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View Full Version : Why is W.L. Weller 12 so good?



savagehenry
04-23-2012, 18:09
Is it just me, because I am only 3 months into bourbon and don't know what I'm talking about? Every time I sip the WLW 12 it's just fantastic. I really don't think Lot B is that much better, if at all. I had some Lot B last night and it was great, but the WLW I'm enjoying now is divine. So far this is the only Weller I have tried. Are the other under $30 Weller's just as enjoyable?
Consider this a WLW 12 appreciation post.
Cheers!

dridge11
04-23-2012, 20:43
Have you tried Old Weller Antique 107? It is one of my favorites.

JB64
04-23-2012, 23:12
While I think WLW12 is quite good it doesn't excite me quite as much as it does you. I do think it is great that you found a whiskey you like that much at a cost that allows it to be an everyday pour.

Kyjd75
04-24-2012, 03:44
Is it just me, because I am only 3 months into bourbon and don't know what I'm talking about? Every time I sip the WLW 12 it's just fantastic. I really don't think Lot B is that much better, if at all. I had some Lot B last night and it was great, but the WLW I'm enjoying now is divine. So far this is the only Weller I have tried. Are the other under $30 Weller's just as enjoyable?
Consider this a WLW 12 appreciation post.
Cheers!

I've been into an extensive bourbon review for the past 2+ years. Have tried almost everything that I have been able to find (with the exception of some obvious lower shelf rejects). I have to agree with you about WLW 12 year old. It is one terrific bourbon! I also like OWA as well, but even though WLW 12 is lower in proof, it has an easy drinkability about it that makes it supremely enjoyable.

Although it may have been an over-reaction, based on recent discussions on this board (and my like for them) I snagged a case each of WLW 12 and OWA. Wanted to make sure I didn't run out anything soon!

Young Blacksmith
04-24-2012, 05:49
I'm another Weller 12 lover. Still working through my dusty handle that is amazing, but when it's gone I'll be picking up a new one. Kyjd said it good, it's lower proof makes it so easy to drink.

unclebunk
04-24-2012, 05:58
Is it just me, because I am only 3 months into bourbon and don't know what I'm talking about? Every time I sip the WLW 12 it's just fantastic. I really don't think Lot B is that much better, if at all. I had some Lot B last night and it was great, but the WLW I'm enjoying now is divine. So far this is the only Weller I have tried. Are the other under $30 Weller's just as enjoyable?
Consider this a WLW 12 appreciation post.
Cheers!

Glad you found an affordable bourbon you love. I'm a wheater fan and have a great fondness for Weller 12 too, as well as OWA which I tend to purchase more often. Although I quite enjoy Lot B, I'm in agreement that it really isn't any better than Weller 12, particularly at the additional cost required to get it. When you can find beauties under $30 you've done well(er).:grin:

Tico
04-24-2012, 06:16
Weller 12 is some good stuff, very gulp-able. Most of the Weller 12 I have been drinking is via a 50/50 blend of that and OWA.

On a side note I will say that Lot B is just a bit better than Weller 12 and I do think I could probably pick these two out of a blind lineup. As for the debate of if the price increase over Weller 12 being worth it, probably not.

savagehenry
04-24-2012, 06:44
On a side note I will say that Lot B is just a bit better than Weller 12 and I do think I could probably pick these two out of a blind lineup. As for the debate of if the price increase over Weller 12 being worth it, probably not.

I did a side by side last night, and yes the Lot B was a bit more interesting and flavorful, but not so much better that it's worth the increase $ and hunt.

dridge11
04-24-2012, 07:19
Most of the Weller 12 I have been drinking is via a 50/50 blend of that and OWA.

This is part of the reason I stocked up. The blend is my favorite discovery of the year so far. Felt like it held it's own with PVW15 in our blind tasting a few weeks back.

Tico
04-24-2012, 08:41
I did a side by side last night, and yes the Lot B was a bit more interesting and flavorful, but not so much better that it's worth the increase $ and hunt.
yeah, I think Lot B has a bit more richness and flavor, twice the price is hard to swallow though.

On a scary thought, I can get Lot B more easily than Weller 12. Lot B can be had almost year round where I have to make a trek to get Weller 12.

CorvallisCracker
04-24-2012, 09:10
You should do those Weller 12 vs Lot B comparisons blind. I did that a couple of years ago and stopped buying Lot B.

Unfortunately Weller 12 isn't sold in Oregon (I'm pretty sure I bought the last five bottles ever sold in OR - tagged "OLCC Discontinued" - in 2008) and I've had to rely on the generosity of out-of-state friends willing to ship me bottles (thank you Joe and Dave!).

thezenone
04-24-2012, 11:49
I have only had one bottle of Weller 12, but it was showing a little too much wood for my tastes. I try to always have a bottle of OWA on hand. Great pour. I didn't care for Lot B. Got a bottle and it just didn't do anything for me. For $50 I felt like it just didn't have enough oomph. Maybe I need to revisit the 12 and Lot B again.

