Blackened X Willett Straight Rye Finished in Madeira Casks Review

Review by Mark Pringle |

78 General Review of Blackened X Willett Straight Rye Finished in Madeira Casks

Blackened X Willett Straight Rye is a straight rye finished in Madeira Casks. This is an easy-going and sweet rye that is distilled and aged by Willet Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. It is bottled at cask strength, 109.6 proof. Does this rye whiskey live up to the hype? Let's see in this review. 

Blackened X Willett Straight Rye Finished in Madeira Casks

Rating: 78


Ratings breakdown based on a 100 point scale.

  • 90-100 Exceptional
  • 80-89 Very Good
  • 70-79 Average
  • 60-69 Below Average
  • 50-60 Drain Pour

Detailed Tasting Notes

Nose Review - Rating: 83

The first two noticeable notes of Blackened X Willett Straight Rye Finished in Madeira Casks are ethanol and rich caramel. The rye spice closely follows and begins to take over after the first few sniffs. Dark brown sugar notes are present, as you would expect with a Madeira cask finish. Additionally, the nose has dark cooked fruit and oranges notes, all of which are discernible, while the rye spice and mild ethanol are present. After some time being open, there’s a floral rye spice sweetness on the nose.

Palate Review - Rating: 79

My initial thoughts on the first sip are heat, sweetness, and oiliness. The Madeira wine cask does its job on the taste as well. Blackened X Willett Straight Rye is sweet. Of course, the rye is very present but not too dominant. There's a nice balance between the mildly spicy kick that the rye provides and the sugary sweetness from the Madeira cask. There's also some nuttiness towards the mid-palate and finish. The oiliness I sensed early on is not as intense later in the tasting. The ethanol heat also levels out. It becomes a little thin.

Finish Review - Rating: 80

An intense nuttiness, maybe walnut, lingers on the finish with the minty rye. A little bit of cocoa and char are present as well. The finish is warm but not as long as l hoped.

Uniqueness Review - Rating: 79

Madeira cask finished whiskeys are always an adventure.

Value Review - Rating: 72

This hurts. At a retail of $139.99, I expected a lot more. Blackened X Willett Straight Rye Finished in Madeira Casks was not as oily and rich as it should have been for a cask-strength rye whiskey at this price point.

Author: Mark Pringle
Smell IS taste. I am just a guy who has been hit with the bourbon bug and who has come to the conclusion that life is too short to drink average tasting bourbons. Go Gators!
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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