Willett Single Barrel Rye – 4 yrs old Review

Willett 4 yr Rye Review
I recently attended a Very Olde St. Nick whiskey tasting event put on by the SoCal Whiskey Club and to kick things off we started with this, the Willett 4 year. Why you might ask? Well because the Kulsveen’s, who bottle the Willett line, also bottle the Very Olde St. Nick and Rare Perfection lines. Though unlike the Willett Family Estate stuff, the VOSN and RP stuff are Japanese export only releases.

Not only are they export only, but they also seem to come from different stocks. We know this one is from the 95/5 MGP rye and it tastes completely different than any of the VOSN or RP stuff we ended up tasting that night. The rye spice and dill here are so forward and overly apparent when compared to the VOSNs it’s very obvious that it came from different distilleries. Though unlike this, where the VOSN ryes come from is still a mystery.

Willett Single Barrel Rye – 4 yrs old Review

Barrel: 424

ABV: 55%
Age: 4 years
Price: $40
Distiller: LDI / MGP
Bottler: Kentucky Bourbon Distillers / Willett Distillery
Mashbill: 95% Rye 5% Barley

Dark caramel

Rye spice kicks the party off with a strong note of dill accompanying it. Cherry heavy dark fruit, toffee, cinnamon, leather, burnt cinnamon and strawberry Starbursts are all running around making a ruckus in this bold and expressive nose.

Rye and dill start it up again here as well with notes of brown sugar, cherry heavy dark fruit and some mild woody notes. A slightly vegetal underpinning and a bit of mint make for a diverse and complex flavor that is as expressive as the nose.

Nice balance, a full body and while it does run a bit hot, it has a nice silken feel to it.

Long dill heavy finish with notes of rye, cherry, raw grains, wood and some sugary strawberry notes.

I really enjoy this big bold rye. Lavish notes of rye spice and dill that get tempered and complimented by an array of sweet and savory notes that start in the nose and drift through the finish in a balanced and almost elegant manner. KBD puts out some great stuff and this is no exception.

SCORE: 90/100

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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Filed Under: Rye

4 Responses to Willett Single Barrel Rye – 4 yrs old Review

  1. Great review! Just tried the 2-year-old Small Batch Rye they put out (just one bottle left at K&L), and it’s delicious. So much spice, so much flavor.

  2. Do you think this is the best expression of MGP rye you’ve tried? The MGP ryes I’ve had were fairly good, but definitely missing something. The mashbill seems to really have potential though, so I’ve been trying to find a great MGP rye.

    • This and the Dickel rye are both really good for the readily available stuff. The best expressions I’ve had aren’t exactly sitting on shelves these days unfortunately.


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