“most big whiskies  benefit from a few drops of water. This one doesn’t need a thing”                      --Mark.

William Larue Weller
William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller is another of the 5 antique whiskies from Buffalo Trace. I haven’t had any of the “Big 5” (as I call them) in a while, so I thought I would get back in the saddle again with WLW. If you read the George Stagg article, you know I’m a fan of Buffalo Trace and almost all of their whiskies; WLW is no exception.

I was waiting for the right time to sample this whiskey for a review as I knew it was going to be a big, full-flavored bourbon. So last night after dinner, I spent some time on the deck by the fire trying to figure out this bourbon. This whiskey is BIG to say the least; it comes in at 125 proof, unfiltered and uncut. The more uncut (cask strength) whiskies I try, the more I’m starting to put them on my favorites list. I typically let big whiskies breathe for a while in the glass before drinking them, and this sat for about 5 minutes before trying it. The nose on this is big and full, with rich notes of honey and maple sugar with a bit of nutmeg and vanilla. When you first taste this whiskey, the flavors hit you in a big way. It coats your mouth with a maple-sugar, caramel-corn flavor, with a bit of vanilla on the back end; as soon as you think that’s all there is, it opens up and reveals a complexity that brings a warm, spicy, polished flavor that is rarely found in these types of bourbons. Most bourbon that is cask strength is typically straight-forward, with a single-dimension flavor — which is a good thing normally — but this one is certainly an exception to that rule. It goes down very smooth for a cask strength whiskey and has a long soft finish which lingers. I had a second glass with a few drops of water, and it made little difference, which surprised me because most big whiskies benefit from a few drops of water. This one doesn’t need a thing.

This whiskey for me is a “Top 10,” hands down. You don’t hear much about William Larue Weller because it’s hard to find and it’s a limited-production whiskey. This whiskey would be a compliment to any collection and certainly would become a favorite of anyone who loves great bourbon.

Distillery: Buffalo Trace
From: Frankfort, Kentucky
Proof: 125
Cost: $69
Purchased: Greene’s In Columbia is the only store in the area that has it.


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