The Double: Jay Cutler and Brandon Taste Four Bottles From Kentucky’s Willett Distillery

by Chris Haney

The Double returns this week, and after tasting four bottles from Willett Distillery, Jay Cutler and Brandon are ready to take a trip to Kentucky. Brandon recently attended the Southern Whiskey Society event, which celebrated some of the finest spirits available. Unfortunately, Jay missed out on the recent event, but Brandon decided to bring what he considered one of the highlights of the 2022 Southern Whiskey Society event to The Double with a Willett Distillery tasting.

Brandon has selected four bottles from the popular whiskey makers out of Bardstown, Kentucky. The private family-owned and family-operated company has been producing bourbon and rye whiskeys since 1936. Even better, whiskey drinkers get top-notch bourbons for more than reasonable prices. Not a single bottle we’re trying today on The Double costs more than $35. Great spirits for great prices. You can’t go wrong.

“There was a Willett table [at Southern Whiskey Society]. And you know Willett. This is some of the best stuff you can drink,” Brandon said to Jay before grabbing the Old Bardstown 90 Proof. “It’s literally amazing. Let’s drink.”

“That’s all I do in this place,” Jay hilariously said before the guys dived into the whiskey tasting.

Old Bardstown 90 Proof

  • Color: Dark amber
  • Nose: Caramel, oak, vanilla, and just a hint of floral notes
  • Taste: The palate follows with more caramel, oak, and vanilla
  • Proof: 90 Proof, or 45% Alcohol by Volume
  • MSRP: $22.99

First up, Jay and Brandon are trying out Willett Distillery’s original bourbon they released decades ago, the Old Bardstown 90 Proof. Just a heads up, there’s nothing but positive reviews on this episode of The Double. The guys loved all four offerings from the Kentucky distillery.

“I mean, sure. I’m in,” Jay said after taking a sip.

“It’s great. I mean for 20 bucks? Yea,” Brandon said before sharing some history behind the bottle.

“Old Bardstown is a Kentucky Derby horse,” Brandon added. “His name was Old Bardstown, and he won a ton of races.”

Old Bardstown Estate Bottled

  • Color: Dark amber
  • Nose: Sweet, herbal, citrus
  • Taste: Palate is herbaceous, sweet fruit, vanilla, on a layer of oak and earthiness
  • Proof: 101 Proof, or 50.5% Alcohol by Volume
  • MSRP: $29.99

Next up, the guys are trying out the Old Bardstown with a slightly higher proof to the spirit. Brandon pours a taste of the Old Bardstown Estate Bottled for their second drink on The Double.

“Another great one. Got a little bit more of a kick,” Brandon said after sipping the whiskey. “It’s a little bit more ethanol to me. Like a little bit more alcohol-y.”

“Oooo,” Jay said as he enjoyed the whiskey before agreeing with Brandon’s assessment. “Definitely a bit more alcohol-y.”

Johnny Drum Private Stock

  • Color: Dark amber
  • Nose: Sour apple, vanilla, and oak
  • Taste: Fruits, vanilla, and spices, mixing them all together into a well-balanced and complex whiskey
  • Proof: 101 Proof, or 50.5% Alcohol by Volume
  • MSRP: $33.99

For The Double‘s third bottle of the episode, the guys are tasting Willett Distillery’s Johnny Drum Private Stock. Out of the four bottles we’re trying today, this is the rarest of the bunch.

“I’ve never seen this bottle,” Jay admitted.

“Little harder to find,” Brandon said. “I love that one. Better than the Old Bardstown [Estate Bottled]. I still think [the Old Bardstown 90 Proof] is the winner out of the three just because it’s smoother.”

“Uhhh, no. That’s good,” Jay said disagreeing as he pointed to the Johnny Drum.

“That’s your favorite?” Branson asked.

“Yea,” Jay concluded.

Pure Kentucky

  • Color: Dark amber
  • Nose: Toffee, fruit, eucalyptus and oak
  • Taste: Cinnamon, toffee, caramel, pepper, oak, and spices.
  • Age: 12 to 15 years old
  • Proof: 107 Proof, or 53.5% Alcohol by Volume
  • MSRP: $34.99

Last but not least we’re trying out a “special” one from Willett Distillery, according to Brandon. The guys are tasting the distillery’s Pure Kentucky bourbon. This one is aged longer than most of Willett’s offerings, and it makes for a unique spirit.

“Interesting bottle. Dude, this bourbon is 12 to 15 years old,” Brandon explained. “And you know we love our 12 years. But I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these bottles. I think they’re all fantastic.”

“No, I’m gonna buy all of them,” Jay agreed.

“But this one, that one’s special,” Brandon said. “Compared to these three, the flavor in this one, way more robust.”

“Wow,” Jay simply said after trying the Pure Kentucky. “I’m not a neat whiskey drinker because I’m a baby. But I’m fine with this. Very cool. Learned a bunch today.”

“Cheers! Let’s go to Kentucky,” Brandon said as The Double came to an end.

“Let’s go to Kentucky, let’s buy some Old Bardstown,” Jay added as they signed off.