Weller Full Proof (The Bottleshop Store Pick) Review
Take the best elements of the Weller wheated profile and crank them up to 11.
Type: Straight Bourbon
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 114 proof
Age: 7.5 years (Barreled 02/21/12)
Golden amber with great legs
Vanilla custard and sweet caramel leap out at me. Leather comes next along with a decent kick of spice. There's a nice amount of oak here as well. It's a sweet nose, and overall a fairly classic bourbon profile.
When I opened this, I dove in immediately. It was hotter than I expected. It's 114 proof, so that shouldn't be a surprise, but the Weller lineup is known for being so smooth that the spice caught me off-guard. As hard as it was to resist, I let the bottle breathe for a little while before trying it again. After airing out for a bit, this whiskey really opens up. Caramel is the star of the show with strong notes of oak and barrel char. Tobacco and clove play a big part as well. Towards the end there's a hint of dark fruit. It's not quite cherry or raisin but it feels familiar.
This is a long finish that lingers for an impossibly long time. I've yet to take a sip where my mouth wasn't still tingling from the previous taste.
No surprise here, this is a wonderful bourbon, but how does it stack up to Weller 12, Weller Antique 107 and Weller Special Reserve? It's definitely the boldest of the group. I'm still surprised at the level of spice this brings. That said, there's also a sweet side and a bit of a fruit characteristic that keeps it from being one-dimensional. This isn't just a pepper bomb. It has the oak and leather profile of something much older, but no one element is overpowering. If you appreciate a bold, in-your-face whiskey that doesn't lose the caramel and vanilla elements, this may be the best Weller of the bunch. For those that want a super smooth, easy-sipper, Weller 107 or Weller 12 would be a bit more approachable. For me, this takes the best elements of the classic Weller wheated profile and cranks them up to 11. I think this lives up to the hype. Buffalo Trace has another winner in the Weller lineup.
This is a general guide of what I consider each score range
4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.
4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.
3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.
3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.
2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase but may not buy another.
2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.
1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.
0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away from me.