View Full Version : W.L. Weller sugestions
After reading the "perfect tasting" thread below, I was wondering which of the Weller bottlings you guys would recomend first.Am I also correct in understanding that all of the Van Winkle bourbons are wheated?? Thanks guys,again.
A year ago, I was facing this same question. I asked around for advice since I did not want to collect a bunch of $20 and $30 750 ml bottles that I did not like. I was also a little gunshy since one of the flavors in Makers Mark turns me off (pitty too, since this is one very respectable product for a reasonable price, my loss). I eventually tried the regular Weller, the Antique 107, and the Centennial.
The answer for me is: ALL of them, quite pleasing in their own ways. The regular Weller is smooth enough to enjoy straight even for someone new to bourbon, and it comes in small bottles so sampling is inexpensive. The Antique is rich in flavor, so much more of a good thing, and watch out, it is hard to tell it is 107 proof. (my first time with it I misjudged the dosage and the night ended early). The Centennial adds some age and smoothness, it is a bit sweeter in a good way. For me it was worth the $ 32.
I would also suggest the Old Fitzgerald 100 proof, outstanding. Basiacally similar to the Wellers, but with a deeper, oakier flavor. There is a Very Special Old Fitzgerald, 12 Year Old, 90 proof and has used it's extra time in the wood to pick up a lot of spice and several other pronounced forward flavors. It taste a little hotter than 90 proof usually does. I would suggest you try before you purchase this one, as it is at the stronger end of the flavor spectrum.
As for the standard Van Winkles (the ones in the barrel bottles, NOT the ones in the wine bottles), to me they taste closer to the wheated bourbons than rye bourbons, but they are different enough to warrent their own catagory. Julian has a way of formulating specifically for the 10 to 15 year ages that produces uncanny results.
Enjoy, and let us know your impressions.
Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas
I have to admit that I am a bit prejudice when it comes to W.L. Weller bourbon. I was archivist for United Distillers for 5 years and they made Weller while I was there. It is now being made at Buffalo Trace. I like all of the Weller brands. I take W. L. Weller Special Reserve to parties. I drink Antique at home and Centinnial on special occasions. I would recommend any of them but you may want to try them first at a bar. The problem is that unless you live in Oklahoma or Texas it is hard to find a bar with Weller. Weller was developed by the original W.L. Weller and Sons but in the late 1950's Stitzel-Weller hooked up with a distributer in Texas who really pushed the brand and it became very popular down that way. For the last four decades most of the Weller made was sent to Texas where it is easy to order a "Weller and Water".
I do not know what Buffalo Trace is going to do with the brand but all of those brick warehouses down there scare me. Brick warehouses do not make as good product as iron clad when it comes to Weller. It changes the taste. I guess we will find out in about 7 years what it will taste like but until then enjoy the fact that they still have plenty of the old United Distillers wheat recipe to enjoy.
Why is it that I don't like the Antique 107 Weller? I love the 12yo, like the 7yo and the Centenial and 19yo are both wonderful as well. But the Antique 107 has a medicinal, antiseptic taste that really turns me off. It is so astrengic to my taste buds that they remain "dead" for an hour or so after a drink. Why would the other Weller's be so good, and this one be so bad?
There is Weller around that was made at Stitzel-Weller (though not much of it). There is also Weller around that was made at Buffalo Trace. Even some of the older stuff, because they did make some wheated bourbon for United and they are making it now for Weller, which is now their brand. There is also some Weller around that was made at what we'll call "New Bernheim," i.e., the new United distillery that they opened in 1992 when they closed Stitzel. Ed Foote was the distiller and he had made wheated whiskey at Stitzel. That distillery is now owned by Heaven Hill and they are making the wheated bourbon for Old Fitzgerald there.
About the 19 yr W.L. Weller;
I assuming that the stock no longer exists.
But where was the whiskey originally distilled.
Stitzel-Weller? Buffalo Trace? Just curious. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Bourbon historians of considerable renown, intellect, and good humor have reported on this very board that Weller 19 was distilled at Stitzel-Weller.
Mark Brown, president of Buffalo Trace, confirmed to me that the Weller 19 is part of the stock of Stitzel-Weller whiskey that came to them when they acquired the W.L. Weller brand.
That would explain alot of the reason why it is such great whiskey! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
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