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fishnbowljoe

BOTM 3/16: Weller 12 Year

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fishnbowljoe

I've been thinking for a quite a while now just what I could come up with for a BOTM this time around. I've seen a few things mentioned in some posts lately that may have been decent candidates, but I still wasn't quite sure. So, I went back through the BOTM list to see if I could get any other ideas. Lo and behold, I spotted Weller 12 from January of 2010. Hmmmmm. <_< In looking closer, I saw that it was the first BOTM I did when I took over the responsibility for posting the BOTM. Well then, since Weller 12 was the first BOTM I did, and since I am a self avowed wheater whore, and since Weller 12 is one of my all time favorites, and since I have a bottle open, and since I'm the 2016 BOTY, and…..uhhhh, sorry folks, I kinda got carried away there for a minute. :lol: 

But seriously…... Weller 12 hasn't been the BOTM for over six years now. We've had a whole bunch of new members join our ranks since then. It's also been a topic of some discussion here from time to time lately. So I figured why not.  ;)

I didn't have a whole lot to say about Weller 12 six years ago, but I do now.  :rolleyes:  First off, I love Weller 12. I was serious when I said that it's one of my all time favorite bourbons. Weller 12 has that nutty, pecan pie/caramel smell that I just love in a bourbon. Add a bit of alcohol, and hint of oak & smoke for good measure, and you have a nose that's to die for. The taste is just about as good. The caramel nuttiness is there, along with just a bit of spiciness. It's not too sweet, and it's not too spicy. In the three bears analogy, it's just right. There's a light, brown sugar and toffee sweetness on entry. It warms up and shows some spice on the mid-palate. Ginger perhaps, or something else I can't quite put my finger on. The finish is good, but not great. The warmth is still apparent, but it's not much warmer than it was in the mid-palate. For me, the finish isn't all that long either. A long finish may be about the only thing possibly lacking with Weller 12. Weller 12 is an easy drinker for sure. Sometimes maybe too easy. :P There's something else I think I should mention. At least a couple of other members here have stated that they noticed a sooty taste in some recent bottles they've opened. I've personally  never noticed that. However, one bottle I opened a while back seemed a tad off when I first opened it. I actually started to wonder if it was the sootiness showing up. As it turns out, it may have been me, or it may have been my palate at that particular time, or it may have been something else altogether. Who knows? I revisited it a couple of days later, and all was well. You know what they say about wheaters? They get better after they've been open a while.:D

One more thing. Most of us know that Weller 12 is in short supply, and it's on allocation. The price has gone up, and yes, when some stores get a few bottles, they're price gouging. Most of us know that too. Let's keep thing's on topic here. Please don't turn this into a bitch session. Thanks.

So, let's here what y'all have to say about Weller 12.

Cheers and happy posting!                                                                                                                                                           Joe

 

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Paddy

Joe, you covered it quite well.  All I'll add is this, it's one of the few bourbons that I've ever purchased by the case. 

Specifically, it's the only bourbon I've ever purchased by the case... just for myself.  :o

Oh, for the good old days!  :rolleyes:

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dcbt

I'm pretty sure if I summed up the volumes of bottles I've consumed in my lifetime, Weller 12 would be sitting in the top spot...

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smokinjoe

Early in my enthusiast days, I sought out Weller 12 because it was so dang hard to get due to it only being distributed in very few states back then.  I had some good bottles, but most of those were selections that were outside the normal barrels released for the brand.  The standard just was too thin and astringent to my palate.  So, I ended up setting down to OWA to quench my Weller fix.  I still pick it up though, so I have it around for my friends who enjoy it, and also to  mix with OWA for the SB Blend.  I recently, though, tried it again on its own, and I had a more positive view of it, but wasn't necessarily crazy about it either.  But, better.  I cannot say if that is due to a change in the whiskey or a change in my palate, but I'm thinking its probably a little of both.  But I ain't going to argue...;)