PaulO
04-24-2012, 12:36
You have been into bourbon three months and have found Weller 12. That's pretty good. Consider yourself fortunate. It took me several years and trips out of state. 12 is not available everywhere. I think Weller 12 is excellent, one of my favorites. I hope BT doesen't screw with this, unless they decide to release a 107 proof version.

Ejmharris
04-24-2012, 18:12
I have only had one bottle of Weller 12, but it was showing a little too much wood for my tastes. I try to always have a bottle of OWA on hand. Great pour. I didn't care for Lot B. Got a bottle and it just didn't do anything for me. For $50 I felt like it just didn't have enough oomph. Maybe I need to revisit the 12 and Lot B again.

If the pours you had were the first out of the bottle give it a shit again. They tend to open up nicely after they are opened for a while.

mosugoji64
04-24-2012, 19:08
If the pours you had were the first out of the bottle give it a shit again. They tend to open up nicely after they are opened for a while.

Give it a what?!?:slappin:

callmeox
04-24-2012, 19:09
Give it a what?!?:slappin:

Yeah, can't blame that one on spell check. :shithappens:

:slappin:

Ejmharris
04-24-2012, 19:36
If the pours you had were the first out of the bottle give it a shit again. They tend to open up nicely after they are opened for a while.

Hahaha..... Time to post that one on damnyouautocorrect.com - clearly I meant give it a "shot".

fishnbowljoe
04-24-2012, 19:49
If the pours you had were the first out of the bottle give it a shit again. They tend to open up nicely after they are opened for a while.


Give it a what?!?:slappin:


Yeah, can't blame that one on spell check. :shithappens:

:slappin:


Hahaha..... Time to post that one on damnyouautocorrect.com - clearly I meant give it a "shot".


Now that's funny. :lol:

I had finally made up my mind to post my thoughts on Weller 12. Not after all this. :rolleyes: Maybe tomorrow. :grin:

Josh
04-25-2012, 06:26
For what it's worth, I also prefer Weller 12 over Lot B. And I do occasionally drink bourbon in the bathroom.

thezenone
04-25-2012, 14:12
LOL. I did give both quite a bit of time to open up. I'd drink a little every couple of weeks to see if it had improved any. Some times I felt it had improved slightly, but still wasn't my cup of tea. Weller 12 is so cheap that I don't see any reason why I shouldn't give it another shot :grin: If nothing else I could use it as an excuse to try the SB board's favorite vatting (1:1 WL12 and OWA).

BillP
04-25-2012, 19:13
I really enjoy Weller 12. 107 is very good but when Weller 12 and 107 are sitting on the shelf side by side, I grab the Weller 12.

Max Power
04-25-2012, 21:58
I'm having a small pour of it tonight. It's pretty darn good stuff. I'm partial to wheated bourbons a bit, so this is right up my alley.

weller_tex
04-26-2012, 06:44
I did a side by side last night, and yes the Lot B was a bit more interesting and flavorful, but not so much better that it's worth the increase $ and hunt.
I did a tasting of the two in the tasting forum, and essentially that is what I found. No way is the Lot B worth twice as much, although not all Weller 12 bottles are equal. I have had a few that were off.

A handle of Weller 12 for $38 is an amazing deal that I can get every day. Maybe the best value in bourbon.

Weller SR is good as well, although I find Maker's a bit more interesting. OWA is very good as well..I go back and forth between Weller 12 and OWA as my favorite. Most of the time the 12 wins out.

weller_tex
04-26-2012, 06:46
LOL. I did give both quite a bit of time to open up. I'd drink a little every couple of weeks to see if it had improved any. Some times I felt it had improved slightly, but still wasn't my cup of tea. Weller 12 is so cheap that I don't see any reason why I shouldn't give it another shot :grin: If nothing else I could use it as an excuse to try the SB board's favorite vatting (1:1 WL12 and OWA).
I never seem to have them in the house at the same time..but I need to make that a priority so I can try the SB blend.

dridge11
04-26-2012, 07:02
but I need to make that a priority so I can try the SB blend.

This cannot be stressed enough

StraightNoChaser
04-26-2012, 11:08
Can't stand W12, tastes like signature BT tree sap

StraightNoChaser
04-26-2012, 11:09
I think it's sort of funny how everyone loves to vat OWA and W12. Not dissing anyone, of course. The humor is that everyone seems to love a ~100proof Weller with a median age of about 10 years... damn where have I heard that before?

Kyjd75
04-26-2012, 11:50
Can't stand W12, tastes like signature BT tree sap

Funny because that is the way Eagle Rare 10 yr tastes to me. But love my W12!


