Sample Mountain Week 2: Young and Tasty

Welcome to Week 2 of sample mountain! From now on these will try to have some theme bringing the samples together beyond just me having them. This week’s line up was inspired by me getting an Old Kirk sample that I couldn’t wait to get into. The internet consensus is that these are Willett distilled and I’m a fan of that. I decided to put it up against two other young but sought after bourbons with a real Willett Family Estate pick and a wheated Boone County pick.


Old Kirk Yorkshire Pick

Age: 6 years 9 months

Proof: 129.5


Nose: Strong and balanced with cherry, rich oak and warm spices.

Taste: Cherry syrup, oak, warm spices and a touch of licorice. Excellent mouthfeel that is viscous and almost sticky.

Finish: A touch hot on the otherwise enjoyable medium length finish with lingering cherry syrup and warm spice.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Willett Family Estate Angle’s Share Pick

Age: 6 years

Proof: 121.8


Nose: Mellower than the Kirk with a slightly musty note then spice and oak.

Taste: A bit of leather then a lot of oak and spice with subtler caramel notes running through the palate. Note quite at the level of the Old Kirk on viscosity.

Finish: Very long, though the lingering portion is subtler, with quickly fading oak and vanilla then fainter spice and caramel.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Boone County 6 Year Wheated Lion’s Share Pick

Age: 6 years

Proof: ??


Nose: Sweet with honey wheat bread and vanilla notes.

Taste: Sweet and herbaceous with some bready notes as well. Decent mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium to long with some warm spice and lingering sweet herbs.

Buy a bottle? No


For me it can be hard to describe why I like these 6-7 year old Willett distilled bourbons so much. The tasting notes typically aren’t anything impressive. It’s very bourbon flavored bourbon but the way the notes come together and the intensity of them stands out especially for such a young bourbon. I’d happily buy the Old Kirk of the Angel’s Share Willett anywhere reasonably close to the MSRP though I wouldn’t pay what Willetts tend to go for these days. Overall I’d put the Old Kirk on par with a mid range WFE 6 year bourbon including this sample but not at the level of something like Highway Kind. The finish was the highlight of the Willett as it left gentle warm and sweet notes lingering for a very long time. The leather and mustiness where also pretty unusual for such a young bourbon.

As far as the wheated MGP pick it was enjoyable even if the youth did shine through a bit more than I’d like. It’s certainly on the right track but just short of making me want a bottle. I tried a different pick of this that I enjoyed more but I think it was a 7 year.


TL;DR: The Old Kirk was great, unsurprisingly I liked the Willett and the Boone County fell a bit short but was still enjoyable.


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