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DPPSmoker

I made my first bourbon purchases about six years ago.  I walked into Chuck's in Bowling Green and pulled four or five bottles that looked interesting.  I didn't know what the hell I was doing.  I took my bottles to the counter and explained to the guy that I had recently tried bourbon, took a liking to it, and I wanted to purchase my first bottles.  He said, "can I recommend this to you?" as he pulled up a bottle of Weller 12.  He explained that many folks thought it was pretty good, it was hard to come by and the price was right.  Who was I to argue?  I tried all those bottles that night.  The Weller 12 and Four Roses Single Barrel were neck and neck.  I was hooked.

And like Paddy a few posts before me, Weller 12 is the only bourbon that I purchased a case.  I would do it again if I could get my hands on one.

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tigerlam92

Had a pour for the BOTM just now.  As with many years ago, I again try really really really hard to try to like it but still find that it is thin and astringent to me as well.  Mild down with a little ice and leaving the glass sit for a period of time.

But as SB Blend that is one of my favorite and one of my daily pour.

I also am a self avowed wheater whore and find my tasting matches with you both Joe and Joe, except for this which matches with one but not the other.

cheers

Hugh

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flahute

Oh man do I like this one. I discovered it early on, right before it got really hard to find. Loved it. Which figures, because it was suddenly so dang hard to find. I do sometimes detect the sootiness that you mention, but as you said, I think it's just where my palate may be from time to time because most of the time it's that just right caramel and toffee flavor that you mentioned. I was a little wheater crazy early on, mostly due to Pappy mania. As I've evolved, I actually prefer rye based bourbons mostly, except........ for Weller 12. It still holds a favorite place for me. I've been diligent about hunting it down the past few years and have about a case of it stashed away. It never disappoints.

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MOwhisky4me

Great choice for BOTM!

Weller 12 is one of my all time top 5 and typically fights for the number 1 spot. I love bourbon with some age behind it and that 10-12 year range is ideal for my tastes. I also enjoy a good wheated bourbon so naturally I'm a huge fan of this bourbon!

The nose on this is simply amazing... A blast of sweet caramel and toffee turning to oak and spice... Perfection. The flavor doesn't disappoint as it follows that gorgeous set of smells. I get the sweetness up front that I expect with roasted caramel and a little vanilla but then earthy flavors take over and there's oak and a hint of smokey Virginia tobacco that maybe is what gives some the sootiness I see in descriptions. There's a little spice, but it's mellow and very little bite. An easy drinker to be sure! One the best aspects is its lusciousness.

Just plain good bourbon!

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jeffrey r

Cool choice for BOTM.  While I think it has become a bit cliche in some quarters to denigrate Weller 12 due to its scarcity, hype and price increases, I have always been a big fan and still love it. 

My journey with Weller 12 began a few years ago, when I realized that it wasn't distributed in NJ.  So off of a tip from a fellow SB member, I located some supply at a store in NYC where I work.  There was a steady supply of Weller 12 at that time, for $20.99/bottle.  Of all things, in all places, it was almost too good to be true to find a highly sought after bourbon (even at that time), on a shelf in NYC, for $21.  Now, the fun didn't last long, and supplies eventually ran out (and hasn't returned since in years as far as I know).  But I was able to stock up amply during that time, though as is often the case, wish I had purchased even more.

In any case, all of the aforementioned notes are spot on for me--caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, nuts.  Just delicious stuff, in spite of the scarcity, hype and price increases.  A favorite of mine, and a staple, both on its own, and as part of the SB Blend.  Cheers.

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Jace

Sadly, I found it a bit bland and boring.. Not gonna bore you with the details, but the 3 wellers(antique, reserve and 12) are the reasons I'll probably never cash out for the expensive wheaters(Pappy, WLW, etc.). At a young age, I just find them sugary and one-dimensional. Aged, they just seem bland and hardly worth the barrel-time.

