- 112.8 Proof
- 4 years
It seems weird that I'm constantly reviewing the same whiskey. This has to be the fourth or fifth Willett Family Estate 4 Year Small Batch Rye that I've reviewed. But, unlike most other products released in small batches, these aren't the same from batch to batch. They're all bottled at different proofs, so they're not being proofed down to 94 proof, for example, to maintain consistency. Plus, I absolutely love these, so I keep buying them, and I keep finishing them, and I, therefor, keep reviewing them.
I wish I had more to say about this particular bottle, but I've now amassed a bit of a horde of WFE 4 year rye, such that I don't remember picking up one specific bottle over the other. I do know that, while I've seen stores price gouging, I've still been able to snag these fairly regularly at $60, which to me is a no-brainer (even if they were previously priced cheaper than that). I also know that it probably won't last, which is why I keep buying now.
As with most of the others, on the nose I got a healthy dose of pine forest up front, along rich, dark fruit notes, almost wine-like, but sweeter. The pine on this one was a bit different, though, as it came through as almost damp or musty. In addition to that, though, I got a very forward toffee note to keep it on the sweeter end of the spectrum. It also had a bit of a creme brulee note to it that was unique and delicious.
As to flavor, that pine note was once again one of the first things that came through. However, it was a sweet pine note. Now I've never had a pine flavored dessert, like ice cream or cake. So my frame of reference here is basically nothing, but it came across as a sweet pine flavor.
That sweet pine was complemented by all sorts of sweet and rich notes. I got a healthy amount of brown sugar which probably helped with that sweetness I was getting. I also got those dark fruit notes I got on the nose, specifically notes of dark cherry and plum. It also had some more dessert-like notes, with salted chocolate covered caramel coming through, as well as a sweeter cinnamon.
This had a great, oily texture to it, and in that way it really stood out from others I've had in the past. Not that prior bottles were watery or anything. It's just this one seemed to be exceptionally silky and oily. That provided for a great finish that was all buttery nougat and toffee. It reminded me of the inside of a Snicker's bar. The finish was also where the spice finally showed up.
While this didn't have that huge spicy rye kick that I've loved in previous bottles, I really didn't care at all. This was outstanding even without that, and it offered so many unique and different flavors that all seemed to go so well together. This is certainly one of the better WFE 4 year Small Batches I've had in a long time! Can't wait to crack into the next one!