William Larue Weller, 62.65%

Price: $65.00 Issue: Spring 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

A significant improvement over the previous release in 2007, which I felt was the weakest of Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection that year. Wheated bourbons, like William Larue Weller, lack the bold zing of rye, and therefore are vulnerable to being too tame, too easygoing, like the 2007 release. What wheated whiskeys gain in drinkability, they can lose in vibrancy and zest. The distiller might want to augment this, and a good way to do this is by increasing the oak impact (spice, resin, balancing dryness), as was done (quite masterfully, by the way) with this new expression. Sweet notes of vanilla custard, maple syrup, Demerara rum, shortbread cookie, and marzipan are balanced by raspberry jam, cinnamon, nutmeg, teaberry, and gentle oak resin that lingers on the finish. Great balance, too!