In the spring of 1936, at the age of 27, Thompson Willett founded Willett Distillery. The distillery was erected near the family farm, which had been purchased by Lambert Willett, Thompson's dad. Upon completion, in the spring of 1937, Willett Distillery produced its 1st batch of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. That 1st batch amounted to 300 bushels (~30 barrels) on March 17, 1937, St. Patrick's Day. The newly barreled Bourbon was stored in one of the family's rickhouses, each capable of storing between 4,000 and 5,000 Whiskey barrels. The rickhouses were built on some of the highest ground in the county, assuring that a fresh breeze would aid in the maturation of the Whiskey.
To this day, descendants of Thompson Willett are still carrying on the family tradition of making one Kentucky Bourbon and Kentucky Rye Whiskey at the same spot that Thompson and his family operated over 80 years ago.
In the latter portion of 2011, the family opened a visitor center and tasting room. It is quite common for the visitor center to carry very rare releases of Single Barrel and Small Batch Willett Family Estate Bottled Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys. Daily tours are also offered. We would like to extend a warm welcome.
Willett whiskey is considered rare for several reasons:
Small production: Willett Distillery is a small, family-owned operation that produces a limited amount of whiskey each year. This limited production, combined with high demand for their products, contributes to the scarcity of Willett whiskey.
Aged expressions: Willett Distillery is known for producing high-quality, aged whiskey expressions, many of which are bottled after several years of aging. This long aging process contributes to the scarcity of Willett whiskey, as it takes time to produce enough whiskey to meet demand.
High demand: Willett whiskey has a strong reputation among whiskey enthusiasts, who appreciate its unique flavor profile and high quality. This reputation, combined with the distillery's small production, contributes to the high demand for Willett whiskey, which often exceeds the amount that is available.
Limited distribution: Willett whiskey is distributed in limited quantities, and is often only available through select liquor stores or at the distillery itself. This limited distribution contributes to the scarcity of Willett whiskey, as it is not widely available in many areas.
Overall, the combination of small production, aged expressions, high demand, and limited distribution contributes to the rarity of Willett whiskey, making it a highly sought-after product among whiskey enthusiasts.
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