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View Full Version : True or False: Older wheaters (10+) are generally better than young (8yrs or less)



jmpyle
10-30-2010, 20:16
What's the opinion of the group?

kickert
10-30-2010, 20:28
What's the opinion of the group?

I think Wheaters peak at 12-15 years.

gblick
10-30-2010, 20:34
I can't speak for the group, but for me the proof factors into it perhaps moreso than the age. For instance, I prefer OWA and ORVW 10/107 more than Weller 12 and Lot B, and I prefer PVW 15 more than the PVW 20. And I think that the higher proof is what does it for me. But I know my taste is not typical, as a lot of folks here like the Weller 12 more than the OWA, etc.

White Dog
10-30-2010, 20:38
Great question, and I'll enjoy reading the responses.

I've often heard that wheaters take better to longer aging than rye bourbons, but I would suggest that there are always exceptions.

IMHO the Vintage 17yr has perfect oak integration, and I love Pappy 20, but the PVW23 is a bit much for me. Also, I prefer Antique to Weller 12yr, but that could also be a matter of proof. (I mostly go neat.) While drinking 2009 WLW, I often wish for more aging. Also, I could drink ORVW10yr 107 all the time, but I never want more age on that one.

All my rambling basically means that, for me, it depends.

Josh
10-30-2010, 20:43
I think Wheaters peak at 12-15 years.

:iagreeben:

:fish2: :fish2: :fish2::fish2:

callmeox
10-30-2010, 20:49
What's the opinion of the group?

What is this "better" that you speak of?

jmpyle
10-30-2010, 20:54
What is this "better" that you speak of?

By better, I mean.......what do you like better?

callmeox
10-30-2010, 21:05
The flavors that enjoy in whiskey come from the barrel, so I prefer older bourbon and rye expressions with some exceptions.

TomH
10-30-2010, 22:15
I really cannot give a younger/older answer to this question.

While I seldom find a 12-15 YO wheater than I don't like, the same cannot be said of older wheaters. I have found many older ones too woody for my taste, PVW 23 a prime example. However, when I find an older one that I like (e.g. Parker's 27 YO, a Willett 27 YO SW, and several of the recent Cask Strength botllings from the Diagio barrels) I find that I enjoy them more than many of the younger ones.

However, if pushed to give a simple answer, I would probably give in and say I prefer the 12-15 year old bottlings simply because my favorite pour is still ORVW 15/107

Tom

TNbourbon
10-30-2010, 22:43
I would posit that today's wheaters require longer aging because of higher barrel-entry proofs. And, seemingly, there isn't a damn thing we can do about it!
Most of the finest wheated bourbons I've ever had descend from the Fitzgerald line, whether Old, Very Old, or just related to cousin William Larue Weller. None of them topped 100 proof, nor did any any of them pass 8 years.
Compare that with perhaps THE finest bourbon I've ever had, period: a barrel sample, 21yo, would-be "Pappy" I received some years ago in trade with Preston Van Winkle. See here:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=91237&postcount=1:
and/or here:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7473&highlight=Pappy

It was 21+ years old and 115+-proof, but of a piece with those many earlier Fitzes and Wellers, including via their distillation (@ Stitzel-Weller). So, why were the younger, 'tamer' ones so similar? The significant difference (or, as it were, similarity), to me, is the barrel-entry proof.
This, by the way, is the one factor that causes me to sometimes be a hesitant convert when Chuck calls the modern bourbon industy its "Golden Age" -- the nagging hint that it could be oh, so much better if only some of the old ways still were regnant!

BourbonJoe
10-31-2010, 05:26
The older the better, to a point, in my book. I also agree with Tim that the wheaters of yesterday far outshine those of today.
Joe :usflag:

sailor22
10-31-2010, 05:55
Is there a 4yr or 6yr wheater currently on the market?

I don't see a direct relationship between age and "better". It's hard to argue that the Parkers wheater isn't completely ready at 10yrs. I have had Pappy 23s that were a mouthful of burnt toothpicks and one that is very well balanced and I loves me some Pappy 20 and 15 so it's hard to generalize.

Perhaps the relationship of yeast, entry proof, the particular barrel and the aging location are more important than actual age in determining the length of time a wheater needs to be in the barrel to achieve a good balance.

