Showing posts with label 12 Years. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 12 Years. Show all posts

W.L. Weller 12 Years Review


“Pappy Van Weller”

Whisky Review # 626

Country: USA
Brand: W.L. Weller
Type: Kentucky Straight Wheated Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45%
Maturation: Charred New American White Oak Barrels     
Price Range: US$ 25-35 in the USA (July 2017). An average US$ 100 elsewhere. 
Buying Advice:đŸ˜„ You should buy it if you can get it under 35 US Dollars. No need too spend more. Go for Maker's Mark as an affordable alternative!

Colour: Bronze with a shade of Red (Natural Colour)

Nose: Sweet and Pleasant. Reminds me of Maker's Mark. Thick layers of Sweet Corn, Vanilla and Caramel. It clearly misses the punch of the Rye but it's quite nice in its own right. I also find Toasted Oak, Buttered Toast, Banana, slightly Sour Blackberry-flavoured Yogurt, Freshly Baked Apple Pie, Honey Nuts Cereals,  Peach Jam, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fresh Mint, Sugared Almonds, Acetone and a few traces of Orange, Dirt Road, Rum and Leather. Not overly complicated but quite delicious! Could smell this for hours!

Palate: Medium-Sweet with a few Sour, Herbal and Spicy notes. I find Sugared Cereals, Buttered Toast, Toasted Oak, Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee, Caffe Latte, Rum, Orange-Flavoured Chocolate, Toasted Nuts, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Dirt Road, Fresh Mint, Aniseed, Honey Nuts and Herbal Tea. A bit of Tutti-Frutti Bubble Gum after a while. It's not bad but it's a lot less Sweet than you would expect after the Nose. A bit disappointing quite frankly!   

Finish: Bitter-Sweet, Herbal and quite Dry in the end with Honey Nuts, Toasted Oak, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Orange-Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Blackberry Muffins, Dried Herbs, Leather, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Rum and Herbal Tea. The Alcohol and something that reminds me of Varnish spoil the fun a bit in this department. A bit too dry for my taste as well. This is the weaker part of this Bourbon.

Drinking Advice:
No Need to add Water to the Weller 12 Years. It's quite nice over Ice as well but you should at least Nose it neat!

Rating: 86

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks:

The W.L. Weller 12 years is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, owned by Sazerac Company Inc. The Mash Bill is undisclosed but is said to be the same recipe as the Van Winkle Lot B. The only difference seems to be that hand picked barrels are used for the Van Winkle. Therefore, the W.L. Weller 12 Years is very often called the "Poor Man's Van Winkle". As a result, prices have increased dramatically over the last few years, mostly in the secondary market. Corn is of course the main grain used for this Bourbon but it is followed by Wheat rather than Rye. A little Malted Barley completes the Mash Bill. William Larue Weller was said to be the first American distiller that used Wheat in the Mash Bill.

Drinking Experience: Good. Great Nose!

Conclusion:

It's quite amazing that such a nice Wheated Bourbon is available at around 30  US Dollars. If you can find it at that price of course. And that's not at all easy depending on where you live. On the Internet I've seen prices in the 75-100 US dollar range. Don't spend that kind of money though. Go for Maker's Mark in that case. But at an average 30 US Dollars, the W.L. Weller 12 Years is a must buy! If only for the Nose! If you like Sweet Bourbons, you will love this Nose! As so often, Palate and Finish can't maintain the same high level. They are not as Sweet as the Nose would let you to believe and the Finish is really too dry. At least in my opinion. Still, at 30 US Dollars this would certainly be my every day Wheat Bourbon if I could find it in Brazil. Unfortunately I've never seen it around here. Not even in the Duty Free Shop at the Sao Paulo airport. I'll have to stick to my Maker's Mark for the time being! 

Jan van den Ende                                                                        July 24, 2017

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Cardhu 12 Years Review


“Barley Juice”
Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Cardhu
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 12 years
ABV: 40 %

Cardhu in the Splendid Scottish Sunshine!

