Age: 4 years old
Nose: Allspice, Apple, apricot, fresh squeezed lemon, coconut, candied caramel, sweet oak, ginger, honey, chocolate, cedar, vanilla.
Taste: Oily/Velvety mouthfeel. Black Pepper, cardamom, clove, fennel, dark cocoa, vanilla, grassy/earthy, tea, lemon and orange peel, brown sugar, sweet caramel, apple, peach, sugarcane, vanilla.
Finish: long length. The rye spice really shines through, but not in an overbearing way. Fruit notes such as apple and peach give a wonderful sweetness to the profile and add a somewhat tropical feel to the whiskey. The earthy/tea notes come mid palate and fade away rather quickly leading into some fennel and dark chocolate, before finally dissipating back into that delicious rye spice of clove, cinnamon, and just a hint of leather.
Overall: With each batch being somewhat different, it is always hard to judge the consistency of a product like this. Always barrel proof and always blended, Willett rye used to be one of my favorite go-to barrel proof rye whiskies. I have had this bottle since late 2019 or early 2020 and it has served me well.
When you think barrel proof rye whiskey, you would expect spice bombs and your face to melt off, but this does it elegantly and with some fruity flare. It fell in the ranks due to the recent price increase, which has been slowly happening over the last year. This bottle was purchased for under $50 and now the price is $60-$70 in most places. Yes it is Willett, it has foil, and each batch is different, but this was an amazing sub $50 rye whiskey, at its current price, I would rather grab Rarebreed Rye or Russell’s 6 year rye for the money.
When it is all put into perspective with the profile rating and price rating, it comes out to a solid mid range whiskey that is just overpriced these days.
Value Rating: 5/10