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mosugoji64

VSOF 12yr vs. Weller 12yr

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mosugoji64   
mosugoji64

It's funny what direct comparison can reveal. In other threads, I and other members have discussed how we felt that VSOF tasted rather flat, disappointing, and certainly not worth the mania and cost in the current market. Tonight, I tasted VSOF and W12 back to back and came away with a completely different impression. Keep in mind, I am a HUGE Weller fan. I absolutely adore the Weller expressions and am saddened by the fact that when my current stash is gone, it's likely gone for a long while in the current climate. Anyway, in my comparison this evening, VSOF came away the clear superior when matched with W12. While I enjoyed W12, it seemed tired compared to VSOF, which was robust and flavorful. It's still not worth the insanity and hype heaped on it in the current market, but I think very few whiskies are. But after this tasting, I would pick VSOF over W12 if both were priced comparably, as they were previously. If anyone else is in a position to compare, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod

Hmmmm, that is indeed a worthy comparison to contemplate, Brian.    Now (having contemplated it long enough), I plan to do said SBS, as you've requested.    I'll do it Saturday, and post my thoughts here.

Thanx for the thoughtful idea.

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Old Dusty   
Old Dusty

Out of VSOF (except a lone BHC and that wouldn't be fair). But I did this side by side back when both of these were available. And liked the W12 better. It wasn't night and day but I like BT's wheated better than HH's down the line. The clincher for me back then was the substantial price difference. W12 was $25 and the Fitz was $35. That made any decision a no brainer. Now, sadly, those prices are long gone along with the availability of the bourbons. 

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beasled   
beasled

Absolutely agree. I love Weller 12 but I much prefer VSOF any day. It takes a little longer than the W12 to open up I think, but once it does... 

 

Luckily I have a cache of VSOF and W12 to continue to compare to!

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PaulO   
PaulO

I think it depends on the batch of W12.  Some of the earlier ones I tried with the embossed wheat on the bottle blew me away.  Later batches were still good, but not on the same level.  I blame another brand for culling out the honey barrels.

The last bottle of VSOF was very nice.  I could tell a different house style from the Weller.  The VSOF was always more expensive and harder to find when they were both sitting on shelves a few years ago.  Overall, I've had many more bottles of W12 compared to VSOF.

A side note, I noticed variability in the Old Fitz BIB.  

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2
10 hours ago, mosugoji64 said:

It's funny what direct comparison can reveal. In other threads, I and other members have discussed how we felt that VSOF tasted rather flat, disappointing, and certainly not worth the mania and cost in the current market. Tonight, I tasted VSOF and W12 back to back and came away with a completely different impression. Keep in mind, I am a HUGE Weller fan. I absolutely adore the Weller expressions and am saddened by the fact that when my current stash is gone, it's likely gone for a long while in the current climate. Anyway, in my comparison this evening, VSOF came away the clear superior when matched with W12. While I enjoyed W12, it seemed tired compared to VSOF, which was robust and flavorful. It's still not worth the insanity and hype heaped on it in the current market, but I think very few whiskies are. But after this tasting, I would pick VSOF over W12 if both were priced comparably, as they were previously. If anyone else is in a position to compare, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

 

We did this along 2 others in a BT vs HH showdown on the Wednesday Tasting about 7 months ago. VSOF won by a nose in a blind SBSBSBS!

 

But the real winner for me was the Larceny given it was very close but is generally cheaper and most importantly, readily available.  

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flahute   
flahute
4 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

We did this along 2 others in a BT vs HH showdown on the Wednesday Tasting about 7 months ago. VSOF won by a nose in a blind SBSBSBS!

 

But the real winner for me was the Larceny given it was very close but is generally cheaper and most importantly, readily available.  

I'm going to say 'arghhhh' because Larceny does not work for me which is a shame because it's cheap and available. Oh well.

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Clueby   
Clueby
15 minutes ago, flahute said:

I'm going to say 'arghhhh' because Larceny does not work for me which is a shame because it's cheap and available. Oh well.

Agree with this.  I tried a pour at a bar and was "meh".  But then I bought a bottle for myself.  Still didn't care for it.  I thought maybe it was the bottle so I bought one more.  That will be the last one ever.  I get a really strong acetone finish that I don't care for.

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Charlutz   
Charlutz

Count me in as someone who loves wheated whiskey but doesn't care for Larceny. I have to make a trip to the Va line to get it but it's accessible. I just don't like it unfortunately for me. 

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Paddy   
Paddy

I prefer W12, but I think only because I prefer the BT house profile (yeast strain). 

 

Honestly, I've probably not had any VSOF in a year or so, but they really do share more similarities than differences. 

 

Like Steve, I'm not a fan boy of the Larceny.  I know many here feel that it more than holds it own in blind tastings, but my oak radar detector picks out the youth (and HH yeast) from a mile away.  OWA get away with its' youth (for me), due to what I perceive as the cleaner yeast fingerprint.

