William Larue Weller 2016 BTAC - 750ml
In the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) line up, William Larue Weller checks off the wheated bourbon box. However, Weller is also usually a middle aged and always a cask strength bottling. This year’s is a 12 1/2 year old, drawn from 145 barrels that lost nearly two-thirds of their original contents to the Angel’s Share. These were dumped and bottled, unfiltered and uncut at 135.4 proof (67.7% ABV).
Given that this makes the 2016 William Larue Weller the same thing as a cask strength W.L. Weller 12 Year Old, a whiskey that has been a hot item for a few years now because it was tagged as an able substitute for Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Old. It’s realizations like that which make Weller almost as popular as George T. Stagg, moreso among wheated bourbon diehards.
Nose: Cherry tobacco and peaches, molasses and cooking spices.
Taste: First time I had this release, a beautiful orange citrus note appears and stays with you, the whole way through. The cherry tobacco of the nose kicks in the middle of this. On return sips, the cherry vanilla is more dominant and takes the lead from the citrus. The citrus doesn’t go away but it’s not lead dog anymore. The mouthfeel is dry, hot and astringent.
Finish: Long and lingering tangerine at first then fades into cherry vanilla and tobacco at the end.