The Weller 12 review
Company: Buffalo Trace - Sazerac
Age: 12 years
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Breakdown: Unknown - but probably BT’s standard wheat mash bill of 70% corn, 16% wheat and 14% malted barley
A screw top, a terrible bottle design, and a label that looks like it was designed on MS Paint and printed out on cheap sticky-back plastic left over from an episode of Blue Peter. The age old saying of 'Don't judge a book by it's cover' has never been more true. This is in fact a stunning 12 year old bourbon that has become something of a celebrity in the bourbon world of late. If you want to know why then feel free to go read every other review of Weller 12 on the internet and they will all tell you. We however are going to break the cycle and there will be no mention of the 'P' word in this review.
Weller 12 is a 'wheater'. Which essentially means it swaps out rye as the secondary grain and uses wheat instead. This adds a creaminess to the taste of the bourbon, and removes some (but not all) of the spice and pepper that the rye brings. If Mav could go back in time to high five historical figures then Mr Weller would be one of them as legend has it that he was the first to pioneer this mash-bill. What a man in the 1800's would make of being high fived is anyone's guess.
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass
What we got - Creamy, buttery, cherry bakewell tart, caramel tart, sweet, smooth, almond
What they say we should get - Aromas of lanolin, almond, creamed corn and toasty vanilla
What we got - Smooth again, rich, creamy, oak, burnt oak, cherry and a touch of spice
What they say we should get - The mid-palate flavour is heavily wheated, layered and moderately sweet
What we got – Long, sticks around on the tongue
What they say we should get - Long, oaky, and intensely smooth finish
Seriously who decided on the screw top? The only thing that lets this bourbon down is the design choices that went into making the bottle. Maybe the Sazerac work experience kid was handed the reins for this one? Whatever the reason, it is vastly overshadowed by just how good the liquid is inside it.
Both Mav and Mr Pie loved this bourbon. It even managed to make Mr Pie start to think that maybe wheated whiskey was now his thing rather than rye - and for something to do that it must be good. It gets better the longer you spend with it too. It's not a bourbon for those looking for instant gratification. Take your time with it, let it sit for a while and you'll find that the nose changes and opens up more. The palate too is complex and begs for repeated visits - something which the Gents are only to happy to oblige with.
8 out of 10 - Mav
8 out of 10 – Mr. Pie