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  1. #31
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    Feb 2012
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    Re: Why is W.L. Weller 12 so good?

    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.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Why is W.L. Weller 12 so good?

    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.
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  3. #33
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    Oct 2011
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    downtown DC
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    Re: Why is W.L. Weller 12 so good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bmac View Post
    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.

  4. #34
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    Feb 2012
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    Mesquite, TX
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    619

    Re: Why is W.L. Weller 12 so good?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnbowljoe View Post
    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.
    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.
    Last edited by Bmac; 04-29-2012 at 18:28.
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