Willett Gives Hand to Wolves Whiskey on Rye Project
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Wolves Whiskey Taps Willett Distillery for Collaboration on Rye


Wolves Whiskey and Willett Distillery are collaborating on The Rye Project.

California-based Wolves Whiskey is partnering with Kentucky’s Willett Distillery to launch a limited-edition rye called The Rye Project, Volume One, Batch One, set to release Dec. 6.

The Rye Project starts with a very low-rye (51%) whiskey aged in new American oak for six years, which is then blended with six- and seven-year whiskeys with higher rye content (74%) distilled by Willett.

“The depth and complexity of this rye whiskey is unique and consistent with the elite quality produced by the Willett house,” Wolves co-founder Jon Buscemi said in a news release. “We liked what was happening at 103 proof and bottled Batch One there. We were very fortunate to partner with [Willett Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen] for our first run of Rye.”

The collaboration developed from a friendship.

“I met the Wolves guys at a bourbon and cigar event in Bardstown a few years ago and our relationship grew from there,” Kulsveen said. “The project was born out of the good times we’ve had together and will certainly fuel future celebrations. The Wolves team pays attention to every detail – down to the cork.”

The bottle features a custom cork top inspired by the knob of a baseball bat that is a family heirloom of Buscemi. The textured label was created in partnership with a bespoke wine label producer in Sonoma County.

Wolves CEO Jeremy Joseph said they wanted to make a rye on the “low-rye side” of the spectrum.

The Rye Project, Volume One, Batch One is limited to 623 9-liter cases. It is set to release this month and next at a suggested retail price of $219 in CA, NY, TX, IL, CO, NJ, FL, CT, NV, AZ, MN, MD, and DC.

The second and final batch will be released in the Spring at barrel strength.

The Rye Project, Volume One, Batch One Tasting notes

Nose: Oak, vanilla, pepper, dried fruit, butterscotch, copper, floral, spice
Taste: Oak, dried dark fruit, vanilla, butterscotch, angel food cake, oily mouthfeel
Finish: Medium-short, warm vanilla, rising spice

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