|Spirits Type||American Whisky|
William Larue Weller Barrel Proof 2016 Release is wonderfully rich and warm, with notes of cinnamon, baking spices, and plum. Not overly complex, but enough scents are present and they’re represented well. Just the right amount of oaky base helps round out the nose.
Palate: Molasses, dark cherries, dark chocolate, and vanilla all blend together to create an enjoyable burst of flavor. Its sweetness is offset by its oak barrel influence and its thick mouthfeel makes you think at times you can chew it. Just the right amount of complexity and drink ability.
Finish: A straightforward classic style finish that’s warm, bold, and slowly says goodbye. As the palate’s flavors dissipate, additional minor notes of pine, coffee, and tobacco are introduced.
But temperatures change more slowly in heavier Warehouse L, which makes it “great for slow-aging wheat bourbons. Just five stories high. Buffalo Trace says many consider Warehouse L to be “the best all-around aging warehouse.”
The whiskey’s namesake, William Larue Weller. Was an early bourbon distiller who (allegedly) was the first to swap wheat for rye in his bourbon’s mash bill. He is one half of the Stitzel-Weller distillery (the other being Pappy Van Winkle). Wheate bourbons tend to a be a bit softer, a bit fruitier. And a bit sweeter than rye bourbons, and some say they stand up better to prolonged aging.
While I wouldn’t call 13 years prolonge, this is definitely a mature whiskey. And I was excited to taste the only member of the Antique. Collection that’s right in the middle of the age range that Buffalo. Trace master distiller Harlan Wheatley prefers for wheate bourbons: 12 to 15 years. Let’s see why he thinks so.
But William Larue Weller has always been a large and in charge bourbon. And while its heat can sometimes overpower its flavors, its richness always makes up for it. At 12 years and 7 months old, there’s a nice balance of flavors and barrel influence, with not one outdoing the other. Once again and this year’s edition provides an enjoyable layer of depth and complexity and despite its 135.4 proof, is hot, but never harsh. In fact, compared to some of the higher proof previous editions. So a few proof points less goes a long way curbing its hardness and making it overall a very enjoyable drinker. This year’s edition might lack some of the bells and whistles from previous years.