OscarV
10-31-2010, 06:07
I would answer "true" to the thread's question with emphasis on "generally".

jmpyle
10-31-2010, 06:45
I would answer "true" to the thread's question with emphasis on "generally".

Ha ha. I threw "generally" in there for those that have exceptions but still have a preference. That was the key word.

Interestingly I think there's a lot of agreement on this thread. There are exceptions for they "younger" category, "the good ole days" did it a bit better, and some of the really old ones may have some diminished returns.

For me, Pappy 15 is the hallmark wheater. I think 20 is almost as good but I'd rather see it higher proof. In general though, I think older wheaters beat the pants off the younger ones.

My theory is that Wheated Bourbons age more gracefully than rye heavy ones. They seem to have a good 3-5+ years more leeway, minimum, before they become unbalanced oak tannin bombs. The extra age adds more spice and character, something younger wheaters miss. That is my opinion.

Gillman
10-31-2010, 07:12
I would say yes and that the explanation is probably because of what Tim said, i.e., higher modern entry proofs (and what I believe is younger tree stock for barrels) make for whiskey that benefits from longer aging than in the past.

Tim, a possible counter-argument is that in the past they bottled whiskey often much older than the stated age.

Gary

M14Shooter
10-31-2010, 07:34
I general I like my Wheaters in the 10-15 year old range.My favorite currently are Pappy 15,Lot B and Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year .I think like other have said the extra time in cask adds a lot more flavor.

However I still enjoy OWA,Weller Special Reserve,Old Fitz BIB.

When I can find it I want to try the new Parkers Heritage Wheater.

Regards, Mike

nor02lei
10-31-2010, 08:28
I general I like my Wheaters in the 10-15 year old range.
Regards, Mike

Thatís my range as well Mike. However I do think that proof are even more important when it come to wheatears and I want them at 100 or more.

Leif

TNbourbon
10-31-2010, 08:38
...Tim, a possible counter-argument is that in the past they bottled whiskey often much older than the stated age...
True for general-issue bottlings, Gary, but the BIBs -- which encompass most of the older bottlings I referenced, had distilling and bottling dates on the seals and were usually within a season of the stated age.

Gillman
10-31-2010, 11:57
Of course those BIB offerings would have been the best they had, but certainly point taken Tim.

Gary

BBQ+Bourbon
10-31-2010, 12:49
That's an impossible question, but a great discussion starter. For me, wheaters peak between 7 and 15 years typically.


As I'm watching the Chiefs do their level best to squander their lead over the Bills, I'm having a few small pours of SW wheaters. The Weller 12 is great, but the Louisville OWA is my favorite. SW OWA may be the perfect bourbon for me. It has a 7 year statement but somebody-I think Cowdrey- mentioned that it was close to 9 years.

Pappy 15 is also great, as is the ORVW 10/107, especially near the bottom of a bottle. Few bourbons produced today can stand up to the last 1/3 of an ORVW 10/107.

The oldest wheaters I've had are the 17 year R/E and the Pappy 20. While both are very good, they are past their prime in my view. I'm determined to find a 19 year old WLW though, as a barrel proof 19 year old wheater just screams out for a taste.

BBQ+Bourbon
10-31-2010, 12:50
AAANNNNNDDD!!! Flowers smokes Evans to strip the ball, and KC recovers the fumble with 4:00 to go!

Well damnit, the ball goes back to Buffalo.

stillmaster
10-31-2010, 13:09
New hope for KC with OT!! This calls for my favorite Weller 12, right age, rite proof for me.

ethangsmith
10-31-2010, 13:40
I have a bunch of wheated bourbons in my stash and it does seem the older ones are better. The first time I drank some of my Henry McKenna 10yo BIB, I didn't like it, but it was because it was a new flavor to me. Now that I've sipped it a few more times, I've made sense of the flavors (for lack of a better term) and really enjoy it. Oddly, I also like my 3 year old 80 proof Cabin Still. It's all but moonshine, but it's tasty for some reason.

fishnbowljoe
10-31-2010, 14:35
I would say that as a general statement, it is true. Now for a little thread drift. :smiley_acbt:

Y'all know I love me some wheaters. :grin: My preferences for bourbon for the most part, are those that are aged 7-12 years, and around 100 proof. (I believe most folks call this "the sweet spot" :cool: ) That being said, there are always allowances. :lol: Weller SR and Weller 12 @ 90 proof, and Pappy 15 aged 15 years. Plus others too numerous to mention. Hey! It's all good! :slappin:

The following is a list of wheaters that are 7+ years old. I compiled this list using information gleaned from different posts here on SB, and my own sometimes faulty memory. :skep: Feel free to add or make any corrections if I missed any.

