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Vintage Rye 23 years old is a product of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers aka Willett Distillery. In 1984 Even Kulsveen, Thompson Willett’s son-in-law, acquired de-functioning Willett Distillery on the outskirts of Bardstown and started bottling operation. Some of his brands, especially Noah’s Mill and Rowan’s Creek gained wide recognition and certainly helped him in restoring the original distillery and resuming distillation in 2012. Vintage Rye was one of KBD smaller brands. The 23 years old expression was bottled around 2008(?), what means it comprised whiskey distilled in the 1980s when just a couple od distilleries made straight rye 1 to 3 days a year. Where did Mr. Kulsveen source juice for Vintage Rye 23 we are not certain, privately we know about his close ties with Heaven Hill Distillery.
Nose: lots of spice and oak, tobacco, leather, burnt wood, caramel, vanilla, aniseed, pepper, bitter almonds, pine resin, hints of mint and basil.
Palate: very oaky, pepper, nutmeg, cigar tobacco, toasted rye bread, burnt caramel, vanilla, bitter orange marmalade and dried herbs.
Finish: long, oaky and spicy, with notes of bitter chocolate, tobacco and leather.