Willett Family Estate #6735 - 8 Year New Hampshire Single Barrel Bourbon Review
I'm warming up my palate for an epic blind tasting tonight including the following whiskeys:
All of these will be tasted blind by members of the Spirit Animal Society patreon!
After a lackluster performance by barrel 5227 which also came out of NH, I was hesitant to dive into this one. These things have pretty steep price points today, so being informed on your single barrel selections is as important as ever. Let's dive right in and see how this barrel does.
Company on Label: Willett
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 72% Corn, 13% Rye, 15% Malted Barley
Age: 8 years
Further identification: This is New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet single barrel from barrel 6735 - an OG mash bill per the WFE pocket app; this is bottle 57/143
Nose: Cinnamon and nutmeg upfront on first dipping my nose in the glass. Oak, tea leaves and coffee filters follow. A touch of lemon peel zest tingles the nostrils. Silky vanilla weaves its way through the glass. Soft mango, lychee and papaya sweetness dances to a lofi beat in a cooling wave. A swirl of the glass builds out rich black pepper, tarragon and graham cracker. An interesting medley so far - I think I will go for a sip.
Returning I find the nose has settled into a delectable fruit parfait with whipped cream on top. Funky, moist woodshop oak can be found on deep inhales. Traditional Willett citrus from the rye portion of the mash bill rings true here, though very low in intensity. Linen hangs in the balance. I really like the nose here with the tropical fruits from earlier returning. There's a slight vinegar note when I inhale deeply with just the left nostril. My right nostril finds synthetic leather and coffee bean. Overall very approachable with patience being rewarded well here. The empty glass smells of caramelized sugar and a thin, wispy air that suggests someone is cooking nearby.
Palate: I'm immediately shocked by how soft this drinks for 131.8 proof. The first sip linger is where most of the flavor rises up from in a big chest wave with cherry hots, graham cracker and thick molasses. Another sip and swish shows off juniper berries and plum. Cinnamon is a big proportion of the flavor here. This one is surprisingly drinking quite muted, and I've given it plenty of time to open up. My last sip is creamy, metallic and spicy all at once. I find a touch of sandalwood and clove in the linger. The finish is medium as all the flavors of Autumn spice fall down like a rockslide on a steep slope, crashing messily below.
This is very traditional Willett, but turned way down. I don't find anything that screams this is exceptional whiskey to my palate as I navigated the messy array of flavors, but I still love the consistency this distillery brings to their whiskey. I've never had a single distillery produce so many single barrels that taste incredibly alike before. This one in particular may be a 'crowd pleaser' in that it's incredibly approachable, but I find that to be a detraction in quality on a pour of this caliber. Let me know if you've tried this one. I will be revisiting this one myself for sure. Cheers!