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William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof 66.8% 133.6 Proof

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The William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, part of the 2023 release, stands as a testament to the distilling mastery of Buffalo Trace Distillery. This cask strength, barrel proof bourbon, at a formidable 133.6 proof (66.8% ABV), is celebrated for its depth, complexity, and rarity. Distilled in Spring 2011 and aged in warehouses C, L, M, and N, this bourbon showcases the rich heritage and exceptional quality Buffalo Trace is known for​.

The bourbon exhibits a captivating nose with notes of medicinal cherry cough drops, vanilla extract, almond extract, and macerated, alcohol-soaked pears, raisins, and nectarines, complemented by lemon drop candies. Traditional spice notes of cinnamon gum and allspice, along with a hint of freshly ground nutmeg and caramel candy, create a richly layered olfactory experience. However, it lacks a fresh pop to balance the more artificial scents, a shift from previous releases that have offered a more balanced nose​.

On the palate, William Larue Weller unfolds with intensely dark caramel, pushing into dark chocolate and vanilla-swirled fudge. This evolution is marked by a moderately thick mouthfeel that carries notes of instant hot chocolate, marshmallows, baked, cinnamon-swirled oats, and deeply cooked apple chunks. The addition of water unlocks a broader spectrum of flavors, including more fruit candy nuances and a reduction in astringency​.

The finish is long and syrupy, with a mix of grain and sugary elements reminiscent of breakfast pancakes topped with strawberry preserves, highlighted by a near-final hit of heat from its high proof. The oak finally begins to shine here, lending a welcome wood sugar element that takes the sweetness in a different direction.