The Willett name dates back to one of the very first pewters, Edward Willett of Maryland. However, his descendant, Aloysius Lambert “Thompson” Willett of Bardstown, Kentucky was where it all began. Thompson began his love for whiskey and rye by working with his father at the Bernheim distillery. After a couple of years, he left to start the Willett Distilling Company with his brother, Johnny. They erected their pride and joy on their family farm, and history was made as this small family venture began to blossom.
Their first batch was officially produced in 1937 on Saint Patrick’s Day, located on high ground to ensure the Kentucky breeze would aid in the maturation. Over several years, Thompson’s brothers joined the company and eventually it was bought from him by his son-in-law, while his daughter was made president of the company. They renamed it Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, though it still remains very much a family business. After a revamping of their facilities, they went back into business on what would have been Thompson’s 103rd birthday.
This particular small batch is a chestnut color, understandably lighter than the average whiskey due to its shorter fermentation period. At first glance, you may think it won’t pack quite as much of a punch as its siblings in the Willett line. However, you will be pleasantly surprised. At first whiff, it’s all leather and light spices; but if you dwindle a bit, you’ll pick up on the light, sweet spices.
In your first sip, you’ll be immersed in a diverse flavor combination that may shock your palette at first—but in the best possible way. On the front, this rye offers up notes of mint and tingling spice. As it goes down your throat, you get the familiar warmth of all good rye. Evergreens, sweet caramel, and dry dark clove and oak all dance around in harmony in this delicious 3 year rye.
This special treat will be in limited supply on our shelves, so be sure to contact us soon. You will not want to miss out on tasting what the Willett family name is all about, and just how much they really understand rye whiskey.