I’ve been a fan of Willett for several years going back to when they were releasing sourced barrels, so it’s been interesting watching them transition into their own distillate. There have been a number of private selections over the last few years and they have been pretty hit and miss. Most of the time, the determining factor on whether it is a hit is like all private picks; the people picking. In this case John and Zeke from Dads Drinking Bourbon along with some of their Willett loving friends picked this barrel.
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Walking into the VIP area at the Mount Vernon Whiskey Fest back in November, Patti and I see a familiar face and head over to the area where Ragged Branch Distillery Owner Alex Toomy is pouring samples. One bottle in particular, is a barrel proof rye whiskey, 126 proof. Alex identifies it as samples from a private selection. That was the best whiskey we tasted that night even though Bill Thomas owner Jack Rose was pouring from some dusties over in the corner.
I have written several articles about Ragged Branch for Bourbon and Banter since they first invited us to their distillery in 2017. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, they started distilling bourbon in July 2014 under the tutelage of Dave Pickerell. In addition, they also distill rye whiskey and at Mount Vernon, Alex told us his rye whiskey would be bottled soon and invited us to visit the distillery for a tasting.
I’m Mr. #RespectTheBottomShelf and when you enter the realm of $10 whiskeys, there’s no doubt where you’re looking – right at the bottom shelf. Evan Williams Green Label is the most basic expression of the brand and is sold in fewer markets than you’d ever guess.