Saturday, May 16, 2015

Willett Family Estate 6 Year

Age:6 Years
Proof:121.8 (60.9% ABV)
Price:JPY 5000

 There is a lot of controversy when it comes to Willett Family Estate. The bourbons are rather expensive for the age statement and normally no information as to the provenance of what is inside the bottle, aside from that it is "distilled in Kentucky," is provided. OK, so we know it's not Jack Daniels in the bottle.

Willett Family Estate is actually a label used for a barrel selection program where groups or individuals can purchase full barrels of bourbon that will then be bottled by Willett using the Willett Family Estate label. Naturally, what's in the bottle will vary from bottle to bottle.

This particular bottle is one that I have seen for sale in many stores around Tokyo. My guess is that a distributor commissioned the bottling and then distributed it to various stores. The label states that this bottle comes from barrel number 64 and is bottle number 5 of 200. The bourbon is bottled at barrel proof. In this case, that is 121.8 proof.

The bottle does have a very nice shape - it is a little taller and thinner than most bourbon bottles. The cork is dipped in purple wax. All in all a very nice package. 

The nose is sweet, think hay, vanilla and nutmeg. It's reminiscent of Blanton's Straight from the Barrel

Surprisingly, the sweetness in the nose is lacking in the flavor. Instead, you get standard issue "oakiness" and "wood." Almost savory. On the finish I detect a little bit of the mintiness that is common in Heaven Hill distilled bourbon. 

The high proof on the bourbon overwhelms the flavor, but it develops a little more with the addition of water. It's a little hot for 120 proof, but that's not unexpected considering its youth.

If I were to guess, I would say the bourbon is Heaven Hill distillate, but this is pretty safe bet considering that most of the NDP bottles are. 

Verdict: Heaven Hill distilled bourbon in a pretty bottle. 

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