---
I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?d3ozyx

Lazer
04-26-2012, 17:47
Can't stand W12, tastes like signature BT tree sap

mmmm... tree sap.:icon_pidu:

boneuphtoner
04-28-2012, 18:55
Getting back to the original question, I have no idea why Weller 12 is so darn good, but it is in my top two favorites. Having just procured my first Van Winkle purchase, a single ORVW 90 (all I was able to get with the spring allocation), I was excited to put it up against Weller 12. Perhaps it was an unfair comparison since the Weller 12 had been opened for about 3.5 weeks, and the ORVW was freshly opened....nevertheless, at first pour the Weller 12 blew the ORVW90 out of the water. Sweeter, better mouthfeel, more depth, just better across the board. We'll have to see how the comparison goes once the ORVW has been opened for awhile, but unless it really improves, I don't think I will buy it again.

Bmac
04-28-2012, 21:45
It's enough to make you wonder how they can tell the difference in taste between Weller and Van Winkle at that age. I am certain the batching is larger for Weller 12 than for ORVW.

I cannot deny, however, that wheaters open up over time. I was disgusted by my Lot B purchase. It wasnt any better than Weller 12 out of the bottle. 2 months later it now surpasses Weller 12. Its gotten smoother too. Oxidation and wheaters go hand in hand... But at some point there will be a drop off.

fishnbowljoe
04-28-2012, 23:33
I'm going to take a serious shot at answering the original question. My answer is based partly on generally accepted conclusions, and partly on my own semi-educated guess.

First off, it's generally accepted by most people that the "sweet" spot for the aging of a bourbon is 7-10 years, give or take a couple of years either way. Aging a bourbon 7-10 years usually gets the most flavor out of the barrel without imparting too much of a woody taste. The give or take of a couple of years leads to the second part of my answer.

Heat rises. The upper floors of a warehouse age bourbon faster than the lower floors. The master distillers know where to age their barrels in order to get the different flavor profiles they're looking for in a bourbon. In other words, they know which warehouses to age a product in, and which floors in said warehouses the barrels should be stored. If a master distiller wants a bourbon to age a little slower, the barrels most likely will be stored on lower floors.

My semi-educated guess is that Weller 12 is aged on, at the most, the middle floors of good or "honey" warehouses, and more likely than not, the middle/lower floors. My answer is based on reading, interaction with other members and people in the business, and personal observation.

Re: Personal Observation. The pics below were taken while I was on tours at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. FWIW, the barrel(s) in the pics were on the bottom floor of Warehouse C. :yum:

bad_scientist
04-29-2012, 07:51
It's enough to make you wonder how they can tell the difference in taste between Weller and Van Winkle at that age. I am certain the batching is larger for Weller 12 than for ORVW.

I cannot deny, however, that wheaters open up over time. I was disgusted by my Lot B purchase. It wasnt any better than Weller 12 out of the bottle. 2 months later it now surpasses Weller 12. Its gotten smoother too. Oxidation and wheaters go hand in hand... But at some point there will be a drop off.

I thought the PHC 2010 was awful, as well, when I first opened it, but over time it became one of the best bourbons I've ever had. The PVW15 I have also opened up a lot and the flavor profile is much more complex. I can only guess at how they know something will taste good later. Maybe it has something to do with them watering the whiskey down to 60 proof or so when doing the tastings.

Bmac
04-29-2012, 18:26
Heat rises. The upper floors of a warehouse age bourbon faster than the lower floors. The master distillers know where to age their barrels in order to get the different flavor profiles they're looking for in a bourbon. In other words, they know which warehouses to age a product in, and which floors in said warehouses the barrels should be stored. If a master distiller wants a bourbon to age a little slower, the barrels most likely will be stored on lower floors.

My semi-educated guess is that Weller 12 is aged on, at the most, the middle floors of good or "honey" warehouses, and more likely than not, the middle/lower floors. My answer is based on reading, interaction with other members and people in the business, and personal observation.

Re: Personal Observation. The pics below were taken while I was on tours at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. FWIW, the barrel(s) in the pics were on the bottom floor of Warehouse C. :yum:
From an interview with Julian VW, he stated that Pappy products are taken from the lowest levels. They were also supposed to be introduced to the barrel at lower proof (107). Weller is put into the barrel at 120 proof and placed all over. They likely dump them all, including the good lower floor barrels, to achieve their consistant mix from batch to batch.

Not trying to start another thread craze ;) but I believe the barrels used by BT to handle 12yr and up are likely old Weller barrels aged on the lowest floors, but were put into the barrel at high proof. My guess is that JVW explained how to achieve the true flavor profile, so newer barrels from 2002 on were made correctly with lower proof and on lower levels. I beleive we'll start to see an increase in quality wih PVW products in the next few years. They may even use this technique to improve Weller 12, OWA, and WSR.