William LaRue Weller is the best bourbon on the market. That is my humble opinion. I have never owned a bottle, but I have been fortunate enough to have tried every release since 2011 and my opinion has never swayed. Therefore, when I saw on Facebook that Monks BBQ had just received a bottle of WLW after a three-year wait, I knew I needed to check it out.
William LaRue Weller is part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection released every fall. It is bottled barrel proof, uncut and unfiltered. It uses wheat instead of rye in the recipe. According to the Buffalo Trace Distillery Tasting Notes:
“Fragrant scents of caramel corn, new leather, plums, light toffee and pipe tobacco. The palate tastes of marshmallow, salted almonds, nougat figs and dates. This whiskey finishes smooth. composed and flavorfully sweet.”
I can’t say it any better than Buffalo Trace, “smooth composed and flavorfully sweet,” doesn’t do it justice. It is fantastic. As you can tell, I was not disappointed nor has my opinion on WLW changed. It is the best bourbon out there hands down.
Now for the review.
Name: 2016 William Larue Weller Bourbon
Proof: 135.4 proof / 67.7% ABV
Age: 12 years, 7 months
How I Drank It: Neat, in a rocks glass. I let it sit for 10 minutes before the first sip.
Nose: Fruit, Cherries, and Raspberries. Vanilla.
Taste: The fruit is definitely there. It tastes almost like it is finished in wine barrels even though it isn’t. Caramel and vanilla.
Burn: Starts with a tingle on the back of the tongue with a nice warming in the chest.
Overall Notes: Fabulous. Easy sipping for a 135 proof bourbon. The 2015 release was recently named as the Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 edition. I can’t believe this won’t be his bourbon of the year in his 2018 edition.
Neat, Splash or Rocks: Neat. I am really not one to add water to a bourbon. My wife had it with an ice ball. I tasted hers and noticed a lot of caramel.
Share With: Someone who appreciates good bourbon.
Worth The Price: I paid $65 for a pour. I have an upper limit for what I will pay for a pour of bourbon and apparently this didn’t reach it. Also, this is my favorite bourbon, and I wanted to try it. Monks received their bottle on a Wednesday, and with my pour and my wife’s, the bottle was half gone. Obviously, others wanted to try it as well. It is well worth the price.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: If you can find a bottle of this at retail, by all means buy it. That being said, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is very difficult to find and it is extremely expensive on the secondary market.