W.L. Weller Special Reserve
Another offering from the Weller distillery in Frankfort, the Special Reserve is also aged 7 years. I wanted to wait a day between Weller tastings, because I didn't want to bias my palate towards either. However, as I prepare for this tasting, memories of both my sheer enjoyment of the neat Weller 107 and my despair at ruining it with water are at the forefront of my mind, so, in a way, some bias still exists. I am both excited and apprehensive.
The first sniff is sharp, with the vanilla and corn jumping forward. The first taste has a strong caramel flavor and notes of cherries and vanilla. There is a nice aftertaste, and I find the vanilla coming out there. A nice burn, and a little tingle on my lips. Follow-on tastes are similar, although there are notes similar to cognac that begin to appear on the very fringe. The thing I find interesting is that my lips continue to tingle- I have not had that occur with any other Bourbon, including Booker's.
After the debacle with this Bourbon's more expensive brother yesterday, I'm hesitant to add a splash of water, but I did anyway. Fortunately, it did not kill this fine Bourbon at all. It sharpened the flavors, brought many more caramel notes forward, and actually added a bit more bite to the aftertaste.
This is a tough recommendation to make. This is a very serious Bourbon, and would hold up in most Bourbon cocktails. But the Old Weller 107 is only a few dollars more, and is far better neat. If you're a fan of Bourbon cocktails, I'd recommend this over OW107, but if you prefer to drink it neat or over a few ice cubes, go with the big brother. As a side note, the back of the bottle states "Old line whiskies of this order are enjoyed more when mixed only with pure water", so if you choose to make a Manhattan with this Bourbon- where I think it would shine- don't tell Weller and Sons.
nic the chick wrote:ivan and casino are right.