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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Willett Straight Rye Family Estate Review

Welcome to the review for Willett Straight Family Estate Bottled Small Batch Rye

Manufacturer: Kentucky Bourbon Distillers

Age: 3 years

Location Produced: The Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY

Mash Bill: Unknown

Aroma (from manufacturer): Beautiful layering of brandied cherry over a mildly tart cherry. It opens up with time and is reminiscent of cutting into your desert with your fork which releases cinnamon and baking spices with just a hint of oak to remind you that this is high proof youthful.

Taste (from manufacturer)A robust rye with dark cherry, burnt vanilla, and spices for days. It's a delicious rye with a weighty mouthfeel. Balance - It is insanely well balanced with the alcohol so perfectly integrated at 115 proof you'll forget its there, but you'll find yourself smiling more and happier with each dram.

Finish (from manufacturer): Long and the spices dominate this batch, while the cherry does punch its way through to the surface.

Alcohol: 54.5%

Who is this for?: People who like sipping their bourbon. At nearly 55% alcohol, this isn't for college kids.

Cost (Ohio): Not available in Ohio... $79.99 online

Review: Taste - Score 28 out of 35

This rye has a really nice, sweet nose that doesn't overpower you with the alcohol. For a whiskey at nearly 55%, it didn't come though on the palette, which is great. Johny got hints of vanilla, which weren't on the flavor profile. Overall, this was an enjoyable, solid rye.

Smoothness/Finish - Score 22 out of 25

Willett Straight Rye goes down silky smooth with a finish that lasts. It was a bit strong with one ice cube, but once we added a splash of water, it really brought out the essence that the distiller was looking for when they created this Rye.

Intangibles: Color/Appearance - Score 13 out of 15.

Color is a medium to medium dark. The bottom picture is compared to Basil Hayden Bourbon on the left, Willett in the center, and Bulleit Rye on the right. The label design is busy and haphazard with a cool foil finish, but that adds to the character and "family estate" feel. This bourbon doesn't need bold fonts and millennial marketing to make an impact. It comes off as regal and confident.

Availability - Score 0 out of 5

This is not available in Ohio so it gets a 0. #sadness

Overall Value - Score 17 out of 20

This is a fairly expensive Whiskey. One of the highest prices I've paid so far. However, this is really cool Rye to have on hand for when company visits and special occasions. Given its rarity, it's also pretty cool to have displayed in your liquor collection. Overall, we like this one a lot.

Final Score: 80 out of 100 

Note: This review was done by Mark and the great Johny K. The bottle was purchased at Total Wine and More in Scottsdale, AZ.

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