the puzzle.

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GaryT

Agree with Bruce - I've had 23 yr rye from Willett that was stunning.

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squire

The truth is any whisky aged in a new charred oak barrel will, at some point, turn to where the wood becomes overly dominate. The trick is to bottle it before that point. Sometimes older just means older.

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Shell
The truth is any whisky aged in a new charred oak barrel will, at some point, turn to where the wood becomes overly dominate. The trick is to bottle it before that point. Sometimes older just means older.

I believe that's been shown with some very aged single-malt scotch.

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