Old Weller Antique Review
At MSRP, this is the best value in bourbon. It's better than Weller 12.
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Price Paid: $32.99
Dark caramel, amber
There's not a ton of burn on the nose. The aroma of the burn is there, but it doesn't engulf your nose the way some strong bourbons do. It makes it easier to dive in and get the more subtle notes. All the standard notes are there with caramel and vanilla all over. I also get honey, butterscotch and some fruit notes, similar to apricot but a little stronger. The oak is really noticeable as well.
The mouthfeel on this is great. A single sip has all my taste buds tingling as if I've been swirling it around for minutes. The taste itself is slightly muted at first, but quickly opens up to show off caramel, tobacco and sugary fruit. The heat on this is surprising and builds as you go. At times, this compares to some 120+ proof options I've had, but it's got the smoothness of a bottled-in-bond 100 proofer. The oak is dialed in perfectly on this. I'm actually glad it's not much older, which isn't something you'd typically say about a $30 bourbon. This is a classic bourbon profile, with sweetness, a buttery mouthfeel and the perfect amount of spice.
This is a long finish, but an easy one. The oak and char of the barrel are present in the best ways. The heat explodes after a few seconds, then slowly fades away, lasting longer than expected. You feel it for a while, but it's not a heavy burn the way some barrel proof options are. This is a really nice finish.
This sort of claim is popular in the bourbon world, but this is about as good as it gets for around $30. It's got enough heat and complexity to interest experienced whiskey drinkers, but it's not so overpowering that it scares away beginners. From the nose, to the taste and through the finish, every aspect of this is enjoyable and exactly what I want a bourbon to be. Unfortunately, the Weller name has made this bottle very difficult to find at retail. As such, this is an automatic buy any time you are lucky enough to come across one. You could pay double retail and you'll still come out better than most other offerings at that price point. At retail, it's unbeatable.