I actually did a little blind taste testing to see if I could substantiate my belief that there was something very different about the Weller Antique.
I put equal amounts of 3 different bourbons in identical glasses. I put an invisible identifier on the bottom of each of the 3 glasses. I then scrambled the glasses around so I did not know which was which. The 3 bourbons were:
Old Commonwealth (107 proof)
Weller Antique (107 proof)
Wild Turkey Rare Breed (108.6 proof)
So the whiskeys were all almost exactly the same proof, and no water was added to the glasses.
I then commenced to tasting the whiskey. After taking a couple of sips of each one (with some palate cleansing in between), I determined that there was one of the 3 that stood out. At first, it tasted similar to the other 2, but the finish was extremely harsh. Not smooth at all. I was getting a very strong and unpleasant after taste from that particular one.
I then decided it was time to check the bottom of the glass. Sure enough, the one with the unpleasant after taste and very unsmooth finish was the Weller Antique.
So there is no doubt in my mind that this whiskey is a stand out. However, we seem to have differing reactions to those characteristics that distinguish the weller antique from other bourbons.
Like you say Chuck, different strokes for different folks. However, I am still curious. As a bourbon taster, can you describe what characteristics you like about the Weller Antique?
Long before I ever tried Weller Antique I tried the Weller Centenial, and I liked it a lot. What would you say are the big differences between those 2?
As an inexperienced taster, I am sometimes unable to take the tastes on my tongue and translate them to words. I understand that it is pretty much of a waste to use high end whiskeys to make mixed drinks because the mixer masks the subtleties of the desireable flavours that better whiskeys have. However, in the case of the Weller Antique, I can mix myself an "Antique and Coke" that is mostly Coke. Even in a mixed drink I can still detect the offensive after taste of the Weller Antique. When I first bought it, I just started drinking it, and didn't think much of the unusual flavour. Then the next morning, it was like I had residuals. I just could not get that taste out of my mouth. I guess I must prefer something that I percieve as being "smoother". Old Grand Dad 114, or even Booker's are certainly even stronger yet. Although I do get an intense alcohol flavour when drinking them neat, I still do not get the bad after taste that I associate with the Weller Antique. It is like a harsh, almost metalic taste that I have not detected in any other of the bourbons I have tried.