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mosugoji64   
mosugoji64

Thanks for chiming in, guys! It was a surprising result for me since whenever I've had VSOF alone it was good but disappointing. SBS with W12 it came alive for me. Now, I'm all the more disappointed that I likely won't be getting any more!

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod
On 2/16/2017 at 7:45 AM, Richnimrod said:

Hmmmm, that is indeed a worthy comparison to contemplate, Brian.    Now (having contemplated it long enough), I plan to do said SBS, as you've requested.    I'll do it Saturday, and post my thoughts here.

Thanx for the thoughtful idea.

 

OK.    As promised, I did a SBSBS with Weller 12-year, Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12-year and Larceny yesterday.    The brief results are as follows....

The Larceny came in first by a very narrow margin, based mainly upon a cleaner (less oak) profile, and opening up decently with water.   While it didn't have the nose of the VSOF and certainly not the nose of the W12, it was a very nice, if uncomplicated pour.

The VSOF and W12 were 'tied for a close second.    The W12 had a much bigger aroma and the darkest red/amber hue; but had rather too much wood which lost it a few points, and was quite astringent (I'm told the word favored by some is 'grippy').    The VSOF suffered only in that it was flattened almost completely when I added a few drops of water (before that, it was in first place, and maybe should still be there?).

 

I was able to guess the brands easily before I even nosed or tasted 'em by comparing the legs, and the colors.    With the darkest easily being the W12, the lightest easily being the Larceny.   The legs gave away the difference between the W12 and VSOF (the legs of the Larceny and VSOF shared similar characteristics), so I was fairly sure which was which, even though my bride poured 'em for me in another room and only labeled the glencairns with an A, B & C.  

I enjoyed the nose of the W12, finding more in there than the VSOF, and way more than the Larceny; but it just was so astringent, and had such a dominant oak influence that the palate disappointed.      The VSOF didn't have the nose of the W12; but had a decent palate, with some cinnamon, a decent amount of oak, a slight sweet caramel flavor if front, with another slightly sweet note mid palate.    It shared a good deal of the characteristics of the Larceny; but with more wood, and strangely a bit less vanilla.

 

Additional Note: I mixed about 1-part of the W12 with about 3-parts of the Larceny after the session.    That was the best pour of the day!

 

I should note also, that I often find wheaters a bit 'one-dimensional', and yesterday was one of those times.    So, I will repeat the comparison (& add a 4th: WSR) on a day, at some point when I'm finding the wheaters tastier.

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Paddy   
Paddy

^^^Nicely done, Sir Rich! 

 

I'm sure it was 'tough work', but we appreciate it nonetheless!  :lol:

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JTaylor   
JTaylor
3 hours ago, Richnimrod said:

 

OK.    As promised, I did a SBSBS with Weller 12-year, Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12-year and Larceny yesterday.    The brief results are as follows....

The Larceny came in first by a very narrow margin, based mainly upon a cleaner (less oak) profile, and opening up decently with water.   While it didn't have the nose of the VSOF and certainly not the nose of the W12, it was a very nice, if uncomplicated pour.

The VSOF and W12 were 'tied for a close second.    The W12 had a much bigger aroma and the darkest red/amber hue; but had rather too much wood which lost it a few points, and was quite astringent (I'm told the word favored by some is 'grippy').    The VSOF suffered only in that it was flattened almost completely when I added a few drops of water (before that, it was in first place, and maybe should still be there?).

 

 

Excellent notes Rich! Way to take one for the team!:D

You didn't happen to find that VSOF in MI did you??

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Limegoldconvertible68   
Limegoldconvertible68
16 hours ago, Richnimrod said:

 

OK.    As promised, I did a SBSBS with Weller 12-year, Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12-year and Larceny yesterday.    The brief results are as follows....

The Larceny came in first by a very narrow margin, based mainly upon a cleaner (less oak) profile, and opening up decently with water.   While it didn't have the nose of the VSOF and certainly not the nose of the W12, it was a very nice, if uncomplicated pour.

The VSOF and W12 were 'tied for a close second.    The W12 had a much bigger aroma and the darkest red/amber hue; but had rather too much wood which lost it a few points, and was quite astringent (I'm told the word favored by some is 'grippy').    The VSOF suffered only in that it was flattened almost completely when I added a few drops of water (before that, it was in first place, and maybe should still be there?).

 

I was able to guess the brands easily before I even nosed or tasted 'em by comparing the legs, and the colors.    With the darkest easily being the W12, the lightest easily being the Larceny.   The legs gave away the difference between the W12 and VSOF (the legs of the Larceny and VSOF shared similar characteristics), so I was fairly sure which was which, even though my bride poured 'em for me in another room and only labeled the glencairns with an A, B & C.  

