Willett Distillery 2 Year Old Kentucky Rye Whiskey (750ml)
It's been a long time in the making, but the first batch of 100% Willett-distilled rye is finally here and it's glorious. For years, Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, run by the Kulsveen family, has been bottling fantastic whiskey under their numerous labels; Willett being just one of the expressions (along with Noah's Mill, Rowan's Creek, Johnny Drum, etc.). Willett Distillery was actually founded in the 1930s by former Bernheim superintendent Thompson Willett, but subsequent generations of the family would become disinterested in bourbon until the distillery finally closed. Evan Kulsveen, who married Willett's daughter, purchased the abandoned site in 1984 with plans to reopen his father-in-law's once-great operation. Almost thirty years later, his son Drew and son-in-law Hunter have the site refurbished and back on track. This batch of two year old rye marks the first time the whiskey in a Willett rye bottle has been the product of the Willett distillery and not a purchased barrel from LDI distillery in Indiana. It's shockingly good considering the young age. Imagine the pure rye flavors of Anchor's Old Potrero with the cinnamon and baking spices of the Templeton. Bottled at 55% ABV, the power and intensity of the whiskey is also on display, but it's balanced beautifully by the richness. It's a giant leap forward for the Willett distillery and it's an exciting day for those of us who have been waiting for this moment for some time.