They say that a family that distills together, stays together, and the Willett family is no exception. John David Willett began distilling in Kentucky in the aftermath of the Civil War, and in 1898 his son A. Lambert Willett took over the family business. Lambert and his son Thompson eventually purchased a farm in scenic Bardstown, Kentucky and in 1935 Willet Distilling Company produced its first batch of thirty barrels. Even today, Willet Distilling Company (later rebranded as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers) is owned and operated by Thompson Willett’s son-in-law, Even Kulsveen.
Kulsveen may be Norwegian, but he still carries on the Willett family tradition of producing the finest single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Willett Pot Still Reserve is aged for over 6 years at the original Bardstown distillery and has earned numerous awards and accolades, including a gold medal for taste at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Even the bottle won a double gold medal for design at the same competition. With notes of vanilla, coconut, and cinnamon, Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon is soft and elegant on the nose. Each bottle is hand-labeled to identify the individual aging barrel, the total number of bottles produced from the aging barrel, and the individual bottle’s number within that series.
Take part in the Willett Family tradition by checking out Willet Pot Still Reserve Bourbon, now featured on Caskers. Try it out in a Kentucky Manhattan:
- 1 oz. Willet Pot Still Reserve Bourbon
- 1 oz. Sweet vermouth
- 1 dash Bitters
- 1 Cherry
Stir bourbon and vermouth. Add a dash of bitters and ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.