Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Last Night's Tipple
Since I started in on the wheaters on Sunday night with Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond, I figured that I might as well move up the food-chain to examine again the differences between the different bottlings of wheated Bourbons available. No, not all of them. I don't have a bottle of Maker's Mark on hand, nor do I have the wheated entry in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (William LaRue Weller 19 year old) or all of the Van Winkle or WL Weller or even Old Fitz bottlings. But I do have a total of four different varieties (in order from low to high price): Old Fitz BIB, WL Weller 12 year old, Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 year old, and Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old. Next up last night was WL Weller 12. It has some of the same wheated Bourbon characteristics as the Old Fitz BIB, namely, noticeable sweetness and that Wheat Thin graininess. It's not nearly as hot as the Old Fitz; some of that is undoubtedly due to the fact that it's 90 proof instead of 100 proof, but some of it is due to the age. I would be surprised if the Old Fitz is much more than 4 years old (the legal minimum for a BIB), whereas the Weller is 12 years old. Age can take the edge off of a spirit. Finally, the Weller has much more of that vanilla and caramel character that I like so much. Again, not much of a surprise given that those flavors come from the wood and the Weller spends more time in wood.