First introduced in 2005, William Larue Weller has historically offered a rare glimpse at what a relatively high age, high quality, barrel proof wheated bourbon should taste like. Aged on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of warehouses K, L, D, Q, and C, its surprising to note 64% of the original whiskey was lost to evaporation, or the Angels Share as this is often referred to. Unlike some of the recent past years vintages which focused more heavy-handedly on cherry notes, this years edition incorporates more spice and surprisingly, a funky oak note. Because of this somewhat unusual funky oak note for the brand, the whiskeys age is more evident, which will satisfy those who enjoy a bit of oak funk, albeit at the expense of those hoping for another cherry bomb. This combination brings more balance to the whiskey, as no single flavor component overpowers another. Adding a few drops of water tames some of the heat and subdues the bourbons gripping intensity, but still allows the long spicy finish to show through. This years William Larue Weller is another high quality release for the brand, trading wow factor for overall balance. While it isnt a showstopper, it once again maintains a high bar for what a wheated barrel proof bourbon should be.
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Born in 1825, William Larue Weller was one of the early whiskey pioneers in Kentucky. After serving with the Louisville Brigade in the 1840's, Weller returned to Louisville to open his wholesale liquor business. Weller developed his original bourbon recipe with wheat, rather than rye in the mash bill. Wheat is a soft grain providing his bourbon with a mild, gentle and smooth taste.
Weller is reported to have used the slogan "Honest Whiskey at an Honest Price." He spent his lifetime educating consumers about the differences in his bourbon. William Larue Weller's wheated bourbon became so popular, that Weller was forced to put a green thumbprint on barrels to ensure that customers were receiving the real deal.
Pappy Van Winkle eventually merged Weller's namesake company with the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery to form the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
The legacy of William Larue Weller continues to be honored today with award-winning wheated bourbons such as Weller 12 Year, Weller Special Reserve and Weller 107 Antique.