Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Willett Family Estate 3-Year Straight Rye

- $45
- 110.4 Proof
- 3 Years

Last year I had the opportunity to try the Willett Family Estate 2 Year Rye, their own product which they distilled and aged, and I absolutely loved it. So, when the 3-year was released, I did not hesitate to grab a bottle to try immediately (and I'm sure I'll be grabbing each future release as well).

It's nice when a product you already know you love gets released as a slightly older version. It really takes the risk out of the purchase, not that I've found a whole lot of risk with Willett products to begin with. This one certainly did not disappoint. On the nose I immediately noticed cinnamon bread. It was a nice blend of sweet spice and grain that made my mouth salivate immediately.

What followed was a taste of traditional rye, but also, and not necessarily unexpectedly, a mild cinnamon flavor paired with an earthy maltiness, giving this rye multiple enjoyable layers, and certainly showing where the cinnamon bread nose came from. At points I even likened it to Cinnamon Toast Crunch (for some reason, I frequently find myself comparing flavors in whiskey to different cereal brands). It just had that familiarity to it. 

This rye really seemed to linger for ever. It's a more viscous rye, one that really coated the mouth and back of the throat, making that cinnamon flavor stick around for quite a while. A light minty-ness seemed to come through at the end, really only noticeable after I swallowed. This presented a nice complement to the sweet heat that maintained throughout each sip, even long after I finished each sip.

This remained a very rich rye from the beginning of the bottle to the end. Towards the end, it seemed to be almost all cinnamon and caramel (a combination of flavors that I really seem to enjoy!), really finishing strong.

I took my time getting through this bottle, and now that it's done, I feel like it won't be too long before their next release. I can't wait, as I enjoyed this more than the 2-year (which, looking back at my old post, I clearly loved!), and this stuff appears to be on an upward trajectory right now.

Grade: A

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