Willett Bourbon (Pot Still Reserve) – Review

My bottle of Willet. As you can tell, I'm not nuts about it.
My bottle of Willett. As you can tell, I’m not nuts about it.


The best thing about Willett Pot Still Reserve is the bottle it comes in (it’s actually won awards, see below). It’s pretty impressive.

However, if I’m talking about the bottle instead of the bourbon, well then, that raises some red flags.

Company Specs:

Proof: 94
Appearance: Mahogany
Nose: Intensity – 2; Floral notes – jasmine & orange blossoms, ginger, cinnamon, lots of bananas when water is added
Taste: Lemon, black tea, butterscotch, citrus, nutty, honey… With water added, bananas & milk chocolate
Finish: Length – Medium; Eucalyptus, herbal, rye, spicy, pepper, barber’s shop… With water added, light toffee & pecans
Price: $40 or thereabouts


Double Gold Medal 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Product Design Category
Gold Medal 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Bourbon Category
Four Stars/Highly Recommended F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal
95.5 Rating Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible
90 Rating Malt Advocate
Louisville Magazine’s “Sexiest Bourbon”… No, seriously!

A close up of the label.
A close up of the label.

Tasting Grade: C

They say to add water to release “an inviting array of aromas & flavors.” I did. However, I still wasn’t impressed. It’s not that smooth.

Value Grade: D

I think a fair price for Willett would be around $20. Not the $40 or so they charge. Sure, you get a cool bottle out of the deal, but you’re not paying for the glass.

Overall Rating: C-

Willett’s an overpriced bourbon. I cringe a bit when I drink it neat or on the rocks. Probably the best way to consume it is in a complex cocktail or with a strong, sugary mixer.

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