Nose: Sometimes I get grainy and earthy notes from Willett’s 6-7 year old products. This seems to be absent on the nose with this bottle. So far so good! The scents are overwhelmingly sweet with lots of caramel sauce and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The “cinnamon” part of that is a particularly common note I get in Willett products.
The chocolate aroma I find is a bit different from other wheated bourbon’s chocolate notes because it comes off kind of like a Kit Kat bar. Finally, there are some candied fruit notes, but they don’t come off like your standard cherry or citrus scents. Instead, think of these scents more like raisins and raspberries. For the most part, the fruit scents are nondescript. You know that you’re smelling fruit, but it’s hard to decipher what it is.
Palate: I’m again bracing myself for grainy or earthy notes but they never materialize. Kudos Willett! Your distillate is showing great maturation. The palate is full of well-developed flavors but you can tell the mouthfeel isn’t as rich or thick as a bottle of OWA. The flavors that stand out the most are honey and caramel sweetness coupled with ground cinnamon and seasoned oak. The fruit notes combine some bitter fruits (lemon and bitter cherry) with sweeter fruits such as cotton candy grapes and blueberries. Finally, chocolate notes poke through and seem to play nicely with everything else.
Finish: The finish is a bit perplexing because it seems like all of the profile notes I just mentioned, vanish. It turns into a one-dimensional affair with only baker’s chocolate and sweet oak standing out. Gone are the fruit notes and gone is the cinnamon. The finish only lasts a moderate amount of time at best, but in the case of a $250 bottle, I expected much more.
–The Bourbon Culture