My apologies to readers but you’ll have to indulge me on a slap down of a couple people. A buddy pointed me toward his Willett Facebook group recently as it exploded into a circus due to a brain damaged moose cock named Tyler Durdenesdurden and some special other tidbits from his like minded lot. Since Tyler Rumpelstiltskin or what ever his name is lost his nerve and deleted a good number of his posts, it’s hard to get the full gist of it now. Basically he didn’t like Willett 2 Year Rye and thought it was over priced. He did it really badly and made no sense. Mostly all responding comments were in support of Willett, some jumped both ways.
Then Drew Kulvseen (Willett family and Master Distiller) told this muskrat munching idiot Tyler not to buy the products. The Tyler dude with the Whiskey smarts of a toad then demands an apology and is appalled. Wait, blast a guy, his life, a brand and his family history and then when someone tells you to go away you get pissed? Shocked?
Is all Willett great? No. In fact as I blogged here a few months back, they changed to Synthetic corks due to a very rare industry wide natural cork taint issue in a tiny percentage of whiskey bottles. Stores and restaurants pick and buy barrels to be private bottled. If they pick the rare stinker that’s on them even if it reflects on Willett at times.
Universally, Two Year and under Rye usually sucks, rarely good from 95% of those that I’ve had. Willett is a very drinkable great Rye for two years. Does it beat something 3x the age, maybe cheaper? Sometimes yes, sometimes no but what’s the point! Two year is very rarely any good and this is very good for two years.
Some people commenting jumped on Willett about the price. There is an avalanche of crappy craft in .375 ML sizes that are $60 a bottle, tastes like swill and 3-4x the cost of a .750 ML Two year Willett Rye.
I know some distributers of Willett and they buy the two year rye for $17.50 a bottle. This is after Willett buys the grain, a $150 barrel, pays the labor and expense to make it, pays taxes, sits on the investment for two years, pays bottling expenses and much more overhead to make $17.50. This is also near a barrel proof rye. Rather than watering it down 10%-20% to make more money they don’t. When it’s sold at the Visitor Center it’s usually sampled and there’s other overhead. I doubt they come close to breaking even on tour costs so doing samples is more overhead. If they sold the Rye too cheaply the retailers (some 2-3 miles away) that need to sell it for $35-$40 wouldn’t be too happy. I’ll happily pay $40, it’s a great buy for what it is and represents.
Willett doesn’t have a billionaire Venture Capitalist as an owner/partner using it as a hobby, scam or adult binky. They use their own money, no loans and the 4 family members do without until they can. They could have put the rye out at 6 months or a year and they didn’t. They could have done the typical $70 white dog, they didn’t. They could put out a Root Beer “Shine”, they didn’t. They could put out a two year Bourbon now, they won’t.
Some Facebook people compare the new Oregon Black Maple Hill being bad and Willett’s fault when Willett has nothing to do with it! Nothing, it’s not their brand anyway. In fact the last batch of Willett produced Black Maple Hill was more or less a going away present so the guy that owned the brand would have some stuff before he got shut off.
Another idiot named Jeff on the group says that Willett is just another “big dog macro like all the other big name distillery’s” and they don’t have a Distillery which made no sense. He has no concept for the brand or history. Another guy talking out of his ass. Mind you they are fans following a Willett group. Amazing stuff huh? Lots of people did a great job in defense of Willett.
Who I really feel for is Drew. He has to put up with these idiots as a cautious but active participant on Facebook, Twitter, phone, email, you name it. The Van Winkles won’t give you the time of day. They complain that they need to answer the phone or emails when that’s pretty much all they need to do 363 days a year. The last time Julian Van Winkle III got his hands dirty was putting a golf tee in the ground with that days Celebrity or dragging his luggage to “another” award dinner. Drew will treat you like a friend and spend quality time with you if you put some effort into arranging your visit. He works early, late and plenty of weekends. His wife runs the Visitor Center. He does it because it’s in his blood and he wants the best. He could just as easily disappear like Willy Wonka and not be bothered. The Willett people aren’t paid salesman or Ambassadors that must “love” what’s on their business cards. They are as passionate as anyone in a family business as I’ve ever seen. The struggle to put out the best isn’t easy. When an idiot like Tyler jumps on line taking 15 minutes off from his Porn collection to crap on something he has no clue of I feel for the Kulvseens (Drews mother is a Willett).
Another group idiot called out Willett “Small Batch” as not being such. I’ve seen the tanks and they couldn’t do anything but a small batch if they wanted right now. They’re more comments I can address but I’m sure but I’ve made my point.
Lastly, if you’ve never been to Willett your really not in a position to criticize because you have no idea. Love them from afar but until you’ve seen the place and meet the people shut the F up if critical until you have because you just come off looking terrible. I’m about the most critical whiskey geek out there and taking Willett to task is like insulting Mother Teresa for eating food when orphans were starving. It’s unfortunate such idiots like Tyler and Jeff exist in this hobby. They would be so much better suited for flavored Vodka and Jaeger shots to have no clue about. I hope they never buy another drop of good Whiskey so those deserving of it have more. Someone please share this link to idiots Jeff and Tyler on the Willett Group Facebook site. Let them know in the future they might want to take their heads out of their asses and do 5 minutes of research or they will continue to make chimps look smarter.