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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