Weller Special Reserve
Old Weller Antique
Weller Centennial I know it isn't produced any more, but I had to include it
Weller 12 Year Old
William Larue Weller from the BTAC
Old Rip Van Winkle 10/90
Old Rip Van Winkle 10/107
Old Rip Van Winkle 15/107 again, not made any more
Old Rip Van Winkle 23
Lot B
Pappy 15
Pappy 20
Pappy 23
Very Special Old Fitzgerald
Very Old Fitzgerald, Very Very Old Fitgerald etc. etc. etc. Once again, not made any more, but......
Jefferson's Presidential Select
2010 Parker's Heritage Collection
Numerous Willett barrel strength bottlings/private bottlings



Is there a 4yr or 6yr wheater currently on the market?

Again using info found here on SB, and my memory, the bourbons that I can think of are;

Old Fitzgerald BIB,
Old Fitzgerald Prime,
Old Fitzgerald 1849
Maker's Mark Although MM is not age stated, IIRC, it is usually bottled at an average age of around 6 1/2 years

Rebel Yell?
Cabin Still?
David Nicholson 1843?

Not sure if these three are still made using a wheated recipe or not. IIRC, there has been some semi-recent discussion on RY and/or Cabin Still.

As for my own personal preferences, well...... in no particular order, Weller 12, WLW, Lot B, and Pappy 15.

Now that I'm done, I'm having a small pour of Weller 12. Cheers! :yum: Joe

TNbourbon
10-31-2010, 16:26
...I'm determined to find a 19 year old WLW though, as a barrel proof 19 year old wheater just screams out for a taste.
The original BTAC Weller 19yo wasn't bottled at barrel-proof, but at 90 proof, same as the then-contemporary 'other', original BTACs, Saz 18 and Eagle Rare 17.

ILLfarmboy
10-31-2010, 20:16
My preferences for bourbon for the most part, are those that are aged 7-12 years,



I'd have to agree. But I think 107 is a good proof point, especialy for wheaters. I realy like OWA and especialy ORVW 10 107.

Stagg I drink at barrel proof but WLW sesms a waste of money. I'd rather drink ORVW 10 107.

T Comp
10-31-2010, 20:57
Great question, and I'll enjoy reading the responses.

I've often heard that wheaters take better to longer aging than rye bourbons, but I would suggest that there are always exceptions.

IMHO the Vintage 17yr has perfect oak integration,...

I never thought Vintage 17 was a wheater but I guess as a KBD bottling who knows for sure.


I have a bunch of wheated bourbons in my stash and it does seem the older ones are better. The first time I drank some of my Henry McKenna 10yo BIB, I didn't like it, but it was because it was a new flavor to me. ...

Now Henry McKenna I think I can be sure is not a wheater.

White Dog
10-31-2010, 21:29
[QUOTE=T Comp;222039]I never thought Vintage 17 was a wheater but I guess as a KBD bottling who knows for sure.


Vintage 17yr is definitely a wheater, and I believe it's Bernheim. Anyone care to chime in on that?

Lost Pollito
10-31-2010, 23:41
Delete. Missed the Rebel.

OscarV
11-01-2010, 02:14
[quote=T Comp;222039]I never thought Vintage 17 was a wheater but I guess as a KBD bottling who knows for sure.


Vintage 17yr is definitely a wheater, and I believe it's Bernheim. Anyone care to chime in on that?

I'm not saying you are wrong but if I had to bet on it I'd put my money on it's a ryed bourbon.

birdman1099
11-01-2010, 06:02
[quote=White Dog;222044]

I'm not saying you are wrong but if I had to bet on it I'd put my money on it's a ryed bourbon.

Actually, word is..... It used to be a ryed bourbon, but with all the excessive Bernheim stock they have at 17 yrs, that is what they are putting in the bottles now....

TomH
11-01-2010, 07:40
Beginning April 2010 Vintage 17 became a wheater. Unfortunately there is no way to tell from the bottle itself if it is the wheat or rye (the case is dated). Since I have not seen the barrels and we have beat the horse to death previously I'm not going to make any comments on the source be it Bernheim or SW.

