Lambert Willet was the superintendent of the newly renovated Max Selliger & Co. Distillery, and his son A.L. Thompson Willett was assistant superintendent. Shortly after, Thompson Willett left to build the Willett Distilling Company and on 17th March, 1936 produced its first batch of 300 bushels (~30 barrels). The whiskey was stored in one of the eight warehouses each capable of holding between 5,000–6,000 barrels (total capacity 48,623 barrels). The warehouses were built on some of the highest ground in the county, assuring that a fresh breeze would aid in the maturation of the whiskey. The Willett Distilling Company continued to operate and on 1st July 1984, Even G. Kulsveen, son-in-law to Thompson Willett, purchased the property and formed Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd., which Even’s family runs today. By law, Bourbon must be made up of at least 51% corn and be aged a minimum of two years in a new charred white oak barrel, standards that were pioneered by early Bourbon makers such as Evan Williams and Rev. Elijah Craig.
This whiskey takes you on a bit of a journey. The bouquet is filled with sweet caramel and vanilla but as you taste, the char smoke shows up and becomes quite dry, crisp and tastes of bitter wood spices. The finish shows more sweet notes and apple wood and somehow ends softly with just smidgen of smoke.