Review No.16. W.L. Weller 12 Year Old

W.L. Weller is another bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery and it closely related to the much sought after Pappy Van Winkle range.  This means that demand for this bourbon is high and you may have difficulty finding this bottle in the UK now.  I was very excited to get of this bottle back in 2016 as it was rated highly by many critics and I had not tried many wheated bourbons before.  The significance of wheated bourbon is that where most bourbons are made from at least 51% corn, rye bourbons from at least 51% rye; these are made from at least 51% wheat.  I see wheated bourbons as being at the opposite side of the bourbon spectrum to rye.  Here you will get more mellow, buttery sweet flavours.


Whisky: W.L. Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 45% vol.

Nose: Orange, clove, vanilla, butterscotch, cherry and oak

Taste: Toffee, vanilla, orange, buttered popcorn, sponge cake and charred oak

Finish: Medium, clove, pepper, charred oak

Score: 3

Summary: This is a very mellow bourbon and I could easily get through a bottle.  The words soft and mellow keep coming to mind when I think of this.  The sweet buttery characteristics are there and the strong alcohol presence is present throughout the nose and taste, however it doesn’t take over.  Towards the aftertaste and finish there is some spice and smoke present which is a really nice balance to the sweetness experienced during the nosing and tasting.  I found that a drop or two of water helped bring out the flavours some more.  I think the hype around this raised my expectations and I felt a bit underwhelmed but putting expectations aside I think this is a good quality wheated bourbon and one to experience if you are into bourbons.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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