Willett Small Batch Rye Whiskey – Review

Willett Small Batch Rye WhiskeyWillett Small Batch Straight Rye Whiskey

111.8 Proof

Price Point: $40 – $50 for 750 ML

Distiller: The Willett Distillery



I published a review of a Willett whiskey back in August 2013.  It was their Bourbon, which was very unique and intriguing.  It seems that the Willett portfolio has become coveted among the whiskey industry, almost like the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, only maybe not as hyped.

Today, I am reviewing WiIlett Rye, a two-year old rye whiskey bottled at nearly 56%!  It’s sure to pack a punch, but will it stand up to its reputation (and price tag)?



There’s alcohol fire on the nose to start.  Once your sense acclimates, you’ll notice toasted almonds and Sharpie marker scribbled on oak.  The rye spiciness also shines here.  Willett Rye noses like a more intense, American version of Forty Creek.

In the mouth, there’s no doubt that Willett Rye is a young whiskey.  There are traces of white dog that could be detected even by the novice whiskey enthusiast.  That being said, this obviously comes from good juice, because it’s surprisingly mellowed and drinkable, even for the high proof and short amount of time in the barrel.  Willett Rye shares similarities in taste to Sazerac 6 Year Old Rye.

The finish is an interesting mixture of a familiar new spirit taste (negative) with the promise of a complex rye profile (positive).


Rating & Recommendations

I rate Willet Rye an 82 out of 100.

While drinkable, this whiskey is overpriced and over-hyped for a two year old whiskey.  It’s certainly not a bad whiskey, but there are far better ryes for out there for the money.  And there are more mature ryes in the Willett portfolio, but they are too difficult to attain (both economically and availability-wise) to win my interest at this point.



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