Colour: Light Golden

Nose: Sweet Barley, Nuts, Heather and other Floral tones, Straw, Brown Sugar, Toffee, Vanilla, Plum Jam, Dried Apricot, light Citrus, light Pineapple, light Oak, Light Apple, light Peach, Dusty Roads and hints of Milk Chocolate and Black Coffee that was brewed a couple of hours earlier. There's nothing wrong with the Nose and it's quite balanced and pleasant. But it's also rather boring for a Single Malt. Only the Barley really stands out.

The Small But Cosy Shop!

Palate: Thin and Watery Delivery. The Sweet Barley and Brown Sugar follow the Nose. I also find Toffee, light Vanilla, Dried Fruit, Dried Herbs, Red Currant Juice, light Citrus, light Pepper, light Cinnamon, Straw, Dry Oak and a hint of Cardamom.
The Stainless Steel Mashtun!

Finish: Quite Short and Sweet with Barley, Sugar, Orange Peel, Nut Shells, light Vanilla, Dry Earth, light Oak, light Spices and light Menthol.

Some of the Washbacks!

With a couple of drops of water the Nose gets even more Malt and a bit of Honey as well. But palate and Finish do not accept extra Water very well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 83  

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 20.5

Grey Warehouses under a Grey Sky!

General Remarks: Because of the large demand for the Cardhu Single Malt 12 Years in Spain and its importance for the JW Blends, there are not many other Distillery Expressions. In 2011 the 15 and 18 Years were released, basically in Southern Europe. And, in 2013, the 21 Year Old was introduced as a Special Release. The 12 Years matured in Ex-Bourbon Casks and sells at around 50 US Dollars.

Inside One of the Warehouses!

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good 

Conclusion: The Cardhu 12 Years won't disappoint beginning Whisky Drinkers as it's Soft, Smooth and Sweet and showcases familiar Aromas like Toffee, Vanilla and Assorted Fruits. But if you're already a seasoned Whisky lover you will find this Single Malt lacking in Personality, Depth and Complexity. The Nose is the best part of the Cardhu 12 Years. But on the Palate and in the Finish it's both utterly Drinkable and Forgettable! 

A Special Cask!

Some Data: Cardhu means Black Rock. The Distillery is located in Knockando , Morayshire, some eight miles South-West of Aberlour. It was founded in 1824 by John Cumming and was bought in 1893 by John Walker & Sons. Today it belongs to the Diageo Group. Cardhu Single Malt is mostly known as a very important part of the Johnnie Walker Blends but it has always been a very popular Single Malt in Spain. Today, Diageo is looking to reposition the Cardhu Single Malt in other markets  as well. The Distillery possesses a Stainless Steel Full Lauter Mash Tun, 10 Wash Backs and 3 Pairs of Stills. In 2013 their total production amounted to around 3,4 million litres. 

The Classic Tour Tasting!

The water for the distillery is sourced from a Spring on Mannoch Hill. From Easter to September, the Distillery opens from Monday - Friday from 10.00 to 17.00 hours, on Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00 (July-September) and also on Sunday from 12.00 to 16.00 (July September). From October to Easter it only opens from Monday to Friday from 11.00 to 15.00. You can do the Standard Tour at 4 Pounds, the Classic tour at 6 Pounds or the Aroma and Flavour Tour at 8 Pounds. The latter must be booked in advance.

Let the Nose do the Talking!

We visited Cardhu on Friday May 23, 2014. Unfortunately it rained again for most of the day. First we had a look at the cosy little Shop where I bought the Miniature of the 12 Years I'm reviewing today. It was a very quiet day at the Distillery with some maintenance going on. In fact we were the only visitors and got ourselves a private tour that was a bit dull because of said maintenance. A nice detail are the Nosing Tins with some of the main Cardhu Aromas and Flavours that help you prepare for the Tasting. At the end of the tour we tasted three little drams, amongst them the 12 Years and the NAS Special Cask Reserve. 

Jan van den Ende                                                             August 29, 2014

Cardhu Distillery! Hope to see it someday in the Sunshine!