A small-batch straight rye whiskey produced by Kentucky Distillers, formerly known as Willett Distilling company. A rye-forward made to their usual excellently high standards.
Aroma: Sweet corn, rye spices and a slight oak.
Taste: Sweet corn, followed by rye spices and some oak. After the first hit of rye, there is a great deal of sweetness and buttery phenols. Hints of darker fruits are present in the middle of the palate. At the very end, the sip is slightly drying and leaves a slightly bitter oak finish.
Finish: Clean, fruity and spicy on the back palate. A bit of a lingering oak presence at the end.
Rating: 87/100 – The Willett Rye 3 Year Old Family Reserve Rye is a bit of a sleeper. With some of the fruity sweetness and spice, this really kills my palate. Very enjoyable for what it is. With all of the rye and the sweetness, it is a bit too excited for my taste. The woodiness is just a little bit too much for my taste on the finish as well, but remains overall enjoyable.
Final thoughts: In this case, a little less is more. The aged rye presentation really dies my palate, and is just a little bit too spicy and spicy-sweet for me. Even though I know better, I am still going to keep this around my liquor cabinet as a nice after dinner, to-go whiskey. The flavor is good, but the sweet itself overpowers everything else and completely kills everything else. The woodiness is a little too harsh to finish up the neck. All told, I do like this whiskey, but it is relatively over-spiced on the front palate and to-help-it-through-the-finish. But, I will continue to buy and enjoy this every time I get around to it.
In more than one way, this I found this to be more of a solid Rye whiskey, rather than an outstanding one. A bit more polished and more developed with more oak and sweetness. And, as always, I was a bit disappointed in the rye characteristics of this Willet. It has a lot of sweetness and a few spicey undertones. A potent and hearty wallop of great rye, but at the cost of a drier finish and flavor. A really solid rye whiskey, but as good as it gets in the rye whiskey world. A very solid offering for the Willett Rye line.
Here is the Willett Rye 3 Year with a little water is added. Notice the more robust rye flavor and smoothness of the finish.
– A really solid whisky that burns you down and leaves a pleasant and lingering finish. I really enjoy the smoothness of the finish and the complexity of this whiskey. The rye is noticeably more refined and noticeably more smooth. I can actually pick out a note or two of rye spices. – 88/100
– A good rye whiskey that burns you down. Despite the suggestion of the bottle, it is far less walnut-heavy than it hints at. Again, the slightly more refined and smoother version. It is a really solid whiskey. Even though it is slightly nicer and smoother in profile, it is nothing to necessarily write home about. – 87/100
– A really solid bourbon that improves on the open. This whiskey is a little bit more refined and smoother. The profile is a bit more polished and smoother. A simply a solid bourbon that is enjoyable and pleasant to drink. – 86/100
– A nice and potent and tasty rye whiskey that is a little bit oily. I am not too sure about the walnut aroma, but I am sure it is present in some fashion. – 89/100
– A very enjoyable rye whiskey. Nothing spectacular, but the overall experience is solid and worth the time. – 87/100
– A dark profile that is very smooth and slightly sweet with a bit of oak and a little bit of rye. It is a very smooth and enjoyable rye whiskey. Not too much going on as far as distinct flavors go, but overall, it is nice and smooth and enjoyable. – 86/100
– A nice rye and easy on the palate, and it does need water. Even with the nice spicy finish, I am not too sure this would be what I would consider a high rye. – 89/100
– A nice and tasty rye that has a little bit of heat and a bit more rye spice. I would say this is more of a spicy rye than a smooth and sweet one. – 88/100
– A very smooth and spicy rye that has some heat and a smooth finish. Very nice. – 89/100