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Cigar Spirits: Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon

9 Aug 2012

I had planned on providing more coverage of the new releases unleashed at the IPCPR Trade Show today, but decided after pre-IPCPR coverage, live updates from the show, and post-show coverage that yet more coverage will have to wait for next week. Instead, I decided to sit down with some bourbon and, of course, a few cigars.

My bourbon of choice on this warm summer evening is the Willett Pot Still Reserve. The unique pot still-shaped bottle reminds you that it’s made with a pot still, although the first step in the distillation uses the more common column still.

The 94-proof bourbon is bottled from a single barrel (mine is bottle 100 of 263 from barrel 8,564). I purchased it for about $40. Willett is an old name in bourbon making, harkening back to just after prohibition, but the Willett distillery was converted to ethanol and gasoline production during World War II, after which it closed. Today Willett, introduced in 2008, is made by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers in Bardstown, Kentucky, which makes other bourbons like Corner Creek and Michter’s.

The light, amber-colored whiskey has a crisp nose with apple, oak, and some lingering pepper. It’s woody on the tongue. With 6-7 years of barrel aging, the bourbon shows off a combination of apple, cherry, oak, buttered corn, and toast flavors. It’s not a hefty bourbon, but it isn’t overly light either. Try it neat or with a splash of water.

While I don’t see this replacing any of my staple bourbons (Booker’s, Knob Creek Single Barrel, Hooker’s House, Blanton’s) it’s still very pleasant. I paired it up with the new Cuenca y Blanco cigar (introduced this past week by Joya de Nicaragua) and very much enjoyed the result. Bourbon enthusiasts should consider doing the same.

Patrick S

photo credits: Stogie Guys


2 Responses to “Cigar Spirits: Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon”

  1. Kevin Friday, August 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Funny how whiskey and cigars usually win out when you set out to do something else entirely. The Willett is great, but I think that Johnny Drum Private Stock, also from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers family, is excellent especially for the price (I found it for around $25 in GA).

    Nice write-up Patrick.


  2. Jonathan Drew Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Nice write up indeed. JD