For our first review of 2019 we are taking a look at W.L. Weller 12.
So unless you're absolutely brand new to whiskey, you've probably heard of this bourbon, but hopefully you didn't fall victim to the hype train and pay secondary pricing.
This bottle is supposed to retail at around $30, but some shady shop owners and whiskey bottle flippers on the secondary are trying to get upwards of $300 for it.
Why is this happening?
It all started a few years ago when some bloggers were calling this "Poor Mans Pappy"* all of a sudden people where running out and buying up the same bottles that have been collecting dust for years.
*Pappy is in reference to Pappy Van Winkle. Which has also skyrocketed in price on the secondary market fetching thousands of dollars on a bottle that used to retail for under $200.
Now, why is it being called the Poor Mans Pappy?
Everything from the Weller and Van Winkle lineups use the same mashbill.
They are also aged in the same warehouse.
Anyone who has tasted single cask whiskeys side by side can tell you, the same whisky can taste vastly different for numerous reasons. Therefore, simply being the same mashbill doesn't mean they will taste the same, hence why I think it's complete non-sense that this current whiskey economy is falling for this Poor Mans Pappy bullshit.
Basically what happens is Juian Van Winkle will go through the inventory and select which whiskey will go on into the Van Winkle stock (Rip Van Winkle 10 and Van Winkle 12 lot B...or eventually aging further to become Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20 or 23). If it doesn't make the Van Winkle stock, it becomes Weller. You should take this as your first hint that the whiskey taste different if he feels they don't make the cut.
Even a side by side of Weller 12 vs Rip Van Winkle lot B (retails for around $70 but fetching $300-700 secondary) will show you that there's more balance to the Rip. Again, same juice and aging time yet one retails for 2x the other...based off taste alone.
The mash-bill is said to be a company secret, yet certain website are claiming this to be the breakdown: 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% barley.
Remember...this is unconfirmed!
They use a #4 char on the barrels they use for aging which gives a nice deep rich color.
Bottled at 45% abv (A wheated whiskey should be higher proof in my opinion)
So is it the most over-rated whiskey ever?
In my opinion it could be. It's a $30 whiskey for a reason. I would never, ever pay secondary pricing on a bottle, let alone a whiskey as "run of the mill" as this one is.
It's very thin and nothing to wow you when neat, but through this review I learned my preferred way (as well as Mike's) is with a drop of water. Surprisingly, the water made this so much more enjoyable on the palate even though the nose was almost non-existent.
My score was 5.1 out of 10 neat
6.9 out of 10 with water
Obviously opinions and palates are subjective and these words are my own. I will never support the secondary market, nor the shady shop owners who feel it's OK to charge secondary pricing on bottles. I think eventually people will smarten up and realize that A- This bottle is only worth retail and B- There's so many other great whiskey to enjoy, so there's never a reason to pay more than retail on anything.
Check out our full review and details on the whiskey in the video below:
As a fan of scotch and other whiskeys I was tired of looking up reviews for new whiskeys that just oozed of snobbery. I wanted to create an outlet for average Joe's who don't have a sommelier palate. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, I moved to San Diego, California in 2010 with my wife. I'm also a fan of MMA, pro-wrestling, comic books, video games and strongman. All subjects are topic for discussion on the podcast.
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