Guess I'm just not a wheater-fan... Less for me, more for you ;)

That being said; if a step unto a reasonable priced W12 in the future, I might try it again, just for pallet/time-comparison.

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meadeweber

I love W12 and it is one of my favorite bourbons.  The bottles don't last long when I open them so unfortunately I don't open them very often because at this point they can't be easily replaced.  The taste and nose are fantastic.  I just may need to open a bottle in honor of BOTM.

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GeeTen

Where, oh where do you find one (or more) of these???????  I've been looking in every store I'm near in Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas (Dallas area). Alas, no joy!   :(

Edited by GeeTen

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jeffrey r
13 hours ago, GeeTen said:

Where, oh where do you find one (or more) of these???????  I've been looking in every store I'm near in Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas (Dallas area). Alas, no joy!   :(

Well, I would say move to Texas, but you've apparently listed Texas as one of your locales (Texas has always been one of the few hotbeds of Weller 12 availability).  Other than that, you either need to be lucky, in the right place at the right time, know a store owner, or be willing to pay more than you should.  Unfortunate, but that's the way it is with Weller 12.

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MOwhisky4me
14 hours ago, GeeTen said:

Where, oh where do you find one (or more) of these???????  I've been looking in every store I'm near in Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas (Dallas area). Alas, no joy!   :(

It hit the shelves twice in mid-Missouri back in late November/early December. I was lucky enough to have a shop owner notify me or else I probably would have missed out because it goes fast when available! I have to give kudos to the stores around here, no price gouging or stupid shenanigans... $25 a fifth is the going rate!

Now, back on topic... Had to pull a bottle out of the bunker in honor of it being BOTM and have a healthy pour last night! Just as luscious and decadent as I described in my earlier post. Which brings me to a quality I missed in that previous description... In my experience WLW12 consistently gives me that "Ahhhhhh! This is just what the Dr ordered." reaction each and every pour.

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kcgumbohead

The first time I went to buy this a few years back, I didn't find it so I bought a WSR which I had that night. The next day I found W12 at another store and that night had a Weller shootout. I never finished that bottle of WSR, gave it to a friend so he could compare sbs with W12. I have been through several bottles of the 12 though and always had 1 open until they became scarce. The roundness and depth that those additional years gave the 12 made it a regular in my rotation. I liked it but didn't love it, frankly I missed the rye, I would come away from a pour feeling like something was missing but it was still enjoyable and VERY instructive when ABd with WSR or a nice rye recipe. I also found inconsistency from bottle to bottle, some had a bit too much char as far as my taste was concerned. The craze hit, they disappeared and based on the last chary W12 I had I didn't miss it.

Inspired to try the SB blend I got a bottle last year only to mix up a batch of the blend. Well, this W12 was different from all its predecessors in that it had less char and a wonderful chocolate note that I had never noted in W12 before. I was less enthused with the blend than either this latest W12 or the store pick OWA I got a short time after to mate it with, the OWA an outstanding pour itself.  

I now ration both the 12 and OWA as I don't know when I'll see either again and I don't know if the profile of this 12 will carry forward to future bottles or if this is just one honey of a batch ( I had a small sample of the preceeding W12 and they are that different so it wasn't just a "my taste has changed thing").

I would have gotten another bottle or 2 if I had known it was this good and they were still 12 deep on shelves LOL!!

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PaulO

The first time I tried this, it was bottles I picked up in Chicago.  This was before the brief time period I could buy it in Indiana.  Those bottles had the two heads of wheat on the bottle.  None of the other bottles I found later were as good as those.  I may go back to my personal messages to try and get a more definite timeline.  W12 was available in Indiana for maybe a year or two in the past.  I haven't seen one in a store for a long time.  Luckily I managed to bunker a few when they were around, plus pick up a couple in KY.  Every once in a great while, I open one.  I like it, but also like a lot of others.  There's a limit to what I'd pay for it, or how hard I'd hunt.  

