William Larue Weller Bourbon 2011

William Larue Weller Bourbon
2011 Buffalo Trace
Antique Collection
66.75% Alcohol (133.5 Proof)

If you like bourbon or whiskey at all, I recommend trying anything from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection.  Year after year in the Fall, Buffalo Trace releases a set of five different whiskeys as part of their Antique Collection.  This includes the William Larue Weller, Sazerac Rye 18, Eagle Rare 17, Thomas H. Handy Rye, and the infamous George T. Stagg.  The Stagg is by far the most popular and for good reason, it's simply one of the best bourbons made today (I reviewed the amazing 2010 George T. Stagg here).  And while the Stagg is the clear champion of the bunch, they're all great whiskeys.

For now, I'm looking at the 2011 Release of the William Larue Weller bourbon.  It's a wheated bourbon, which as you may know, tend to be a bit smoother and mellower than unwheated bourbons (for reference, Makers Mark is a wheated bourbon).  This is essentially the amped-up version of the standard W. L. Weller Antique bourbon which is aged 7 years and bottled at 107 Proof.  And while yes, the standard is well-above average as far as bourbon goes and a truly great buy, the Antique Collection version is far superior.  The 2011 William Larue Weller is bottled at an impressive barrel-proof 66.75% Alcohol or 133.5 Proof.  It has not been watered down or filtered at all, tasting exactly how it would straight from the barrel, which I think is well, badass.  

William Larue Weller
This smells of potent, sweet vanilla, light maple, and some leather.  You take a sip and get more of the sweet vanilla, lots of cinnamon, a moderate amount of oak and smokiness, and some spiciness in the finish.  Had neat, the flavor is full-on, hardcore bourbon with a moderate amount of sweetness and an alcohol kick that hits you hard in the throat.  Served with a splash of water, the smooth wheat flavors become pronounced and you would never guess you're still drinking such a high-proof bourbon.  Either way, the sweet vanilla and cinnamon are in the forefront.  
Personally, I like this 2011 William Larue Weller better than the 2010 version.

Drink This: if you want a barrel-proof wheated bourbon.  Along with the George T. Stagg, this is generally one of my favorites every year from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.  This is smoother and mellower than the Stagg, but both are delicious.
Don't Drink This: if you're going to mix it with cola or something else.  This is too good to be served like that.  Have it neat or with a splash of water.  Plus, who the Hell mixes a $65 bourbon with cola?  Fools, that's who!  But, maybe I'm being pretentious.  I say, if you're going to mix bourbon with cola, stick with something cheap like Jim Beam.    

Stay tuned for the upcoming review of the 2011 George T. Stagg...       


  1. Yes you are pretentious sorry to say. I collect whiskeys and keep an unopened bottle of every one I have ever tasted. I tend to drink all of mine with a little cola and still I get the great taste. Perhaps my pallet is not as sophisticated as yours but I very much enjoy my whiskeys. The one I have several unopened bottles of and which is my favourite, is Jeffersons Presidential Select 18 yr old.
    Even ones I do not like such as Woodford Reserve Masters/Maple wood dinish, I still keep an unopened bottle in my collection.
    So far I have over 20 different whiskeys, mainly American, not being a liker of Scotch even as an Englishman.
    I suppose I simply like what I like without thinking too much about things like aroma and after tastes etc. If it's good, then it's good, simple as that.

  2. @Anonymous - you sir are a fool. not to say you cant add cola or whatever you want, its your whiskey, you can drink it however you want. what is the point of drinking on unfiltered cask strength beast like this whiskey and then adding cola??? the whole point is to get the oils/fatty acids from the barrel (Fat = flavor), taste the oak as this has been age 15-17 years. you can add some water to tame it and open it up, but cola? why add high fructose corn syrup crap to a great bourbon.

    the better the whiskey, the better the mixed drink, yes, and while it is true i just do not subscribe to that. i drink my stagg neat!!! ive tried it with a splash of water and while it does open up the nose, i still prefer it neat. I take smaller sips and hold it at the tip of your mouth, while your saliva dilutes it perfectly and then taste the magic.

    I have over 30 bottle of various whiskey's at home and when ever i have stagg, i cant have anything else, because nothing can touch the flavor this packs. when i have something else i am instantly disappointed not because the other whiskey's are bad, but that i should have just kept drinking stagg. I dont think stagg is an everyday whiskey. i drink everything i buy, and the good stuff goes first. i like to have an ounce of this and that, very rarely i just drink one thing. btw, i also love Thomas H. Handy, its a great rye. hopefully this year i will score a bottle of william Larue weller and other bottles from BTAC. i wish they made more of this stuff, so that it wasnt so rare.

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