As some of you may know concerning the current state of bourbon in the US, some of these Buffalo Trace offerings have become insanely hard to get and ridiculously inflated in price in the last few years.
Weller 12yo is no exception to this. Often dubbed "Baby Pappy" or "Poor Man's Pappy" since the mash bill is the same, (it just gets less quality barrels and warehouse location apparently) I've seen these things selling for $100+ around the Nashville area and obviously would not pay those prices. Well, a friend was in a small store earlier this year in a rural area of Tennessee, and found 3 sitting on the shelf for $34.99 (retail) and there was no limit so he obviously bought all 3. One was kept for himself, one was given to @thewalkingdad, and one was given to me after I did him a favor of procuring a Belle Meade special release for him. I tried to pay him but he said the favor was enough, so thank you Anthony for being generous and not flipping these for triple what you paid.
Now, I will admit, I was not impressed by either the Weller SR or the Antique 107. This bottle has been opened just under a month. Sample is neat in a Glencairn.
Nose: Very soft nose. Not soft as in flavor, soft as in I can't tell there is much alcohol in this. But the flavor is there in loads! Fruity, with chocolate and oak undertones. Coffee, caramel and orange peel as well. This is the first time I recall getting orange peel in an American whiskey. Really fruity, with apples, raspberry and oranges.
Palate: Silky mouthfeel with loads of sugary fruity flavor. Cotton candy, Sweet Tart candies/Smarties, fruit salad with sugar sprinkled on top, that Hershey's chocolate syrup you put on vanilla ice cream. Dang, despite being only 90 proof this stuff delivers the goods.
Finish: A continuation of the palate, sugary fruit and chocolate linger and leave you needing another sip.
Overall: Ok, now I see what the fuss is about. I didn't see it with the special reserve or the 107, but this stuff is head and shoulders above those. This is legit delicious and too easy to drink. This bottle won't last long. Unfortunately, replacing it will be nigh impossible without shelling out some serious cash or taking a drive to Louisville.
Great review. I wish my Weller 12 was remotely close to what you’re describing here. The “great Weller divide” seems to separate us. I love OWA 107. I have 6 unopened bottles of the stuff. Contrast that with the Weller 12 that’s been at the back of my cabinet, 3/4 full since March 2018. The nose and first part of the development are dandy, but the finish on my Weller 12 is where everything goes horribly wrong. Have you ever tried Buckley’s cough syrup? You know “it tastes awful, and it works.”? Imagine old, stale Buckley’s and you’ll have an idea of how my Weller 12 tastes on the finish. @Victor tells me that my W12 might be lovely after 2 years, and I’m hoping he’s right. But he’s also told me many bourbon drinkers fall squarely into the OWA or the W12 camp. I feel we may be on opposite sides here.
@OdysseusUnbound That's interesting. I don't get stale Buckley’s at all thank goodness. I agree that there seems to be a Weller divide. @thewalkingdad, my cousin and myself prefer this W12 by far, but several of my whiskey circle prefer the 107. If I could take this Weller 12 and proof it up to 107 proof, then we'd be cooking!