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Old 12-25-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Puerto Rico/NYC
Posts: 8,798
Willett Family Estate Single Barrel 17 Year Bourbon. . . .

Okay, try saying that five times real fast.

This exotic sounding, well aged, 138.9 proof bourbon didn't make Ol' Bloof's Top 25, and what's wrong with it? Well, let's go back a ways. This label was launched a few years ago, and I got an inside bottle of an early release from an . . .

ahem!!!

Okay, it was kind of tasty, but it was hidden behind this thick earthiness, which along with the high proof can really minimize an otherwise fine flavor profile. The price on this line of bourbons is also huge. I know it's some serious family estate, esteemed name kind of thing, or something like that, and as much as I love to go . . .

In Search Of . . .

fine bourbons, I don't really like to go searching for flavor. I got bottles No. 16 and 18 of 130 bottles from Barrel 29A. I think this was release No. 2, not sure.

What's right with this stuff? Plenty. It's got rich, thick, lingering fine wood tastes, even possibly with furniture polish on it, evidencing the age, and strong notes of Black Mission figs, and lots of earth. I don't like to pick or think too much about flavor. It's either evident or it's not, and I've seen lines of bourbon like this before. This reminds me suspiciously of the Black Maple Hill series, which some folks seem to go for. I tried their 14 and 16 year old bourbons many years ago, at wonderfully low prices, but I just didn't get it.

I know I'm a big waste of a really high IQ, but I'm not going to force myself in to something. I just won't be buying the Willett line of whiskeys anymore. I never really did go for single barrel bourbons, and I think I detect a similarity here that probably would ring true with any other tastings. Also, at $93.39 a bottle with shipping, that's out of my range for any further R&D.

Here's a shopping tip from Ol' Bloof, because through the years I've always done that, too. The best quality can STILL be found in the price range of $40-80, because I've had some fine bourbons, one of which I've already told you about, in the $65-75 range recently, and you need look no more than $40-55 to find some perennial favorites of mine. And that's before tax or shipping, remember my Walkout Price formula. It doesn't cost you $49.99 in NYC if the tag says $49.99. Just try plunking that down and making it out of the store. It really costs you $54.43. But the Walkout Price formula includes that stuff, meaning some really fine bourbons can be had with price tags reading around $35-75, so don't get discouraged. With all the changes in the culture and economy, if you have that in your pocket, you'll do fine. As for Bang For The Buck bourbons, I'll be reviewing that subject soon, as well.

I took a chance on this bourbon because I had some bucks and it was worth one more shot. Would you believe this was a special deal, and the real MSRP on this is supposed to be $139? Not me buddy, or budette, as good as this bourbon is, The Willett Family Estate 17 year single barrel 138.9 proof doesn't make my Top 25, it doesn't make me blow my top, and their line won't make me blow open my wallet any more. I'd have to get a tip on a "sure thing" from ahem!!!, at a lot less than I paid for these babies.

Stay tuned for more reviews. I've got an apartment full of fine bourbon and rye.
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