By Father John Rayls
I normally don’t seek out a wheated bourbon. However, how often do you find a wheated bourbon bottled at 135.4 proof? I prefer a less smooth and agreeable whiskey experience than I normally get from a bourbon made with wheat. The
2016 edition of BTAC (Buffalo Trace Antique Collection) contains five offerings. The wheated bourbon version is the William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bottled at 135.4 proof. You read that correctly: 135.4 proof. It went into the new white oak barrels at 114 proof in Warehouses D, K and L on the third and sixth floor in the Winter of 2003. It’s now twelve years and seven months old plus whatever time it has spent in the bottle since this Spring. (Of course for aging purposes, only time in the oak barrel counts.) After an astounding loss to evaporation of over 65% of the barreled bourbon from 2003, we are presented with a very good and very interesting bottle of aged bourbon courtesy of Buffalo Trace.
This is a much darker bourbon (in color) than I normally encounter. It’s almost a dark brown with copper highlights as the sun’s rays pass through it. The legs are very long and impressive. The nose is also very impressive. Amazingly, there is no alcohol burn associated with it. How is that even possible? I love caramel corn and that is the primary aroma I get coming from this magical elixir. There is also vanilla, pipe tobacco and very light oak. I’m always reluctant to add any water to my pour even though I know at times it can release additional flavors and complexity. I consumed this neat and found it very exciting, but a little difficult to pick up on all the flavor. It coated the mouth beautifully with flavors of dates and vanilla with lighter notes of leather and oak. The finish is the longest I’ve ever experienced. The mouth experience begins at the front and finally includes the back. However, the finish is a smooth powerful force. It went on and on, but not in waves. It simply parked itself at the back without biting. Needless to say, I’ve already contacted my supplier. Thanks Daniel! At around 90 bucks, this is one of those whiskeys for which you start looking right now.