Tom

SMOWK
11-01-2010, 07:58
I love disputes when both people are right.

I haven't had Vintage 17 in quite some time. The last bottle I had smelled like an indoor pool. Even after a few visits to the bottle, I still got some kind of Chlorine indoor pool aroma from it.

I liked it, but not enough to buy another bottle. The indoor pool aroma was somewhat reminiscent of my youth, which was mostly spent swimming wherever I could.

StraightBoston
11-01-2010, 08:26
Late to the discussion, but: what Tim (TNBourbon) said (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=221955&postcount=10).

The "older" that is the best predictor to me of "better" is the year of production, not the years in the wood. Some of my all-time favorite bourbons are Stitzel-Wellers at 5-7 years (which is not to say that the 15yo VW from Japan isn't sublime!) Whether it's the entry proof, whether it's the yeast, whether it's the wood itself, the older (made) stuff generally seems better -- I've also had some unforgivably hot Cabin Still from the 60's!

One thing that I do think is "true" is that wheaters generally age better than rye-recipe bourbons of the same age once you get above 15 or so years. I'm one of the ones who preferred blue-wax Hirsch 16 to the red-wax 20 (but then I love BMH 21yo, so what do I know?)

White Dog
11-01-2010, 19:35
[quote=White Dog;222044]

I'm not saying you are wrong but if I had to bet on it I'd put my money on it's a ryed bourbon.

Just to clarify, the Vintage 17yr Bourbon that I'm discussing is the one released this year, and not any previous releases.

The Boozer
11-03-2010, 07:11
I suspect anything "older" is generally better than any of the "newer" or "younger" bourbons, regardless of rye or wheat.

B.B. Babington
11-03-2010, 16:48
I suspect anything "older" is generally better than any of the "newer" or "younger" bourbons, regardless of rye or wheat.I'm sure some folks will disagree. I'm a big fan of time in wood and, unlike others, have never found a bottle I thought spent too much time in the barrel. But, age is just one factor of very very very many factors.

The Boozer
11-03-2010, 17:40
I'm sure some folks will disagree. I'm a big fan of time in wood and, unlike others, have never found a bottle I thought spent too much time in the barrel. But, age is just one factor of very very very many factors.

That's why I used the term "generally". I'm in agreement with OscarV (see post #13). The man's got uber taste buds which is why he is the Big Dog!!

TNbourbon
11-03-2010, 19:08
That's why I used the term "generally". I'm in agreement with OscarV (see post #13). The man's got uber taste buds which is why he is the Big Dog!!
Well, granted, I got nothin' on Oscar -- but I think you're talking 'apples', and I'm thinking 'oranges'.
Most of my significant and germane experience with wheaters is 'older' -- as in, 'distilled earlier' -- not 'older', as in 'longer in the barrel'. And, I'll repeat what is, by now, a standard mantra of mine:
For any brand/label/distillate that spans eras (think, W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel's, Old Taylor, Old Grand-Dad, et al), 'older' -- as in "distilled earlier" -- is better!:bowdown: Regardless of how long it spent in its barrel!
More recently, current Pappy 23 is much more 'woody' and oaky than those bottled in 1999 and 2001, for example, and just not as good, in my humble :blush: opinion. But, if you didn't buy those relatively limited editions, how would you know -- ya know?:skep:
I don't really like the current Pappy 15 everyone else raves about, at least compared to the defunct precursor, ORVW 15 -- just too much oak! But, if you've never had the latter, how do you compare the former?
In short, I'm just suggesting you categorize your generalizations within distilling eras -- because previous renditions may well be different animals altogether.

B.B. Babington
11-03-2010, 19:22
That's why I used the term "generally"...Ah, I think I see your point. If ya take something and bottle it and take the same thing and age it in a barrel for more years, the older stuff will always be better. I'm with you, in almost all cases, the more wood, the better. Some others will disagree, for some find too much wood in some things.

