August 29, 2014

the big Willett tasting Part 4 (Family Estate 10-Year Bourbon THE MOHAWK)

Ok the big Willett tasting is officially into the double digits!  Loved the new 2-year rye.  The 5-year rye is sort of a standard cabinet fixture for us.  The 9-year bourbon was an unexpectedly good treat.  No we're on to a 10-year bourbon. And not just any 10-year, this is a very special private barrel.  It's one of the 800 series which were bottled during the peak of Willett's private barrel program.

Willett Family Estate 10-Year Bourbon
Barrel #828 127.6 proof THE MOHAWK

There's a joint in Shorewood, Minnesota named (aptly) Shorewood Liquor.  The gentleman at the helm is one Stephen Shackleton, aka The Mohawk.  Shorewood is fairly well known to be the best whiskey shop in the state, or maybe even for a few states in either direction.  If you go there, know that Stephen has a low tolerance for anyone trying to take advantage of his awesome selection.  He's been known to force customers to open their new bottles and take a swig to make sure that they're not going to flip them.  Love this guy!

The Mohawk, Stephen Shackleton

Shorewood has some great private barrels to their name.  Four Roses, Old Weller Antique, Willett, they've been doing this for a while.

Tasting Notes

Nose:  There's a lot of wood and a lot of butter.  There's nothing small about this one.  A big heady birch campfire with burnt butter and sweets.

Palate:  Well this one comes at you really hot, which is no surprise at nearly a hundred and thirty proof.  It definitely needs a good thirty or forty minutes in the glass, and in our opinion there's no shame in adding a dollop of water.  (Even with water this still probably out-proofs ninety percent of the other whiskies out there).  Once it's mellowed a bit you get a wonderful heavy mix of jammy woody sweet spicy sauce with a ton of black pepper.

Finish:  This one sticks with you until next Tuesday.  Definitely no lack of balls on this guy.  Quite the opposite of the 9-year, this is a real ripper.

We're really getting into it now.  Tune in tomorrow for some 21-Year Willett bourbon goodness!

Big Willett Tasting Part 5...


  1. The Mohawk is my hero! Having missed any PVW allocation for the 1st time in 5 years, it's annoying to know a large percentage is going to people reselling.

    On another note, just picked up a bottle of 10 Year Willett Bourbon. Trying to wait until Thanksgiving but your review has me salivating. Drinking all my Four Roses 2013 LE should have me ready for the 127.5 proof that my bottle is!

    1. Yeah the flipping is so out of control that I don't think any PVW even makes the shelves in the Northeast anymore. Glad to hear you're enjoying some good whiskey!!

  2. Tried the Willett 10 year single barrel from Atlantic importing tonight. Pop and poured. Dark copper color. Nose of Tabasco sauce, tobacco, sweet oak. On the palate rich sweet oak with tobacco. A real brute at 127.5. Put in on an ice cube and it brought out brown butter/sugar. The nose very similar to 20 year Michter's without the age, just my opinion.
    Bottom line. Amazing juice. Could move into third on my list. Right now Van winkle 13 year rye and Michter's 20 year are 1 &2. But my top three will not be firmed up until I try the Michter's 25 year rye that is on its way to me.

    1. Awesome, we've actually got a couple of those Atlantic Willett bottles, the 127 and the 130 (there was also a 132!). Haven't opened them yet but thanks for the tasting notes! Happy t-day!!