95

Score

Willett Family Reserve, Barrel #81L31, 25 year old, 45.1%

Price: $175.00 Issue: Spring 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

Very mellow, silky in texture, and on the sweet side for mature bourbon. It's not bold like Parker's Heritage Collection 27 year old, which has much more oak spice and resin. Willett's foundation of molasses and toffee is accentuated by candied fruit, fig, dusty corn, and tobacco, with mint tea, cinnamon, and vanilla peppered throughout. It's perilously drinkable. I am impressed how these 20-plus year old Willett rye and bourbon whiskeys maintain their balance and keep the oak in check. Splendid ultra-mature bourbon. (Less than 100 bottles of this were sent to California, and not all the same barrel. Happy hunting.)