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From Shrouded Secret to Evolving Enigma: The Untold Story of Noah's Mill Bourbon.

The name Willett Distillery hangs in the air of bourbon circles like a well-worn secret. Unlike the booming pronouncements of industry titans, Willett speaks in hushed tones, a quiet confidence that prioritizes quality over empty boasts. Their core expressions, shrouded in a touch of intrigue, have amassed a devoted following, while their single-barrel releases are coveted prizes amongst whisky aficionados.


For the discerning imbiber, a visit to The Bar at Willett is akin to a pilgrimage. Nestled amongst the verdant tapestry of Kentucky's rolling hills, it offers a sanctuary for the inquisitive palate, a haven to explore a unique collection of liquid gold. Picture it - a midday respite on the famed Bourbon Trail, punctuated by a sip of something truly extraordinary.


Unveiling a Legend: The Evolving Story of Noah's Mill


Today, we delve into one of those enthusiast-adored enigmas: Noah's Mill. Once draped in the mystique of a 15-year age statement and sourced from an undisclosed distillery, it was a legend murmured in hushed tones.


Today's iteration marks a new chapter for the brand. Willett now crafts Noah's Mill from their own maturing stocks, a testament to their growing prowess.


While the age statement has made a graceful exit, the robust ABV of 57.15% assures us this is a dram to be approached with respect.


A Toast to the New Chapter


Batch 21-66 sits before us, a deep caramel color reminiscent of burnished autumn leaves, promising a journey of exploration. The first inquisitive inhale reveals a captivating intrigue. A powerful wave of nutty richness, reminiscent of warm peanuts from a ballpark vendor, mingles with hints of sweet caramel, sun-kissed corn, and the comforting embrace of seasoned wood, not unlike a well-aged Elijah Craig Barrel Proof expression with nuanced layers of added depths.


A touch of youthful vibrancy peeks through, a gentle reminder to allow this complex spirit to breathe and unfurl its secrets. There's a subtle hint of baking spice lurking in the background, like a whisper of cinnamon, macademia and nutmeg from a freshly baked pecan pie, backed by cornbread and a faint berry note.


This delightful complexity is further enhanced by a juxtaposition of aged oak and a hint of astringency from younger barrels, suggesting a masterful blending of various ages.


On the Palate and Beyond


The palate mirrors the nose, a captivating interplay of nutty and woody notes. The 114.3 proof delivers a respectable warmth, a comforting embrace rather than a fiery assault. Hints of banana and salted peanuts dance alongside a whisper of young grain, all harmonized by a creamy, inviting mouthfeel. Imagine a bowl of roasted nuts tossed with hints of baking spices, the honeyed sweetness balanced by a gentle salinity and fleeting floral notes.


The oak influence comes through on the mid-palate, not overpowering but presenting itself with a whisper of vanilla and a touch of char.


The finish lingers, a testament to the spirit's quality. Toasty oak mingles with the ever-present peanut character, leaving a pleasant Kentucky hug that lingers on the palate. As the warmth fades, a subtle wave of cocoa emerges, like a dark chocolate truffle enjoyed by a crackling fireplace with cinnamon lingering pleasantly and floral highlights rounding out the complex tapestry.


A New Appreciation for a Storied Legacy


Noah's Mill remains a worthy contender in the bourbon arena. While some may romanticize the mythical qualities of earlier batches, this 2017 iteration offers its own distinct charm with Willett's own distillate shines through, showcasing a youthful vibrancy, perfectly complemented by the nuanced layers developed during aging. The peanut and wood notes may not resonate with every palate, but for those who appreciate a savoury pre-dinner dram with a touch of unexpected sweetness, Noah's Mill delivers in spades.


Noah's Mill's legacy is one of continuous evolution. It is a bourbon that invites exploration, a conversation between tradition and innovation. It offers a chance to discover the nuanced depths of a bourbon crafted with dedication and a touch of mystery.


Summar summarum, a bourbon that whispers its secrets on the Kentucky breeze, leaving behind a symphony of flavours that reverberate long after the last drop.


On the verdant shores of terra australis, Willett finds its exclusive haven through Cerbaco, which is not just a distributor – it's a destination for the discerning spirit enthusiast. For over three and a half decades, they've embarked on a meticulous quest, unearthing hidden gems from the world of spirits.


Cerbaco's portfolio is a curated collection, intimate and artisanal. Each bottle whispers a tale of authenticity and quality. Imagine a 35-year-old Cognac, where time has patiently crafted each drop to perfection. Or a meticulously crafted gin, capturing the essence of botanical mastery. Every selection speaks volumes about Cerbaco's dedication to uncompromised excellence.


Their philosophy, honed through relationships with France's most prestigious Michelin-starred establishments, is not about chasing commercial trends.


Au contraire, it is about curating a collection that embodies the pinnacle of spirit-making. Think crème de la crème gins, whiskies that tantalize the palate, rhum agricoles bursting with island character, and calvados with a heritage as rich as its flavor.


It's a place where the discerning drinker can embark on a personalized odyssey of flavour exploration and one that could not be better suited for Willett Distillery's creations.


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Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Willett.

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