For extra tales on TikTok, take a look at our whole series here.

“What’s up Bourbon TikTok? … In the present day I would like to inform you about my least favourite bottle in my assortment,” says Chad Watson, a Lexington, Ky.-based bourbon fanatic who goes by @mydailybourbon. Sporting a black tie with a zippered grey jacket, over the subsequent 40 seconds Watson discusses how a lot he dislikes Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve — “too malty, too earthy, too grassy” — which has turn out to be the bourbon that TikTokers most love to hate.

Spend any period of time on so-called Bourbon TikTok and you may’t assist however run throughout a whole lot of evaluations for Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve. Some are skilled, most are novice, a number of are earnest, many extra are comical, bordering on merciless. And so they’re almost all adverse, as if slamming this explicit whiskey is a ceremony of passage in changing into a bourbon reviewer on the exceedingly common platform.

So how did Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve turn out to be probably the most dunked-on bourbon in all of TikTok?

“TikTokers are doing a service that others within the running a blog, YouTube, Instagram, and even the podcast house can’t,” believes Kenny Coleman, host of the Bourbon Pursuit podcast. He says that after one thing like these Willett Pot Nonetheless slams take off by way of TikTok’s algorithm, extra are sure to observe. “So now bourbon reviewers on TikTok are getting a message out to individuals who didn’t essentially know there even are bourbon evaluations,” he says.


Trustworthy and Unbiased Assessment #willett #potstill #bourbon #fyp #bourbontiktok #whiskey

♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose

Zero Level Zero

For connoisseurs, Willett holds a hallowed place within the American whiskey pantheon. The firm humbly started in 1984 when Even Kulsveen bought it from his father-in-law, Thompson Willett, and renamed it Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. However Kulsveen wasn’t really distilling something, as a substitute sourcing undesirable inventory from close by distilleries like Bernheim, 4 Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, and the vaunted Stitzel-Weller.

As the trendy American whiskey growth started to take form within the early aughts, Kulsveen’s son Drew started releasing their most primo inventory as cask-strength, non-chill-filtered single barrels beneath the umbrella Willett Household Property. A few of these, with names like Pink Hook Rye, Doug’s Inexperienced Ink, and Rathskeller Rye, grew to become a number of the most acclaimed releases in American whiskey historical past. Just about all Willett Household Property bottlings launched since 2006 now promote for a whole lot if not 1000’s of {dollars} — and, in case you lack data and connections, you actually haven’t any probability to ever rating any.

“Purple tops, inexperienced tops, that’s enjoyable stuff, however when it comes to [Pot Still] … it’s simply not for me,” says Watson.

Sadly, virtually all Willett seems to be equivalent — Cognac-style bottles topped with, as Watson mentions, purple foil tops, inexperienced foil tops, or white wax. All are slapped with stark white labels that includes the Willett household crest, with the one figuring out variations being tiny, handwritten particulars indicating every bottle’s age, proof, and typically an esoteric barrel quantity. (For some time, the whiskey web circulated a Google spreadsheet to hold observe of those barrel numbers.) All that is what makes the Willett portfolio, if you’ll, fully inscrutable to newcomers.

“Willett is a really notable model and other people love to chase their restricted releases,” says Watson. “So Willett does what most manufacturers would do in that case: creates a product that attracts folks with their eyes, is priced decently, and is just about at all times out there.”

That product, in fact, being Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve, the one Willett whiskey ever launched into the mainstream. And that’s the place I think the cognitive dissonance units in.

Newcomers to the bourbon pastime see the reverent tones Willett is spoken with on-line, then assume that each one Willett is the nice Willett that whiskey geeks have been stockpiling for years. The proven fact that Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve is available in an attention grabbing glass decanter — meant to seem like a literal copper pot nonetheless — solidifies the very fact they’ve stumbled upon a superb rating, which makes the following disappointment as soon as they lastly style all of it the more serious.

“What’s up guys and gals, that is Kent Davis, wanting to offer you an sincere bourbon overview,” says @kentedavis33, talking over a nonetheless picture of the Pot Nonetheless bottle. His following nine-second TikTok is a succinct slam:

“Good bottle, however zero level zero.”


Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve Assessment#bourbon #bourbonreview #whiskey #whiskeyreview

♬ original sound – MATTYBOURBON

Nicest Trying Bottle in My Assortment

That “good” bottle is precisely what leads to a lot animus, claims Watson.

