Review of Old Weller Antique Original 107 Straight Bourbon by Murray Cohen.
W. L. Weller is a brand of wheated bourbon whiskey which is named after William Larue Weller (1825–1899), who was a bourbon whiskey distiller in the early days of Kentucky. He was supposedly the first to produce straight bourbon using wheat instead of rye in the mashbill.
W. L. Weller was originally owned by the Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company, today it is owned by the Sazerac Company and produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Like all bourbons, Weller is distilled from a mash composed of at least 51% corn (maize). Rather uncommonly the secondary grain used for the Weller bourbon is wheat, whereas most bourbons use rye.
The Old Weller Antique Original 107 Straight Bourbon has been picking up some very good reviews which has made this wheated bourbon whiskey expression quite difficult to get hold of no matter where you are in the world so when it landed on the shelves of the LCBO stores in Ontario, Canada this week I was there to pick up a bottle and review it.
It is a wheated bourbon which has been bottled at a cask strength of 53.5% ABV. The official release date here in Ontario is October 1st 2016. This 7 year old (though it is not delineated on the label) comes across as a much older bourbon with quite a dramatic profile. I have been told that this bourbon utilizes the same mashbill, warehouse and proof as Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year. A definite selling point is the price which is currently $34.95 Canadian.
Murray Cohen's Tasting Notes:
Colour: Dark Amber.
Nose: Honey poured over mandarin and clementine oranges (sweet and sour) impress from the get-go. Stewed sweetened rhubarb wafts in with sour cherries right behind. Sugary essences reach an early crescendo. Tobacco leaves drying in the barn mesh with earthy tones. An olfactory kaleidoscope that satisfies over and over again. Late exotic pipe tobacco fulfils a wish with Australian black liquorice which both satisfies and intrigues as this bourbon opens. The layers over time are robust and thick on the nose.
Taste: Astounding long legs and full-bodied. Smooth and creamy with a double-barreled blast of spice which gives way to vanilla and buttered and battered French toast. The wheat influence is undeniable and magnificent.
Finish: Long, somewhat drying, café au lait swishes by with mild coca rising up and nifty oak calling out. The spice perseverates like a drum beat.
Comment: A brilliant bourbon with no surprise that it is cask strength when it touches the lips. The nose is like an air craft taking off, building up speed and soaring to the heavens. This is a superb bourbon from beginning to end. Please do not contemplate “mix” for this one. Neat is the key and letting it breathe is the ticket.
You can find the Old Weller Antique Original 107 in LCBO stores in Ontario, Canada from October and if you are lucky you may find it available from specialist Whisky retailers such as