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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    I've commented on these two bourbons quite recently. My battle with purchasing ORVW 10/107 over Weller Antique is economical at its core. However, flavor is most certainly a major factor.

    Up in my neck of the woods - Eastern, CT - Weller Antique can be hob-gobbled at $21.99 per 750ml while ORVW 10/107 kneads the dough at $27.99. For the non-mathwhiz faction (that's me), that is a difference of $6. Now, why would I purchase ORVW 10/107 over Weller Antique when it's the same bourbon at the same proof? Sure, ORVW is three years older and Julian is extra particular about what he chooses to go into a Van Winkle label, but is it really that much more flavorful to demand an additional $6 at checkout? So, with my bourbon bell blaring and a tingling on my toungue for bourbon only, I just HAD to find out.

    Monday night, while watching some apparent fictional show staring some Giant named Eli, I decided to do a side-by-side tasting of the two - don't worry, I won't bore you with tasting notes, that's much beyond me. While I did like the flavor of ORVW 10/107 over Weller Antique, it was certainly not $6 worth of flavor better. The overall taste was slightly better and that's it - no more, no less. Well, there was this one other very small, every-so-slight nominal difference between the two hardly worth mentioning but what the heck, here goes: Upon swallowing the scant amount of ORVW, the finish leaped into a bedazzling ball of Arizona flame, lighting my insides afire while swelling my esophagus to the point of puncture and leaking, what felt like, battery acid directly onto my heart! Five minutes and a loaf of Wonder Bread later, I was back to normal. [Don't worry, while laying on my couch, semi-conscious, with a pound of white bread dangling from the corners of my mouth like a mad-dog, I had 9-1-1 stamped into my cordless in case the end appeared near. Fortunately, no such precautions were necessary.]

    In short, yes, ORVW 10/107 is a more enjoyable flavor but certainly not more enjoyable, overall. It's definitely not worth the additional $6 and a roman candle version of myself on the 4th of July!

    Weller Antique is the best bang for the buck in my end of town - actually, the word "bang" is meant figuratively in this case unless, of course, I was describing ORVW - and definitely worth every penny due to its flavor, proof and finish (oh, so smooth).

    Just my .20 cents (I've taken care to include inflation).


    The other Mark Brown


    P.S. By the way, is the guy who chooses the barrels for Weller Antique some sort of shmuck? Let's give credit where credit is due, as good as Julian is at picking his barrels, the person who does the same for Weller, ain't too bad either.

    P.S. Squared: How can bourbon at Seven years be smoother than virtually the same bourbon three years older? Just a thought.
    Last edited by NickAtMartinis; 10-17-2007 at 16:41.

  2. #2
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    The $6 goes for the right to choose the best barrels of the stuff. IIRC, some of the VanWinkle line comes from Bernheim. Others will probably be able to tell you which.
    I noticed the same kind of difference between bottles of Weller 107 Frankfort and Gold Viened bottles of Louisville 107 Weller. The newer version seemed to be a fraction of the older product.
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    Jeff Mo.

  3. #3
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    I have some questions about wheated bourbon in general. Except for Maker's Mark,

    Aren't they all made with the S-W Old Fitz mash bill?

    Except for the oldest (PVW 23) and youngest, wasn't it all distilled by UD at Bernheim?

    Is BT distilling it now? Is any of theirs in bottles yet?

  4. #4
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    I like them both. Antique often reminds me of pecan pie and a little bit of youngish whiskey taste where ORVW 107 has a darker more mature flavor without being overly woody, sort of like mahogany if mahogany tasted real damn good. I can't really explain it any other way.

  5. #5
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    I have some questions about wheated bourbon in general. Except for Maker's Mark,

    Aren't they all made with the S-W Old Fitz mash bill?

    Except for the oldest (PVW 23) and youngest, wasn't it all distilled by UD at Bernheim?

    Is BT distilling it now? Is any of theirs in bottles yet?
    If you believe one version of the story....yes, they are from the same mash bill. But much like siblings not always being identical, no two bourbons made from the same mash bill at different distilleries will ever turn out the same. Even if they tried to make them taste the same, it would not happen. As far as I can tell, none of the distilleries tries to make them taste the same.

    SW, Bernhiem, Glenmore, HH, Diagio, UD, David Sherman, BT and probably a few others have had a hand in producing, bottling and ageing wheated bourbons.
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    Jeff Mo.

  6. #6
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    Yeah, but from 1992 to 1999 there was only one company making both Old Fitzgerald and Weller, and they were doing it at Bernheim.

    So all the wheated bourbons barreled at this time, except Maker's Mark, were made by UD: Weller Centennial, 12 yo, and William Larue (the current); all the van Winkles except the 23 year old; and Old Fitz 1849 and VSOF. One distiller and one distillery.

    There are clearly going to be differences in how the whiskey aged and who picked it, but the whiskey going into the barrels was as close as UD could get it, right?

  7. #7
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    Yeah, but from 1992 to 1999 there was only one company making both Old Fitzgerald and Weller, and they were doing it at Bernheim.

    So all the wheated bourbons barreled at this time, except Maker's Mark, were made by UD: Weller Centennial, 12 yo, and William Larue (the current); all the van Winkles except the 23 year old; and Old Fitz 1849 and VSOF. One distiller and one distillery.

    There are clearly going to be differences in how the whiskey aged and who picked it, but the whiskey going into the barrels was as close as UD could get it, right?
    Not necessarily. Bernhiem had some trouble getting things to work the way they needed at the start. I have it on good authority that the bourbon distillate was pretty bad at the begining. At that time I believe that bourbon was made by some other distilleries for them.

    And to the point "as close as UD could get it"....UD was not in the business of copying SW. Many things were different between the two. So, like I said earlier....no two bourbons will ever taste the same from one distillery to another.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    That's not what I'm talking about. By "as close as UD could get", I don't mean to anyone else's bourbon; I mean to their own produced from one day to the next, from one year to the next, for their own whiskey, in their own distillery.

    My questions have nothing to do with what the bourbons were like in the past or what they will be like in the future. I'm talking about right now.

    Unless I'm missing something, all those current impressions I listed were distilled and barreled by UD. One distiller, one distillery. Nobody else was involved.

  9. #9
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    I might be missing your point, I'm not sure? But as far as UD went...they had trouble getting their bourbon to taste right. So, no, it changed from day to day in the begining. That's why IIRC they went elsewhere to have it made until the corrections at Bernheim could be fixed. After that, I know they changed the entry proof at least once. After some assistence from Julian they changed some of the specs again.
    One distillery....not sure, I think more than one.
    One distiller....???
    Do they marry more than one distillate to make various bottlings....I would guess that they do.

    Did that help? Or did I miss again?
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  10. #10
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    Re: Weller Antique vs. ORVW 10/107

    I just bought a bottle of OW Antique this week, and I like it a great deal. I am branching out from SMW to bourbon, so my ablity to describe tastes is poor with American whiskies. However, this is very drinkable, with a fair amount of depth. Old books, leather, something sweet and citrusy....Darn nice for $18...

 

 

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