William Larue Weller bourbon whiskey

William Larue Weller Bourbon Whiskey (2014) Review


William Larue Weller is the only wheated bourbon in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.  In essence, this is a barrel proof W. L. Weller 12 year old, which is not a bad thing.  I’m sure this release gets choice barrels from the W. L. Weller line of whiskies.  A wheated bourbon means wheat is used as the flavoring grain instead of the more common rye.  Maker’s Mark and the Van Winkle bourbons are all wheated bourbons.  Mr. Weller is credited with being the first distiller to use wheat instead of rye for bourbon back in the mid-1850s.

This year’s release of William Larue Weller is a hellish 140.2 proof.  That’s the highest proof this bourbon’s ever been.  It’s even higher than this year’s George T. Stagg… if only by a couple of proof points.  Buffalo Trace Distillery provided a review sample.

When I take a nice big whiff of this bourbon, I get lots of alcohol and caramel.  When I take a smaller whiffs, I get LOTS of caramel and toffee, as well as a little oak.  Tasting it there’s a lot of sweet caramel, baking spices like cinnamon and cloves, and toffee.  The finish is sweet and dry.  While the high proof does come into play in terms of spice and heat, I find it slightly more palatable to drink neat when compared to George T. Stagg.  Adding water to this calms down the heat and really brings out the sweetness.

Make no mistake, this is one delicious bourbon.  Being a member of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection means it’ll be very hard to find in stores.  If the planets align and you run across a bottle, pick it up for the $80 suggested retail price.


Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Reviews Coming Soon


It’s an exciting time at the Childs household.  My fiancee and I just purchased our first house.  We’re a few weeks away from getting married.  Last, but most definitely not least,  Buffalo Trace just announced their 2014 Antique Collection is being released at the end of the month.  If that wasn’t enough, this week I received my review samples.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll post reviews of this year’s George Stagg, William Larue Weller, Eagle Rare 17, Sazerac 18, and Thomas Handy Sazerac.  I can’t wait.  To whet your appetite in the meantime, here’s their press release:




FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Sept. 4, 2014) Whiskey aficionados can start their holiday shopping early once Buffalo Trace Distillery releases its 2014 Antique Collection in late September. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what loyal fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The 2013 release of this perennial favorite received the prestigious Chairman’s Trophy during the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.  Barrels for this year’s George T. Stagg bottling were selected from Warehouses C, H, I, K, L, P, and Q.  This uncut and unfiltered bourbon was distilled back in the spring of 1998 and weighs in at 138.1 proof.  Although still highly allocated, happily there are a few more bottles available this year, since Buffalo Trace increased distillation for George T. Stagg back in 1997. This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and dates.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. The previous edition was given a “95” rating by Whisky Advocate Magazine.  The 2014 offering was distilled in the spring of 2002 and aged on the second, third, fourth, and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 140.2 proof – the strongest Weller release ever.  The bold flavors include dark molasses, plums, and toffee.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2013 edition was named “World’s Best Rye Whiskey” at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2008, aged on the fifth floor of Warehouse M and weighs in at 129.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as Christmas cake, allspice, coconut, and clove.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2014 edition has been aging on the second, third and sixth floors of Warehouses I and K.  This bourbon was aged nearly two decades and tastes of oak, leather, cinnamon, and tobacco.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was awarded a Gold Medal from Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards.  This 2014 straight rye whiskey release was aged in Warehouse K and has notable flavor of all-spice, molasses and hints of mint, along with a long, dry finish.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2014 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $80 each.  For more information visit www.greatbourbon.com.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1786 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine andWine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com.  To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracemediakit.com