I enjoyed the nose of the W12, finding more in there than the VSOF, and way more than the Larceny; but it just was so astringent, and had such a dominant oak influence that the palate disappointed.      The VSOF didn't have the nose of the W12; but had a decent palate, with some cinnamon, a decent amount of oak, a slight sweet caramel flavor if front, with another slightly sweet note mid palate.    It shared a good deal of the characteristics of the Larceny; but with more wood, and strangely a bit less vanilla.

 

Additional Note: I mixed about 1-part of the W12 with about 3-parts of the Larceny after the session.    That was the best pour of the day!

 

I should note also, that I often find wheaters a bit 'one-dimensional', and yesterday was one of those times.    So, I will repeat the comparison (& add a 4th: WSR) on a day, at some point when I'm finding the wheaters tastier.

You better redo that test. Everyone knows hard to find/no longer made bourbon is always better than easy to find bourbon.  If not what would be the point of driving countless miles searching for it. 

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod
13 hours ago, JTaylor said:

Excellent notes Rich! Way to take one for the team!:D

You didn't happen to find that VSOF in MI did you??

Sadly; no.   I scored a few of 'em over the years in other states.

I think this one (which I only opened a few weex ago) was from KY a couple years ago.    I think I'm down to only one in the bunker now, and given the scarcity of the stuff any more, I may not replace it.    I always liked it fairly well; but haven't made it a regular pour due to the difficulty of replacing it (lately especially), and the fact that wheaters in general don't don't find my favor all that often (apologies to FishnbowlJoe).    Usually when I'm in the mood and tasting the nuances of a wheater well, I reach for SB Blend, Larceny, or OWA; or on a special occasion, maybe a Pappy.    I guess this (just run) test-a-roo, and the intended re-test on a better tasting day, will determine how hard I look for any more VSOF12.

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod
1 hour ago, Limegoldconvertible68 said:

You better redo that test. Everyone knows hard to find/no longer made bourbon is always better than easy to find bourbon.  If not what would be the point of driving countless miles searching for it. 

Yeah, I know.    I MUST have done something wrong.  :o

No possible chance a readily available brand would be anywhere near as wonderful and dynamic as a more-difficult-to-source one; right? 

Therefor I will absolutely need to revisit this effort at a near future time, when I'm not so badly compromised.   :P

A terribly challenging and daunting prospect; but one I feel I must undertake to correct my obviously flawed effort of this past Saturday.  :rolleyes:

Thanx for the encouragement, Lime.

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garbanzobean   
garbanzobean

Sometimes I feel like HH wheaters are in a weird in-between category compared to the competition.  People who like that HH tang don't find it as present in their wheaters, and as a result seem to pick up oak/char or immature corn flavors instead.  People who hate that HH tang . . . still hate HH tang after drinking HH wheaters.

 

I personally find HH wheaters to be better whiskies than the competition, but I still think OWA is among the better exemplars of what wheated bourbon is.  I've always assumed that was just because I prefer HH distillate to BT, so this is an interesting thread for me to read.

 

Edit:  Personally I also find there to be a less dramatic difference between HH wheated bourbon and HH rye bourbon than BT wheated bourbon and BT rye bourbon.

Edited by garbanzobean

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod
On 2/19/2017 at 3:16 PM, Richnimrod said:

I should note also, that I often find wheaters a bit 'one-dimensional', and yesterday was one of those times.    So, I will repeat the comparison (& add a 4th: WSR) on a day, at some point when I'm finding the wheaters tastier.

 

OK.    Today turned out to be a pretty good tasting day for me, so I went back as promised and did this again; this time adding another 90-proof wheater, Weller Special Reserve... to make a 4-way.

I rarely do more than 3-way comparisons, and today reminded why I don't.    Just too hard to keep straight the preference order in all the different categories (from color to legs to nose to palate then again after adding a bit of water); not to mention the extra consumption.    I took good notes, so I could try to remember when assigning places.    That helped some.

Anyway, on a better tasting day the job was actually much harder, not easier, so a lesson learned about something, I guess... I haven't a clue what that might be, though.    ...Other than it was more fun, since they all tasted good to great!  :P

The short answer to the overall preference list goes like this....

First place went to (Wait for it....) Weller Special Reserve, of all things!    During the tasting I assumed it to be VSOF 12-year (WRONG!), due to the color, and generally woody character.    This was poured from a semi-old 1.75...maybe about 4-years old, so not dusty, but not new either.     In tasting through 'em I found the WSR to be the right balance of wood to all else, while the Weller 12 was, again, too woody to be the best; but came in tied for second with VSOF, though they weren't of the same overall profile.    This time Larceny came in last; but only by a bit.     All were very enjoyable today... way more so than last Saturday.

My palate is so damned variable, I wonder why I bother doing this sort of analytical stuff.     It changes with who-knows-what affecting it.   Ah well, first world problem, I know.

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bourbon4all   
bourbon4all
1 hour ago, Richnimrod said:

 

My palate is so damned variable

I hear you on this one. Some days it's hard to find an enjoyable drink and other days you want a taste of everything in your bunker

 

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