The reviewed bottle has been open for 16 months, is 40% full, and has been preserved with inert gas for 1 year
Colour: extremely dark, as dark as any whisk(e)y you will ever see, if you live to be 150 years old
Nose: thick, rich, lush bundled flavours of wheat and sweet oak. Wheat merges with oak in a way which no other commonly used whisky grain does. The maple flavours from oak are intense. William Larue Weller is the most intense wheated bourbon on the market, and this 2011 release of William Larue Weller is the best William Larue Weller I have tasted. This is perfection in a wheated bourbon nose. Water brings out high-pitched confectioner's sugar
Taste: the nose translates excellently with beauty and intensity. This is one exceptionally smooth 66.75% ABV bourbon, consumed neat. Water adds a little roundness while retaining all of the richness
Finish: long, strong, excellent consistent finish; lots of deep sweet oak flavours
Balance: no understanding of wheated bourbon is complete without experiencing William Larue Weller. Over years of experience with hundreds of whiskies, William Larue Weller is one whose standing with me just grows and grows and grows
Jim Murray named this 2011 release of William Larue Weller Second Finest Whisky in the World for his 2013 Whisky Bible, and he is shown on the cover of that book holding a glass of 2011 release William Larue Weller in his hand. While I don't identify with Mr. Murray's taste on many things, I most certainly agree with him that the 2011 release of William Larue Weller is a 97 point whiskey
@Victor – lovely review as always. Excellent data about the bottle. I am enamored with this WLW. Indeed it is something beyond special in the world of whisky/whiskey. My only hope is that the 2013 is in the same ball park as this 2011 (sadly the same can not be said of the 2011 and 2013 Stagg).
I agree that Murray is a tough fish to get a handle on. One minute it seems that he and I are in complete agreement about a particular whisky, and the next I couldn’t disagree with him more. I can honestly say that every bottle I have ever bought based on his ratings I have been disappointed with. However, most every bottle I have dearly loved (before reading his reviews) he also seems to rate very highly. It has only been in tasting his beloved Uigeadail batch - that he rated so highly - that I finally feel like I can “read” him.