Ok, I don't submit many reviews here. But when I do write a review, it's because I've just sampled a spectacular whiskey and I just gotta share. Either spectacularly bad (like AZ High Spirits Mesquite) or spectacularly good (like Macallan Signatory 20). Well, this review falls into the latter category.
Now, for full disclosure: I'm still learning Bourbon. I understand single malt Scotch pretty well, and I'm not too bad with Irish's. But I'm still learning Bourbon. (Don't get me started on Tennessee sour mash's). Nonetheless, I do consider myself a bonafide student of whisk(e)y, and can identify a gem when I see (nose/taste) one. I've added bourbons to my personal collection as "homework". Let the grading begin!
So, with that in mind, let's commence. WL Weller is part of Buffalo Trace's "Antique Collection". As near as I can tell, this is about 13yo (give or take a couple of months), 2010 vintage. I'm not a big fan of typical Buffalo Trace, but perhaps that's because I'm not a fan of their "budget labels" you get in the local grocery store. Will a $160 "connoisseur’s label" be worthwhile to my discriminating palate?
(Full disclosure again: I think the "value" or "budget" labels you get in the grocery stores are usually crap. I've commented in a previous posting about this, using cheap vs. $$$ Bowmore as an example)
The nose: malt extract, chocolate fudge, cherry juice. Maybe some fruitcake. Hmm, the karo syrup note, so typical of cheap bourbon, is balanced here. Must be the wheat in the mashbill.
The palate: extremely oily & buttery, perhaps the most viscous whiskey I've yet sampled. Mmmm, I adore viscous/oily scotches, so I approve. I don't faint around feints! The nose is replicated: dark chocolate-covered black cherry cordials. The sticky white goop in the cordials is the bourbon corn sweetness! It is not off-putting. The EtOH burn goes great with the flavors.
The finish: long, long, long. Again, more cordials, with a bitter chocolate that lasts forever, along with faint black tea leaves.....
For those familiar with my other reviews, then you know I give extra credit points for whisk(e)ies that elicit memories from me. In this case, I get memories of my grandfather ordering his beloved Manhattan. He died a few years back; I do miss him.
WL Weller, thank you for reminding me how much I miss Grandpa!