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So is this a poor man's Pappy? Well, I've tasted many a sweet corn pap in my day, and I would say, er, not really despite the hype. Maybe a new fangled Pappy at 5-7 years but who has tasted that?
Yes, same distillery but the old good Pappy's warnt even Buffalo Trace were it? Stitzer Weller was a different breed, at least I think, when compared to the present stuff. So by today's yardstick of today's Pappy, yes, this is a chip off the old block, but maybe not the best "cut" of that block, if you are counting the way "good" barrels are marked and tended and the less favorable ones naturally sold for far lower prices.
Anyway, all of the Pappy hype is not worth one's breath unless it's for the old stuff, which was divine and is mostly all gone. New Pappy's to me is a like a plastic Rolex. Why bother when you've got a cell phone with a more accurate clock in it? I don't bother to get my hands on Pappy's any more.
Long long ago in a universe far far away, when I first became converted to the Old Skool of Pappy Van, the 12 did me just fine. And then I needed the 15, and then the 20, and finally the 23. Why? Well . . . them old barrels just didn't get in there like they once did.
In other words, sometimes you got old stuff mixed in with the younger but not any longer, no siree. These days, the 12 tastes like 7 and the 24 tastes like 15, not to mention the age-old complexity is just not the same. Am I remembering through rose colored brain cells? I don't think so. When it comes to bourbon, the older stuff was just better. And such was often the case for Scotch Whisky as well.
This said ... I do like the Old Weller Antique 107 in front of me, even though it no longer bears an age statement. It's been my experience that when the age statements first go, then the quality can even jump up a bit, and then it goes way down in time. Not sure if this will happen to the 107. Hope not.
Nose: Summer heat off the fields, ethereal sugars that really do defy description; cotton candy at the state fair when you are under nine years old and it is still new and novel; not much corn and not much cherries--and to me that is a very welcome change from most bourbons that taste like refried cherries served in a sugary corn tortilla. Yuck. Not so with this 107. My nose likes it thus muchly.
Mouth: There are the cherries, corn, not as nice as the nose, thorny oakenshield, tilth that catches in yer throat, deep fried muskrat tail.
Finish: Medium to short with more of the mouth that tends to lodge in the throat a little uncomfortably.
Water improves the whole scenario completely and adds complexity to the mouth with some christmas cake and cinnamon.
Still, the nose is the best part of this bourbon, without a doubt. Or my name's not Cunundrum.