“As soon as folks attempt the juice inside, they understand they’ve been duped,” says Watson. “For what looks as if a tremendous artwork piece, the liquid inside simply doesn’t match the usual. It tastes younger, earthy, and really inexperienced.”

Virtually all Pot Nonetheless appearances on TikTok start with the reviewer mentioning how a lot they just like the bottle. In his overview, Watson notes that the “bottle form … is basically cool.” “Fairly neat bottle…” says @glennflashwells. “Nicest trying bottle in my assortment arms down,” says @mattybourbon. In lots of circumstances that would be the final wholly constructive factor uttered by the reviewer.

Florida-based Andy Mauldin (@ronbourbondy) selected Willett Pot Nonetheless for his first-ever TikTok overview earlier this 12 months, claiming he’s by no means tried it earlier than. Although even that doesn’t cease him from comically coughing after his first sip.

“Whahoooooaa, that’s scorching!” he exclaims as he struggles to clear his throat. He ultimately calls Willett Pot Nonetheless Reserve “trash,” noting that the bottle is its “solely redeeming high quality.” Josh Grundemann (@bassinandbourbon) additionally coughs, almost choking after sipping his first-ever Pot Nonetheless pour.

“That could be the worst bourbon I’ve ever tasted,” states the Louisiana man.


Is Willet Pot Nonetheless value it? @60secondbourbonreview and @caseywarr do! Right here’s my ideas! #BourbonTikTok #Bourbon #fyp

♬ original sound – Josh Grundmann

In a means, you can say a TikToker’s first sip of Willett Pot Nonetheless is the baptism by firewater that catapults them to the subsequent degree of connoisseurship. Perhaps they’ll now be prepared to get extra critical with their bourbon reviewing. Or, possibly they’ll simply need to milk the “Pot Nonetheless sucks” joke even additional — by now it’s began to turn out to be a type of TikTok meme.

Maudlin, for his half, did a follow-up TikTok the place he dumps his remaining Pot Nonetheless into a elaborate crystal decanter, jokingly hoping his spouse will now assume it’s the “great things,” and thus drink it after working out of her most popular rosé.

If many Pot Nonetheless bashers go for the laughs relating to how terrible it’s in contrast to the luxe lodging of the bottle it’s housed in, there are a scant few TikTokers who’re extra earnest of their evaluations. Steve Higdon (@60secondbourbonreview) finds Pot Nonetheless “fairly mellow” and “simple to drink.” Casey Warr thinks it’s “okay stuff.” Whereas @mattybourbon calls it “not an ideal bourbon,” although admits it has a pleasant nostril with notes of buttered popcorn, scoring it a good 5 out of 10.

These evaluations may not elicit laughs or a viral view rely, however they’re extra correct of their assessments. Pot Nonetheless Reserve is actually not good — and I might by no means hold a bottle of it in my home — however it’s not as dangerous as TikTok would have you ever imagine. Distiller charges it an 88 (out of 100), whereas Drink Hacker scores it a B+. That feels about proper to me. Rumors abound that the spirit has gotten worse through the years, altering from a rye-flavored single-barrel bourbon to a wheated “small batch” mix of undisclosed origins. Regardless of the case, it’s virtually actually not 100 % distilled by way of pot nonetheless, which makes the identify and bottle design much more amusing.

That’s why the web anger continues to circulation, with neophytes considering they scored the world-famous Willett, seeing the flamboyant bottle appropriate for displaying on the again bar, resting their iPhones dealing with them in selfie mode, firing up TikTok, taking an enormous sip, after which realizing (on video) that they simply threw 50 bucks down the drain.

And, comical although these could also be, possibly Willett ought to begin paying extra consideration to them.

“Whiskey appeals otherwise to everybody. So there might be camps that like or dislike a sure whiskey,” says Coleman. “However when a majority of persons are persistently giving the identical message, the model ought to take observe and regulate.”

Or possibly not, as there continues to be a seemingly limitless stream of fresh-faced TikTokers very enthusiastic about their current Pot Nonetheless scores. Like @whiskeymorning, who enters his home clutching two bottles of Pot Nonetheless by their necks as he dances to Saweetie’s “My Time.”

We’ll watch for his TikTok overview as soon as he lastly cracks it. My guess is that it’ll virtually actually contain coughing.

Source link