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b1gcountry

I will have to comment on this one if I'm around in another 6 years. I've never seen a bottle, and the one local store listing it on their website had it for 99.99 before someone seems to have bought it up.

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Paddy

^^^^it's funny how perspectives vary person to person.^^^^

All my life, I'd never 'not' seen W12 (in a spirit selling store)... until about 2 years ago, when the damn thing went extinct!  :lol:

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T Comp

The current  product (post 2010/last BOTM :)) has its moments as an enjoyable sipper and pleasant contrast to traditional rye bourbons. But thin, sooty and short ending are pat of it too. Innocuous comes to mind more than savory. Not a fair fight between prior iterations.

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Richnimrod
8 hours ago, T Comp said:

The current  product (post 2010/last BOTM :)) has its moments as an enjoyable sipper and pleasant contrast to traditional rye bourbons. But thin, sooty and short ending are pat of it too. Innocuous comes to mind more than savory. Not a fair fight between prior iterations.

What he said!    I find it only OK, and a bit woody, along with that fairly disappointing finish.   I rarely pour it for/by itself; reserving most of the balance of my stash for making SB Blend, which I find considerably better than either of the components alone.    I make it using a 60/40 ratio in favor of OWA; and still find that a more than occasional pour in my regular rotation.    Wheaters in general are less-than-deep-or-broad to my taste buddies, though I do find many have a stellar nose.    Not sure what makes the 'Blend' so much better to me; but it is; neat or even over a small cube.   So, to sum up... I'm very fond of W12; but only in the SB Blend.

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kjbeggs

I finished a bottle of W12 a couple of months ago, and even though it's always been a favorite, for some reason I haven't opened another. (Probably because I'm down to two handles and a couple of older 1 liters that I'm holding on to for a bit).

However, after reading Joe's mouth-watering description to open this thread, one of those handles is getting opened tonight.

i know once it's opened, it ain't going to last long though, and sadly, Texas is not the land of free-flowing Weller 12 it once was. You can still find it if you search some of the more out-of-the-way stores at the right time, but it doesn't linger like it used to.

 

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The Black Tot

Weller 12, along with OWA, are the only bourbons I've bought by the case of 1.75Ls, haha.

I have had the batchy experience mentioned above. Went through 2x1L bottles wondering what all the fuss was about, figured I just didn't like this recipe at 90 proof. Which is part way true, I still think this mashbill pops at 107.

However, I later had some W12 that was eyebrow raising, and made me realize I'd had a boring batch previously.

I found a case of handles a year ago, decided I was going to get around to doing the SB blend (haven't managed it yet), and once I liked it it would probably be gone for a few years, so I stashed. It's been stuck in storage for a while. I'm looking forward to getting back into it.

 

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jsrudd

I've find Weller 12 a little thin and astringent, especially considering that its 12 years old. To me, it doesn't taste much older than Maker's Mark or Larceny. In it's defense, the nose is, however, superb. 

It may just be that I don't like wheated bourbons that much (though I did I really like Jefferson's Presidential Reserve 18y). 

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Kyjd75

I jumped on the Weller 12 bandwagon early.  After purchasing a bottle or two, this was my first full case purchase.  Then, over time, as I sampled more and more bourbons, I realized it wasn't quite as great as I thought it was.  Ultimately I began using my Weller 12's for the sole purpose of making the SB.com blend, which I confess to loving.  Then, I discovered VSOF 12 from HH, and came to like it more than Weller 12, so much so that my last few bottles of SB.com have been a blend of OWA and VSOF 12, rather than Weller 12.  If I ever see another bottle of Weller 12 in a store, I'll buy it, but IMHO it is no better than VSOF 12.

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SBOmarc

That was then, this is now.

Unicorns, I swear that one day this boom will ebb and things will get back to normal. If I could find Weller 12 I would gladly buy it. That's assuming that the price wasn't triple the norm. That being said I still prefer the 107, and the WLW that I have stashed for my Daughter's wedding is safely in storage.

 

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