Published on September 23rd, 2014 | by Siz0
William Larue Weller – Buffalo Trace Antique Collection
The legend of William Larue Weller is well known across most bourbon ‘aficionados’. He was infamous for replacing the Rye flavor grain in his bourbon recipes with wheat. He liked what the wheat offered him in terms of flavor. So when you see any of the W.L. Weller recipes out there you’ll know that they’re “Wheaters”. I think this also laid the ground work for the Maker’s Mark brand and the main reason that they use a red winter wheat as their flavor grain instead of the traditional rye. That wheat tends to offer a sweeter lighter juice at the end than the traditional rye.
After the George T. Stagg, this was my 2nd most anticipated bottle to crack open from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC). I’ve always been a fan of Weller bourbons. For the reasons that I mentioned above. I tend to like a little bit sweet and lighter. This William Larue Weller is the highest proof that they have ever released, and it’s also the highest proof out of this years BTAC. Weighing in at an astounding 140.2 proof it’s probably going to pack quite a punch. Just like the Stagg, this bourbon is uncut and unfiltered. I sampled it uncut first, then added some water to it as well to see how it opened up. Last year’s edition was given a 95 rating by Whiskey Advocate, so this year’s release has quite a bit to stand up to. We’ll see what it has to offer in a bit.
The packaging of this William Larue Weller is similar to the rest of the BTAC. Exact same bottle, the only difference is the screen printing on the front and the protective sleeve at the top of the bottle. This particular’s bottle cover is a deep red. A cool aspect of this bottle is the logo-esque symbol above the name on the front of the bottle. It’s the initials of the man behind the recipe, WLW. It’s a pretty fancy little logo, I like it a lot, but not as much at the deer antlers on the Stagg.
Well I think that’s enough bottle talk, it’s time to get into the bourbon and see it can bear the Weller name!
Coming out at 140 proof I wasn’t overwhelmed with the notes of alcohol like I was with the Stagg. Instead I got a good dose of sweetness. Initially caramel, and a lighter floral note. Still some good doses of vanilla throughout to round everything out.
On the palate this William Larue Weller really showed it’s character. Initially you’re blasted with a dark mocha right on the tip of your tongue. From there it moves into a delicious pipe tobacco note that overcomes the entire palate. It’s a very sweet and a delicious transition.
The finish is fantastic, it’s balanced and draws out a nice bit. It has a good mouthfeel to it that leaves you wanting to take another sip. It has a fairly thick viscosity as well.
Overall, not too bad for this William Larue Weller. I was hoping for a bit more of something special. It was a pretty decent bourbon, but not one that I think I would go reaching for over and over again. I would easily pick up a bottle at the store, again because it’s part of the BTAC. However, I think there are more consistent and better tasting wheated bourbons out there. For me this is the #2 out of 5 on the BTAC list.