Willett Pot Still Reserve Review ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎

Willett Pot Still Reserve Quick Stats:

Spirit: Willett Pot Still Reserve

Distiller: Willett Distillery

Aged: 8-10 years

Price: $39.99

Proof: 94

Willett Distillery Website

About The Distillery:

Once on the distillery grounds, one begins to understand just how unique the distillery and its surroundings are. Great efforts went to restore the main distillery building, cistern room, and aging warehouses. As a result, these restorations of the grounds have the left the property totally transformed. We have even more exciting developments in the works. From underground, spring-fed lakes, to the Kentucky split-face limestone exterior, it truly makes for a memorable trip. Our old turn-of-the-century belt and pulley fan systems running throughout the distillery and visitor center are a sight to see.

About The Bottle:
It is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey introduced in 2008 and bottled at 47% abv, with 8–10 year aging. Pot Still receives its namesake from the type of still used to make the whiskey. The bottle itself is a mini version of this. Its unique design makes it a standout on the store shelves and in your whiskey cabinet at home. Any time I have a guest peruse the whiskey shelf, I can almost guarantee there will be a, “Ooooh. What’s that bottle? I want to try that one. It looks awesome!”.

  • Nose
  • Palate
  • Finish
  • Proof vs Heat
  • Value

Notes & Review

Nose: Pungent, in a word. Let it breathe for a few minutes. Lemon vanilla sugar cookie dough.

Palate: Good mix of oily and watery. Citrus, lemon-pepper, vanilla, toffee. 

Finish: Slow fade. Citrus into vanilla cherry oak.


You have to be careful on this one. If you’re not, the nose can give you a big ethanol hit. Surprising for its proof. Letting it stand for a few minutes after the pour isn’t a bad idea. This seems to lessen the blow on your sinuses. Either that or I burnt them all out after that first whiff. After the fumes pass along, you get a very noticeable scent of vanilla and lemon. It’s like sticking your nose in a bowl of vigorously beaten lemon cookie dough just after adding the vanilla extract to the mix. It’s a pleasant airy scent after the ethanol fades. It’ll lose points on the proof vs heat scale for the nose but otherwise a very smooth whiskey. 

The palate is unique. A very interesting combination of citrus and candied vanilla. I think this is the biggest issue haters of this bourbon have. It can be seen as a very conflicting clash of a flavors and be off-putting. However, if a drinker loves a burnt candied citrus profile this might be your perfect pour. You have these two very pronounced flavors and some people might love a citrus pop but hate the candied toffee-vanilla and vice versa. The most accurate flavor divide I can compare this to is mint chocolate. People love it or hate it. There’s no middle ground.     

The finish is actually the best part of this whiskey in my opinion. It finds that fantastic middle ground of watery and oily to where it has great mouthfeel but it doesn’t coat your mouth for the length of your mortgage loan. It has a slow, pleasant fade of that citrusy palate into the oak and vanilla with sporadic tinges of cherry at the finale. More of a buttery than an oily actually and that coincides with the duration this hangs around for.

Overall, unless you know from the descriptions of this bourbon that it’s something you’ll fall head over heels for, I’d say grab a pour of this before you buy a bottle. It’s a solid bourbon for it’s physical characteristics but it might not fit every drinkers palate. 

User Review
4 (5 votes)

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