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WARNING: this review is longer than my typical reviews
The internet is a strange place. Social media is even stranger. Log on to Twitter, say something as innocent as "I like Alaskan Malamute puppies" and within the first ten minutes someone will undoubtedly tell you that you're the worst person who's ever lived and that you should re-think your life.
I've left a few bourbon groups on Facebook for similar reasons. Now most whisky appreciation groups on Facebook are interesting, convivial places where you can find recommendations and information you can't seem to find anywhere else. However bourbon-specific groups seem to draw a different type of enthusiast, or maybe I just haven't found the right ones. In most scotch groups, for example, divergence on taste preferences are treated as just that; individual preferences. In the Facebook bourbon groups I've visited, there's a direct correlation between your bourbon preferences and your value as a human being. I was chastised, derided, and belittled because I had the audacity to state that my particular bottle of Weller 12 Year Old, wasn't very good. It was perfectly clear to these grown men who I didn't know that I'm "just a triggered libtard snowflake". Of course, they were the ones carrying on about it IN ALL CAPS ! but I digress. Odd, very odd.
Luckily the members of Connosr are more sympathetic, insightful, and knowledgeable. I was told by a few people that some batches of Weller 12 were nigh on undrinkable unless they were allowed to "sit" for a year or more. This became a challenge for me, since I'm more of an instant gratification kind of guy. I want my bourbon to be delicious and I want it to be amazing now. But given the choice between pouring my Weller 12 down the drain and waiting it out, the decision was obvious. Wasting bourbon is criminal.
My tasting notes are almost always an aggregate of several tastings, but I don't always include separate notes and dates. I did in this case since I was expecting the bourbon to change.
Tasting Notes (April 2018)
neat from a Glencairn glass
- Nose: cherries, oak, brown sugar, a bit of old leather and tobacco.
- Palate: rich mouthfeel, deep cherry notes, a bit of maple syrup, a lovely beginning marred by a somewhat off-putting cough syrup note.
- Finish: the sharp, discordant medicinal cough syrup note persists and masks what is otherwise a pleasant maple-pecan-oak finish. Good overall, but the cough syrup note is incredibly disappointing and doesn’t seem to go away with time or with water.
I tasted my Weller 12 a few more times in the subsequent months of 2018 and it was always the same, lovely aromas, nice start to the flavour development, and turning unbearably awful and bitter on the finish. It was disappointing but my fellow Connosrs encouraged me to keep my bottle around and promised that the bitter cough syrup note would eventually dissipate.
Initial Score: 70/100 (mostly because of the bitter and off-kilter finish)
Tasting Notes (November 30, 2019)
Neat from a Glencairn glass
- Nose: subdued, oak, vanilla, cherry, brown sugar, a hint of Juicy Fruit gum
- Palate: medium bodied, vanilla, oak, slightly tannic, a little maple syrup, a touch of almonds
- Finish: the cough syrup note is finally gone. Gentle and somewhat drying oakiness, baked apples, pecans, maple syrup, and a hint of the Juicy Fruit gum flavour lingers.
Updated score: 87/100
Tasting Notes (December 27, 2019)
Neat from a Copita glass
- Nose: cherries, toasted oak, vanilla, ripe peaches, a bit of barrel char
- Palate: medium body, slightly tannic, cherries, oak, cinnamon
- Finish: long and warming, but pleasantly dry, baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), pecans, a little maple syrup, some cherries hanging around.
Final score: 88/100
I'm glad I waited this one out.
- Would I order this in a bar? No. Since I have no way of knowing how fresh the bottle is, I wouldn't want to set myself up for disappointment.
- Would I accept a glass if offered? Yes. If this is from someone else's bottle, it would be worth a go.
- Would I purchase another bottle? Absolutely. Especially if the price is reasonable. Now that I know that it does improve with time, I wouldn't hesitate.