W.L. Weller 12 Year old

Older, and Less Concentrated

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



20th Aug 2012

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 23
  • Taste: 22
  • Finish: 21
  • Balance: 23

The average score for this whisky is 85.

Tasting Notes by Victor

W.L.Weller is one of the five large brands of wheated bourbons, and is produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery. The reviewed bottle has been open for 18 months and is 95% full.

Colour: pretty dark, as you'd expect from 12 years in new oak

Body: medium and oily

Nose: great after 18 months, but I don't remember it being anything like this until well oxidised: fragrant and perfumed oak, carnations, vanilla, caramel, wheat grain, even lavender

Taste: I have to say, this is so much better in its second year than its first. It just didn't excite me at all when first opened, but it is very very nice now. This is a great example of bourbons improving with oxidation. The flavours from the nose express well on the palate, and with pretty strong intensity

Finish: stays the course and finishes mellow. All the flavours remain relatively strong and exit together. Good stuff, and much more interesting than I remember it a year ago

Balance: "Older and Less Concentrated" than what? Than Old Weller Antique 107, which is the W.L. Weller product which is its closest competitor. I am a giant fan of Old Weller Antique 107 which is 7 yrs old and 53.5% ABV. Until this most recent sample of Weller 12 yo there would have been no contest whatsover to me, and OWA 107 would be the favourite. It is still my strong pleference of the two, but this sample of the 12 yo has really turned my head. Still, I don't want to wait 18 months for a bottle to develop into what I want out of it to drink. The pick of the litter in this line is William Larue Weller, the Sazerac Antique Collection Barrel Proof Wheated Bourbon. After that I recommend Old Weller Antique 107 extremely highly. This 12 yo is decent too, especially in oxidised form.

My ratings are given of the 18 months oxidised bottle, which would be, for me, about 6-8 pts higher than I would have rated the bottle in its six months


Whisky details


W. L. Weller




Full Gold



Wills wrote:

Open for 18 month and still 95% left? Your cabinet has proven to be too big! :)

20 August 2012 19:59

Victor wrote:

I am afraid that you are right, @ Wills! I am trying to rectify that huge inventory of opened bottles right now.

20 August 2012 20:20

Wills wrote:

Yeah sometimes it's a curse and a blessing.

20 August 2012 21:09

Victor wrote:

This Weller 12 still tastes very good 4 years after the bottle was opened. The bottle is still 85% full. This would still rate 87 pts for me now, four years open. And to think that I almost gave up on this bottle in the first 6 months!

28 February 2015 19:33

Jules wrote:

Victor, mine has now been open for two weeks and it has already changed somewhat... definitely for the better. It is now quite fantastic (never thought I'd say that about a Bourbon) and I honestly don't think there will be any of it left next year to sample this highly oxidized state you rave about! :D

13 March 2015 10:47

Victor wrote:

@Jules, William Larue Weller is THE man who invented the wheated bourbon genre, and who invented the wheated bourbon recipes used by all five of the big wheated bourbon brands.

I have a sister who for 40 years said "I hate Scotch". She was drinking the wrong Scotch. She doesn't say that anymore, and she has a Scotch collection now which is about the same size as ours, which is saying something. With bourbon as with Scotch, tastes change with the experience of having tried the better products.

13 March 2015 13:49

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