Willett Family Estate - Single Barrel Bourbon 6 Years Old - Joe.C
Single Barrel pick by Joe.C of Everson Royce who have partnered with at Moreish Wines. Only 124 bottles produced. Only 24 bottles in Australia, the other 100 bottles sold out in under an hour.
'Nose: Not quite ripe fresh passionfruit, Luxardo cherries, freshly cut sawgrass, freshly peeled ginger, jojoba oil, musty hessian sack, long dormant hay bailer.
Palate: I'm not sure if it’s a case of mind over matter as I usually associate Willett with Rye but at first blush I would swear this is a beautifully balanced, elegant, well-aged Rye whiskey. Digging a bit deeper past preconceived notions/prejudices we find dried dark sour cherry, white pepper, black cracked pepper, butterscotch, bitter cacao nibs, peanut brittle, overripe strawberry and lemongrass and mint in the finish.
Body: Definitely boosted by the ABV (which at 64.1% is not mucking around) this whiskey has a lot of body owing to the development imparted by the cask and the magic that seems to have been spun during the mashing and distilling.
Length: This one is a stayer. One of the longest and most enjoyable finishes on an American whiskey I have been party to yet. More of this please 😊
Burn: Surprisingly gentle for it’s (considerable!) alcoholic heft. By no means burn free but more than capable of sneaking up on you, as it drinks far, far easier than the labels ABV might suggest.
Complexity: This is a fantastic whiskey to spend time with. A variety (almost a cacophony but too harmonious for that) of flavours that ebb and flow as salivary glands are constantly triggered and new scents and flavours are uncovered by sipping and even just breathing while thinking about the next sip.
Expressiveness: More De Niro than Hemsworth - gets more across with a crease of an eyebrow than a lot whiskies do with their whole body. The ABV gives it the gravitas need to sell the performance...
Texture: A real creaminess to this one - almost like the aftermath of sipping a super alcoholic thick shake. Clings to the insides of the cheeks (yes!)
Balance: The first two whiskies have exhibited great balance and this one completes the trifecta. This one probably wins the award as it seems to be juggling a lot more elements while walking a tightrope between a Rye and a Bourbon (even though I am just imagining the Rye bits).
Nose enjoyment: The nose is good but not the star of the show - it's not like its holding its cards close to its chest, it's more like my nose is a limiting factor (which it most definitely is in this case).
Palate: enjoyment: It's like Christmas time for the taste buds. Lots of noise, excitement, unwrapping of layers and then a contented lie down, basking in the warmth of all the deliciousness.
Overall enjoyment: One of the most unique whiskies I've ever come across from the North American continent and also one of the most enjoyable. It's like one of the better Booker Noe's releases wrapped in a Pikesville Rye but somehow even more enjoyable than that. Amazing stuff.'
- Heath Lawerence