Friday, September 16, 2011

Willett Pot Still Reserve Taste Test

Patty has been thinking an awful lot about James Willett. When Liz posted the info about his family's distillery, Patty got curious and ordered a bottle of Willett Pot Still Reserve from Bev Mo with some gift certificates she'd been sitting on.

As you can see from the photo, the 750mL bottle is hand numbered. For $47 plus tax and shipping, The Pattys received bottle 127 of 266 out of barrel 147 delivered right to their front door. "Let's do a taste test," Patty said. In simpler times, Mr. Patty was a bartender and amateur sommalier. He also brews his own beer and is told that he is pretty good at it. "Educate me," Patty said.

From the bar, Mr. Patty retrieved three other kinds of Kentucky or Tennessee whiskey that is known collectively as bourbon: Jim Beam, Jack Daniel's and Gentleman Jack. Patty asked if she could taste on the rocks but Mr. Patty scoffed, so she did it the real way.

BEAM. What you would call "hot" because you can really taste the alcohol. If you swish it, sniff it, hold it on your tongue and savor the finish, you get oak, butterscotch, caramel, and a super sweet finish. "Blech," Patty said.

JACK. Not nearly as "hot" as the Beam: rounder, tastes like oranges and cloves.

GENTLEMAN JACK. A fanicer version of the standard stuff and definitely much finer. Again Patty got orange, but this time with caramel, molasses and a soft wood finish. Not bad! But still, not great.

WILLETT. THIS STUFF IS THE SHIT. At 47% alcohol instead of the standard 40%, not only can you get your buzz on quicker, but it is smooth, rich and silky. There are caramel and vanilla notes and a tart, dry woody finish possibly due to the higher proof. It's the finish that makes this stuff so astounding. For a good ten minutes, Patty's mouth sang with complex layers of flavor that only became more pleasant as the burn wore off. In fact, Patty let out a huge belch about 15 minutes after that was freaking delicious. Mr. Patty sat there looking like the cat who ate the canary. "Good?" Patty asked him. "Mmmmm hmmmmmmm" is about all he could manage with his mouth full. "I wouldn't send it back."

So in short, even those of you who do not necessarily like bourbon might enjoy this. If you do know your bourbon, definitely pick up a bottle, and like the Patty's, be sure to toast James, Lauren and Heidi.


Wow-check out this version.

"If Bobby Beausoleil had simply told the truth and told his attorney that he had killed Gary Hinman because he had been coerced into killing him by Danny Decarlo, Bobby Beausoleil would have been out of prison 30 years ago."