Showing posts with label W.L. Weller 12. Show all posts
Showing posts with label W.L. Weller 12. 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!


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