Willet Pot Still Reserve

Willet Pot Still Reserve

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Single Barrel #5948, Bottle 193 of 271

94 Proof

The Willet family has been making bourbon in Kentucky since 1937, which compared to some people makes them young in the industry, but they’ve been doing a pretty bang-up job I’d say.  The Willet Distillery (AKA Kentucky Bourbon Distillers or KBD) has been bottling this 8-10yr aged bourbon since 2008, but they also have brought the world many other fine whiskeys like Noah’s Mill and Rowan’s Creek.

The first thing I have to mention is the totally unique bottle design–it’s shaped like an old fashion copper pot still (hence the name).  I like to see companies putting a little money into elegant packaging.  A pretty bottle isn’t going to make your bourbon taste any better, but it is a great conversation piece and has more than once got me talking about pot stills vs. column stills which is always a fun topic.  They probably have to charge a buck more than they would if they just put it in a wine bottle, but I’m happy to pay that extra dollar for a great bottle like this.

Being so used to a Buffalo Trace action-packed nose, the first sniff of this is kind of underwhelming, but after moving it around in the glass a good bit (it doesn’t need to decant like a red wine, but let it hang out in your glass for a couple minutes before diving in) and really paying attention you can get some nice oak and burned sugary notes, but it’s all pretty restrained.  It smells OLD, which I really like.  It smells like what I imagine a barrel-aging house to smell like, though unfortunately I’ve not yet visited one so I could be totally wrong.  On the palate it has what I have to call a very refined taste.  It’s one of the most buttery whiskeys I’ve tasted.  Sure it’s got the vanilla, caramel, and a little maple as many bourbons do, but the prominent thing in my mind is that buttery goodness.  Finishes dry and short with heavy oak.

I am digging this bourbon.  It’s also available in a 1.75L bottle, which is pretty rare for a single barrel release, and if you go that route you are getting much more whiskey for your dollar.

Rating 8.1 / 10

Bought at J’s Bottle Shop in Athens, GA for $36

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One thought on “Willet Pot Still Reserve

  1. This is a nice bourbon but the bottle is so damn hard to hold and pour into a glencairn glass. I would love to read your take on Rowans Creek. A totally different bourbon by the fine folks at Willett.

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