The Boozer
11-03-2010, 19:45
Well, granted, I got nothin' on Oscar -- but I think you're talking 'apples', and I'm thinking 'oranges'.
Most of my significant and germane experience with wheaters is 'older' -- as in, 'distilled earlier' -- not 'older', as in 'longer in the barrel'. And, I'll repeat what is, by now, a standard mantra of mine:
For any brand/label/distillate that spans eras (think, W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel's, Old Taylor, Old Grand-Dad, et al), 'older' -- as in "distilled earlier" -- is better!:bowdown: Regardless of how long it spent in its barrel!
More recently, current Pappy 23 is much more 'woody' and oaky than those bottled in 1999 and 2001, for example, and just not as good, in my humble :blush: opinion. But, if you didn't buy those relatively limited editions, how would you know -- ya know?:skep:
I don't really like the current Pappy 15 everyone else raves about, at least compared to the defunct precursor, ORVW 15 -- just too much oak! But, if you've never had the latter, how do you compare the former?
In short, I'm just suggesting you categorize your generalizations within distilling eras -- because previous renditions may well be different animals altogether.

I think were reading the same book, different pages. My comment was more along the lines of JBW @ 4 yrs v JBB @ 8 years, or BH at 9 years (same proof as JBW). I'm talking today not distant past. This might be a stretch but OWA 107 @ 7 years v ORVW 107 @ 10 years v Pappy 15. Again, this is not exact truth but just a generalization. Most prefer ORVW &/or Pappy over OWA. Of course IMHO.

matthew0715
11-04-2010, 03:55
I think were reading the same book, different pages. My comment was more along the lines of JBW @ 4 yrs v JBB @ 8 years, or BH at 9 years (same proof as JBW). I'm talking today not distant past. This might be a stretch but OWA 107 @ 7 years v ORVW 107 @ 10 years v Pappy 15. Again, this is not exact truth but just a generalization. Most prefer ORVW &/or Pappy over OWA. Of course IMHO.

As a long-standing SB.com member, I feel I must point out that Basil Hayden is NOT from the same mashbill as JBW or JBB. BH uses a higher percentage of rye and is made from the same mashbill that Beam uses for OGD (86, 100, amd 114). It might be better to compare JBW (4/80) and JBB (8/86) to Baker's (7/107) and KC (9/100), or JB Distiller's Series (7/90).

Here endeth the lesson.:grin:

The Boozer
11-04-2010, 06:37
Matt,
The post was in response to age not mashbills. I know BH is not the same mashbill as JB.

SMOWK
11-04-2010, 07:47
I really like the woody stuff. It's a flavor that can only be obtained by spending 20 years or so in a barrel. I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

Josh
11-04-2010, 08:05
I was once on a tour of 4R's Cox Creek facility and we got to sample some whiskey right out of the barrel. One of the guys on the tour asked for, and received, extra char. I don't remember if he actually swallowed it. He did try to grope me later that day tho.

SMOWK
11-04-2010, 08:24
I was once on a tour of 4R's Cox Creek facility and we got to sample some whiskey right out of the barrel. One of the guys on the tour asked for, and received, extra char. I don't remember if he actually swallowed it. He did try to grope me later that day tho.

:lol::slappin::lol::slappin:

I love the stuff. I must say that I also love the bottom of a cup of french press coffee as well. I like getting down to the Nitty Gritty.

callmeox
11-04-2010, 08:35
I was once on a tour of 4R's Cox Creek facility and we got to sample some whiskey right out of the barrel. One of the guys on the tour asked for, and received, extra char. I don't remember if he actually swallowed it. He did try to grope me later that day tho.

Barrel char = Funky Cold Medina

SMOWK
11-04-2010, 08:52
Barrel char = Funky Cold Medina

As a reference, here's the video.

Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina (http://www.mediafire.com/?e6fx06i94le39iu)

CorvallisCracker
11-04-2010, 09:45
Josh (some call him Dirk) writes:


He did try to grope me later that day tho.

It's your fault for wearing those tight jeans.


On the subject of old vs young wheaters, lessee,

I like Weller 12 more than Weller SR.

I like current VSOF more than current OF 1849.

I like Lot B and PVW 15 better than ORVW 10/107 (although I'm still convinced that the only bottle I bought of the ORVW was from a bad batch).

I like PVW 20 better than PVW 15.

Price increases faster than quality, however. PVW 20 costs roughly four times what Weller SR costs. It's not four times better.

Josh
11-04-2010, 10:07
:lol::slappin::lol::slappin:

...I like getting down to the Nitty Gritty.


Barrel char = Funky Cold Medina



It's your fault for wearing those tight jeans.

No means no. I'm going to keep telling grown-ups until one of them believes me.