About – Weller 12 year is a wheated bourbon distilled by Buffalo Trace using the same mash bill as the famous Pappy Van Winkle series. The popularity and scarcity of Van Winkle has boosted the popularity of other bourbons sharing the same mash bill, the chief among these being Weller 12 Year. Often heralded as “Poor Man’s Pappy” this once easy to find bourbon has become nearly impossible to find on the shelf resulting in a huge price increase of its own. At retail a bottle of Weller 12 should set you back around $50. On the secondary market it is pushing past the $150 mark. Does it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.
Nose – The first thing that jumps out is a rich marzipan, accompanied by creamy marshmallow and vanilla. A beautiful oak acts as a binder holding all of these aromas together.
Palate – Right in line with the nose I am getting cherry, a creamy vanilla almost like a vanilla ice cream, and just like the nose all of these are tied together with just the right amount of oak. On the rocks it just picks up even more of the creaminess. The finish is a long smooth oak.
Score – A+
Verdict – I will start by saying it definitely lives up to the hype. Weller 12 is among the most balanced bourbons I have experienced, and probably the best example of how the oak of a properly aged bourbon really ties all of the flavors and aromas together and elevates the bourbon as a whole. If you see this at retail don’t hesitate, even at an elevated price it is still worth every penny.