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This year Old Weller Antique 107 was included in the Buffalo Trace (Antique) lottery that the LCBO held in January. Though I struck out with all the other offerings my family and I did win the rights to a few of these $35 “consolation prizes”. I’d heard good things about it, and I have minimal experience with wheated bourbon so let’s see what this is all about.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I don’t usually add water to bourbons but did so in order to fully explore it for this review. Interestingly, when I added the water, the swirls and ripples in the glass lasted for quite a while, even with gentle swirling.
The bottle was opened February 4, 2017, and is just over 2/3 full, gassed each time.
Neat – On initial pour, soft caramel, vanilla, dust and oak. After a few minutes, some high pitched (the way I imagine them when @Victor describes them) fruity notes, corn syrup, some baking spices, the faintest hint of pickle juice. Despite the high ABV no spirity hint of alcohol on the note. Quite nice but a little soft. 22/25
With water – "warmer", strong vanilla, more powerful nose. Less fruity. Definitely more complex and more interesting. (23/25)
Neat – First sip is quite powerful. Sweet, with a sharp alcohol nip. The oak is quite forward. I get caramel and vanilla, a little spiciness (or is that the alcohol?). Not that complex. 21/25
With water – Still spirity, a little thinner on the mouthfeel. Some mint or menthol on the development . A little more complex. (21.5/25)
Finish: Vanilla, dry, slightly astringent, and fades quickly 20/25. Less bitter with water. (21/25)
Balance: Overall it’s a balanced whisky, but neat, the alcohol is a bit overpowering. 21/25. With water it seems a little more cohesive. (21.5/25)
Score: Neat - 8 4/100 With Water: 87/100
Time-Adjusted Score based on Enjoyment: 87/100
This one settles down after about an hour in the glass. I would need to try it again without water to see if it does the same, but who has time to wait an hour?
This might be a good bottle to leave ungassed for a few weeks and see if the harshness tones itself down. Maybe the next time I pour it I'll do that.