Willett Distilling Company (a.k.a Kentucky Bourbon Distillers) has been sourcing whiskies since the 1980’s but recently they’ve been maturing their own distillates too. So there’s a chance that this Willett 3 Year Old Single Barrel Small Batch Rye Whiskey is completely their own product. I purchased this from Whiskysite.nl in 2016 – Even G. Kulsveen from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD) told that starting from 2012, they’d be making their own whiskey. Until that time, Kulsveen has sourced their single barrel ryes from Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana (nowadays MGP – Midwest Grain Products of Indiana)
This Willett 3YO bottle label doesn’t tell, when this rye whiskey has been bottled or distilled, so it’s hard to say whether it is a product from Kentucky (KBD) or Indiana (MGP). It has that similar kind of minty taste as Bulleit Rye or Willett 4YO Rye, so my guess is that this single barrel Willett is from MGP.
If it is a MGP rye, then the mash bill consists of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. KBD’s own mash bill is a blend of a “barely legal” 51% rye mash bill and a 74% rye mash bill. To be precise, Willett brand’s own high-rye mash bill has 74% rye, 11% corn and 15% malted barley, and its low-rye mash bill is 51% rye, 34% corn and 15% malted barley. Maturation for KBD’s own distillates takes place in char level 4 New American Oak Barrels and they bottle their ryes non-chill filtered.
But as mentioned, my guess is that this one is an MGP rye because of the similarities to their other products.
Am I a Legend in the making?
Not me, just speaking on behalf of this Willett bottling. Not as great as the 4YO single barrel I’ve tasted, but still a very good young rye whiskey. So if this is Willett’s own rye whiskey, there is another legend in the making. Just like their MGP sourced ryes, which already have a legendary status at whisky communities.
I am Legend the movie has an alternative ending so it’s kinda like my review: figuring out, which rye this is, MGP or KBD?