Willett Distillery, also known as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), Ltd., is a private family-owned and -operated company that produces bourbon and rye whiskey. Over the years the company has bottled whiskeys that range from 2 years of aging maturity up to 28 years.
The company is located on the outskirts of Bardstown, Kentucky, on a site that began as a farm owned by the Willett family. Primarily operating as a relatively large independent bottling company, KBD has been called "the big daddy of bourbon and rye bottling". The company has remained under family ownership and operation at the same location since it was created in 1936 as the Willett Distilling Company. The company started doing business as KBD in the mid-1980s.
Rowan’s Creek was named for the creek which runs through the grounds of the site's distillery. The creek, in turn, is named after John Rowan, a well-respected judge and statesmen in Kentucky during the late 1700s and early 1800s, whose mansion was supposedly the inspiration for the Stephen Foster song My Old Kentucky Home.
Rowan’s Creek was released as part of the Small Batch Boutique Bourbon Collection, along with Pure Kentucky, Noah’s Mill and Kentucky Vintage in the 1990s by Willett Distillery. The brand has seen considerable success since and, as of October, 2011, it was the best-selling brand on Willett Distillery’s books. In 2005 and 2011, Rowan’s Creek 12 Year Old whiskey was awarded a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competitions.
Nose: Hints of fruit and oak. Allspice and zest.
Palate: Citrus on the palate, with crème caramel, vanilla fudge and toasty oak. Good body, with an oily mouth-feel.
Finish: Long finish. Caramel again, with barrel char on the tail.