I got that purple top itch today thinking about my favorite Wednesday alliterations... I'll be tasting today with my 'TWC' kenzie glass for this one - shout out to the Coalition for keeping this whiskey community fun and incredibly generous. These purple foils are notoriously hard to acquire, but I'm starting to broaden my horizons little by little being able to swap samples of the 9 year OG mash bourbon that I picked at Willett in May of 2022. It's been a blast learning their distillate and beyond; I've really gravitated towards the magic that happens in their rye distillate. The 4 year is what hooked me in the first place. I'm excited to keep exploring more single barrels whenever possible. I've been turned away a bit by the high corn, though that preconception was shattered by Josh who let us taste a high corn barrel that I did enjoy.
Anyway - today is a great pour courtesy of Matt - cheers to one of the best in the community. Photo cred for the bottle pics goes to him. Let's get into it!
Company on Label: Willett
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 72% Corn, 13% Rye, 15% Malted Barley
Age: 6 years
Further identification: This is a Bottles Beverage Superstore single barrel #6605 that was sample swapped to me from @rarewhiskeynomad; Based on Blake's WFE pocket app this is an OG mash bill; this barrel yielded 159 bottles
Nose: Mmm. Immediately I find that syrupy plum and candied cherry that I've loved finding on previous releases. Skittles, starburst, and nerdz candy culminate in one of the sweetest noses without turning too cloying. It's balanced by noble oak and graham cracker. It noses well below the heat you might expect out of 127.8 proof but that may be an artifact of the kenzie glass. Soft vanilla cornbread muffins and floral-tinged molasses build a nice cushioned floor for the nose-feel. Heavier digging on the nose reveals sweet lemon drop candy, hints of leather and biscotti dipped in hot chocolate. Overall this pour is very light on the pre-sip nose with flavors coming off in whispering waves. Time to give it a taste.
After returning to the glass I find the volume has certainly been turned up and the nose is more easily enjoyable. Caramel is now taking center stage with an impressive heft as some of the barrel influence begins to make itself known. Sweetly frothed cappuccino and crème brûlée aromas build well in the later stages of the glass. The empty glass smells of sweet fig, funky raspberry / vanilla compote touched with crème fraîche, and fluffy pastry bread.
Palate: Right off the bat there is incredible balance. Sweet maraschino cherry and a small dash of bitters flash up first and foremost. There's an awesome cherry hots sizzle that slowly works through a beautiful Kentucky hug - this must be where all the proof was hiding. The finish is on the shorter side, but the linger itself is impossibly long with nectarines and candied plum. Another sip leads me to another wave of that awesome cherry flavor followed by a soft tingle of spice. Light pepper, coriander and allspice tingle the gums slightly. Tarragon gives off a slightly earthy vibe before being wiped out by the citrus power of coriander. Oh wow. Another sip proves why these pours are really exceptional; a big wave of red raspberry, strawberry and redcurrant jelly washed over me on this sip and lingered there forever. My last sip is delicate and delicious with creamy caramel, bright red cherry sweetness, and a long linger of stewed plums, brown sugar and just a touch of cinnamon.
This is an exceptional pour for me to sit and enjoy as it was really delectable and gave many opportunities for picking apart layers. I do think that it lacks a bit of wow factor for me to be able to give it a 5, but it's an exceptionally delicious pour that I think is very deserving of my 'Keep Amongst the Whiskey' label. I think this would be a very approachable pour for people of all whiskey knowledge levels. I thoroughly enjoyed it and really appreciate getting to try it via sample!