Willett Bourbon - They're All Finally In
Why are these bourbons so expensive and why are they such a big deal? That's exactly what I thought when I first saw these whiskies on a store shelf. At that time in my life a bottle of Buffalo Trace was barely affordable for me, so by comparison it made the Willett seem astronomical and exorbitant. When I started working here and got a chance to taste them, I still didn't quite get it. But, as with all wine & spirits (and basically everything else - food, art, literature, etc.) you have to put things into context. It's not until you taste Van Winkle, Four Roses Single Barrel, and George T. Stagg that you realize how amazing the Willett bourbons are. I really love the Van Winkle bourbons, but the wood on the 15 and 20 are simply too overpowering for me at times - too much vanilla and sweetness. I enjoyed the bottle of Stagg that I had, but the heat is simply too much and I was never able dillute it to a point that I found preferable. To me, the ideal whiskies are those found in the Willett collection - and they are never the same. Always single barrel, always cask strength, and always breathtaking. The Willett family has made an artform out of sourcing great whiskey - an underrated skill these days. At this point in time, the Willett distillery is still out of production, although my sources say they are getting closer to finally reopening. For the meantime, I've really taken a liking to what they find. Ever heard of Black Maple Hill? You know that whiskey that we sell the s--t out of? That's Willett. Noah's Mill and Rowan's Creek? Same deal. These are all different labels that contain awesome bourbons sourced by the Willett family. They are always a balance of sweet wood and corn, earth and spice, power and elegance. They are never cheap, but they are never disappointing either. They come in a variety of ages and we get what we initially put in for. Once they are gone, they're gone. Single barrels don't yield enough for everyone nationwide. They're all here right now, so for bourbon fans this is the time.