Old Weller Antique 107 Review
Old Weller Antique 107 is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery located in Frankfort, Kentucky. Prior to being acquired by the Sazerac Company (Parent co. of Buffalo Trace) the Weller brand was owned by the Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company. Both Weller and Pappy Van Winkle bourbons share the same wheated mashbill, setting them apart from most other bourbons that contain a portion or rye in the overall grist.
For most states Weller has become an allocated bourbon that is only available for short periods of time maybe once or twice a year. OWA 107 only hits the shelves a few times a year in South Carolina while W. L. Weller 12 year is no where to be seen and W. L. Weller Reserve (NAS) is available year around. This shouldn't be a shock as most of Buffalo Trace's ultra premium bourbons and ryes are heavily sought after and it will be years before the distillery can meet demand assuming the bubble hasn't burst by then.
The current Weller line of bourbons includes the following:
- Old Weller Antique, NAS, 107 proof
- W. L. Weller Special Reserve, NAS, 90 proof
- W. L. Weller 12 Year, 90 proof
- William LaRue Weller, barrel proof (varies by year), part of the annual BTAC collection
Old bottles of OWA107 that were produced during the Stitzel-Weller years and age stated BT years are heavily sought after by collectors and are regarded as superior in quality. These are often referred to as the "gold veined", "paper label" and/or "squat" bottles and bare little resemblance to the current bottle. The Coopered Tot has an interesting article on tasting dusty OWA 107 that were produced while the brand was transitioning from SW to BT. In 2009 the bottle and label were changed with the biggest difference being the loss of the age statement.
***There was a slight label change in late 2014 / early 2015. The wording at the bottom of the opaque portion of the label stating the distillery is different. The bottle that was purchased in 2014 states, "Distilled by W. L. Weller And Sons, Frankfort, Kentucky". The bottle that was purchased in late 2015 states, "Distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky". A label change this slight is likely related to marketing and probably doesn't have anything to do with the juice inside.
Cost: $21 before Tax in South Carolina (750 ml).
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort Kentucky
Mashbill: 70% Corn / 16% Wheat / 14% Barley (BT wheated mashbill)
***Buffalo Trace will not publicly disclose their Mashbills. However, Modern Thirst believes they have the correct mashbill and states that their information was gathered from "multiple sources ranging from direct interviews to published works over the years."
Pour: 2 oz neat in a Canadian Glencairn
Nose: Starts out with Nilla wafers and caramel Twix followed by a huge blast of red fruit. Fruit salad with cranberries, strawberries, raspberries and cherries. Big red cinnamon gum on the back end.
Palate: Moutfeel is a medium thin and quite numbing. My first impression is that this juice is young due to the lack of complexity and harsh mouthfeel. Cherry cough syrup, twizzlers and a jumbo box of red hots.
Finish: Hot with a medium finish. Overloaded with cinnamon to the point that I am having a hard time teasing out any other flavors. Red hots smelted down into a glowing slurry.
OWA 107 is an absolute cinnamon bomb, more so than any other bourbon I have tasted to date. Now don't get me wrong, I like red hots from time to time but this is no joke. If cinnamon is your jam than this might be your bourbon. For $21 this is a solid value but might be a better mixer for some. Water is very rarely found in my whiskey glasses but this bourbon might actually benefit from a cube or two.
Personally I think Makers Mark Cask Strength is a better, high proof wheated bourbon and is more likey to be found on store shelves. A bit richer and sweeter without the weapons of mass cinnamon. But be prepared to spend almost 3x as much $$$ for a full sized bottle (750 ml) of MMCS.
Recommended: Makers Mark Cask Strength
- Mark @ Entry Proof