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  1. #21
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    Re: Weller Antique

    Chuck,

    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.

    -Bill




  2. #22
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    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    Regarding the speculation as to Old Commonwealth being a Van Winkle product:

    I picked up a bottle at Sam's today (I haven't taken it home to open it yet).

    The label features a barrel with the slogan "Asleep Many Years In The Wood".
    The label also has, at the very bottom, the letters "VW" in a circle--an emblem appearing on other Van Winkle products.
    The whiskey is 107 proof. Who else bottles at that strength? :-)

    I think it's a safe bet that Joe is getting it from Julian. Then again, Joe can pretty much get any thing he wants, I think... ;-)

    Michael Shoshani


  3. #23
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    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    I wrote "The label features a barrel with the slogan 'Asleep Many Years In The Wood'."

    That should have read "Asleep In The Wood Many Years". Slight variation.

    Sorry, Julian


  4. #24
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Weller Antique

    It doesn't happen often, but it sounds like you may have gotten some bad product. Your experience is certainly not the same as mine with Weller Antique. You made me go pour a glass of Weller Antique, and it is as I remember it, rather dry for a bourbon, a trait it shares with Blanton's. I get black licorice, char and brine on the tongue, black pepper in the nose.

    All I recall about Centennial is that it seemed on a par with all the other Stitzel-Weller whiskeys and not enough better to justify a premium price. I don't have any Centennial right now to compare them.

    Bourbon tasting is difficult not just because some of the tastes are subtle, but because others are so strong. I used to lack confidence in my palate too, but then I decided you just have to go for it. Like everything else, you gain confidence as you gain experience. Don't sell yourself short. Lots of people are regarded as great tasters not because they have any special gift, but because they have a forum.

    So, because I trust your tastbuds, I think you may have got something that has something wrong with it.

    - chuck


  5. #25
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    Re: Weller Antique

    Chuck,
    I have read what Bill said about the Antique Weller, and I agree with you, it must be a bad bottle for some reason. I bet if Bill tried another bottle, from somewhere else, it would be fine. There is no telling what combination of aged whiskeys thAT UD puts in Centenial Weller and Antique Weller, but whatever they are, the two whiskeys can be very different. U D had alot of excess of wheated bourbon so they could have used several different ages in each bottling. But all the bourbons they used were good, so I believe the bottle Bill got is bad, why I don't know.
    Julian


  6. #26
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    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    It's no secret, the Old Commonwealth is my whiskey. It does say,"Aged 1- years" on the label. Joe buys about 20 cases at a time.
    Julian


  7. #27
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    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    Julian Van Winkle wrote:

    "It's no secret, the Old Commonwealth is my whiskey. It does say,"Aged 1- years" on the label. Joe buys about 20 cases at a time."

    Joe's a smart man. This is damn fine, luxurious whiskey. After two drinks I made it my steady everyday Bourbon. Outstanding. (I was also swept away by the 13YO Rye, but this is the Bourbon forum, not the Rye one. :-) )


    Michael Shoshani


  8. #28
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    I was also very impressed with this whiskey. Joe let me taste some in the store, which is a really great thing to be able to do. It seems that recently, I have been trying whiskeys that are either good, but not worth the 30-40 dollars I pay for them, or they are more affordable whiskeys that either just don't do it for me, or worse. The Old Commonwealth is an outstanding whiskey at a very reasonbable price. With the holidays coming around, I may just pick up a whole case of it next time I am over at Sams.

    -Bill




  9. #29
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Weller Antique

    I would like to find out for sure if my bottle of Weller Antique is bad, but I don't know how to go about doing that. I have the following problems with that:

    1) I could just sent the unused portion to someone who knows. But who in their right mind is going to taste an opened bottle of anything that was sent to them from a stranger? I know I wouldn't. Still, I would feel a lot better if an experienced bourbon taster could take a snoot full and tell me what they think.

    2) I could take it back to the hillbilly liquor store in Menomonee Falls, WI that I bought it from. I am a regular customer, so I figure that they would *probably* give me my money back. But I am not that concerned about the $18 that I spent on this. Getting my money back does not solve the mystery.

    3) The bottle has some sort of batch or lot number on it. If I could contact whoever makes this stuff, maybe they have had complaints about that batch? I tried United Distillers in CT. From what I understand, they don't own Weller anymore, and I am having a hard time finding out who does. I would be willing to try another bottle, but only if it was free. I'm not going to spend another $18 and chance it. You would think that if there was anyone out there that owns or has responsibility for this brand, they would set me up with a free bottle so they could keep my business by convincing me to buy their stuff in the future. (BTW, the woman on the phone at UD asked me if Rum is the same as Whsikey).

    4) I wonder if all this "UD brand shuffling" might be responsible for a lapse in quality?

    -Bill



  10. #30
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Weller Antique

    I can help you with one small part of your dilemma, which is to tell you that Sazerac, in New Orleans, is the new owner of the W.L. Weller brand. They have a web site. However, the sale was earlier this year, so product in the pipeline is probably still from UD.

    You may want to find out where the liquor store gets its Weller products, i.e., what distributor handles Weller in your area. The distributor is liable to be more response than either the retailer or the manufacturer. Your retailer can provide that information.

    Re consulting another set of taste buds, if there is a bartender you know who is knowledgable about whiskey, he or she might be willing to taste it for you.

    - chuck


 

 

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