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Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Review: Expert Tasting Insights

thewhiskylady - 2023-05-30
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Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Review
Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Review

As a bourbon enthusiast, I  had the pleasure of trying the Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon, and I couldn’t wait to share my experience with fellow whiskey lovers. This bourbon, hailing from the Willett Distillery in Kentucky, offers an array of unique and complex flavors that are sure to captivate anyone’s palate. It is well-known for its unique offerings, and this 6-year-old single barrel selection certainly lives up to the hype.

When I first poured this bourbon into my glass, I was struck by its rich tawny color, a testament to the years it spent maturing in oak barrels. As I took in the aroma, I was greeted by a bold and punchy nose, with the classic “Willett note” shining through, accompanied by rich caramel and a perfumy sweetness. As I took my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised by the harmony of flavors.

The taste was warm and inviting, with notes of sweet dark fruit, brown sugar, and warm spices creating a delightful symphony on my palate. As I continued to sip, the bourbon’s impressive mouthfeel and lingering finish left me eager for more. While I’ve had the joy of trying other Willett offerings in the past, this particular bourbon truly stood out, and I couldn’t wait to share my experiences with you all.

Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Overview

Product History

The Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon is a product of Kentucky’s well-known Willett Distillery. This distillery has been producing fine bourbon and whiskey for many years, and their 6-year single barrel bourbon is among their most popular offerings. The Bourbon label is actually part of their Private Barrel Selection program, which is quite unusual and a unique feature in the world of bourbon. As a wheated bourbon, the mash bill and barrel proof contribute to its distinct flavor profile.

Price Range

Now let’s talk about the price for this bourbon. This Single Barrel Bourbon is typically found within the $1000-$1100 price range, depending on the retailer and location. While this might be considered expensive for some, the rarity and quality of this bourbon justify the price tag. The aging process for 6 years in hand-selected American white oak barrels, along with its high proof, add to its value.

Tasting Notes


Upon nosing this wonderful bourbon, I’m immediately greeted with bold and punchy aromas that showcase its character. Among these fragrances, I detect rich caramel, sweet honey, and a touch of vanilla. There’s also a hint of rye spiciness which adds complexity to the bouquet.


Taking my first sip, the flavors of this bourbon are equally impressive. I taste layers of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and dark chocolate, which are beautifully balanced by cinnamon, clove, and a bit of licorice. The rye content adds a nice spicy note complementing the sweetness. Additionally, there’s a subtle hint of red fruits like cherry and plum, bringing a brightness to the palate.


As for the finish, it is long and satisfying. The heat from the 127.8 proof makes its presence known, but it’s not overpowering. Notes of toasted wood, fennel, mint, and a light herbal undertone linger, leaving me wanting another taste. The cask strength of this bourbon offers a delightful warmth that adds to the overall experience.


After considering all of these elements, I would rate Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon a solid 96 out of 100. The balance of sweet and spicy, along with the complexity of flavors and aroma, make it a fantastic addition to any American whiskey collection. The quality and rarity of this bourbon certainly justify its place among the top bourbons available today.

Mixing and Pairing

Best Mixers

Best Mixersphoto credit: Shutterstock.com

I like to keep it simple and let the bourbon shine. Here are my go-to mixers that complement this single barrel bourbon:

  • Honey: The natural sweetness of honey enhances the bourbon’s caramel and brown sugar notes.
  • Orange: Adding a dash of freshly squeezed orange juice or an orange twist introduces a bright, citrusy zest that balances the bourbon’s warm spices.
  • Mint: Muddling fresh mint leaves with the bourbon creates a refreshing flavor profile, perfect for sipping on a warm day.

Cocktail Suggestions

I also enjoy using it in a few classic cocktails:

  1. Old Fashioned: This timeless cocktail highlights the bourbon’s complex flavors. Muddle sugar, water, and angostura bitters together, then add the bourbon and ice. Stir and garnish with an orange twist and cherry.
  2. Bourbon Smash: This cocktail combines the bourbon with muddled mint, lemon juice, and honey syrup for a refreshing and sweet drink.
  3. Fancy Southern: A unique twist on the classic whiskey sour—mix the bourbon with lemon juice, simple syrup, and a dash of orange bitters. Shake and strain into a glass with ice, topping it off with a red wine float.

Food Pairings

Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Food Pairingsphoto credit: Shutterstock.com

Here are my favorite food pairings:

  • Chocolate: Rich, dark chocolate complements the bourbon’s deep flavor notes of caramel and dried fruits.
  • Sharp cheeses: Aged cheddar or gouda contrast the bourbon’s sweetness and accentuate its spicy undertones.
  • Smoky BBQ: The bourbon’s oaky, woody flavors pair wonderfully with the charred, smoky flavors of slow-cooked barbecue.
  • Sushi: When I’m feeling adventurous, I like to pair this American whiskey with a Japanese favorite, as the bourbon’s sweetness can balance the savory flavors in rolls like the eel or spicy tuna.


In my experience with Willett Family Estate 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon, This whiskey offers a unique and enjoyable experience. The aroma of this bourbon is rich with notes of pomegranate, fig, and cinnamon, creating an inviting first impression.

As for the taste, I discovered that it has a pleasant sweetness accompanied by a delightful cinnamon spiciness. It is quite surprising how well these flavors work together, considering its relatively young age statement of 6 years. The proof level at around 127.8° provides a strong kick, but it does not overwhelm the overall experience.

When the time comes to savor the finish, this bourbon doesn’t disappoint. It has a surprisingly long finish, with more pomegranate and fig notes that linger on the palate. I must admit, I find myself rating younger Willett bourbons higher than others might, but the intensity of the flavors in this bottle really stands out.

I would highly recommend giving this bourbon a try, especially if you’re a fan of Willett’s other offerings.

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