Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Score: 8.2 / 10
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Type: Wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Can't find any Pappy Van Winkle? Try finding the poor mans Pappy. That would be the Weller 12yr from Buffalo Trace. Although, next to impossible to find on shelves of most stores in most states and honestly not that cheap either. I would wait to get it during an even so you can snag it around $40. I've actually seen this at $250. Needless to say I called it out and was booted out of the store. Not like I'd ever go back anyway, nor should you!
Weller 12yr is referred to as the poor man's Pappy, because it is the same mashbill. In fact it's been said that they check the bourbon at 12yrs and if it's not up to Pappy standards it is pulled and mixed to make Weller 12. That should give you an idea of how special Pappy Van Winkle is and the careful selection associated with this highly allocated whiskey. Especially the 15, 20, and 23 year expressions (the others are not real Pappy, not to me anyway ha!)
If you want to find out more about the Weller line from Buffalo Trace and compare this expression to some others check it out on our whiskey podcast Po It Up here.
However, if you listen to that episode or look carefully at my score here you will see that we were not very impressed with this bourbon. Is it good? Yeah it's good. Is it worth the hype? Definitely not in my opinion. I don't know what they are pulling for Pappy, but I've had each of those expressions and it's not that similar to this. They are even bottled near the same proof. Rant end lol.
And yes, as the picture shows below, we took an entire area's Weller 12. However, we didn't end up keeping any of them and instead cost shipped them to others looking for this bourbon.
Nose: Brown sugar, maple syrup, raspberry, almond, caramel, Christmas spices
Palate: Light and sort of watery, raspberry, oak, caramel, vanilla, raisins
Finish: Short. Rubbery , oak, caramel, vanilla, tannic leather on the back end seems to linger without other flavors.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Rare. If you see this. you run up to it. Only to discover that it's way to expensive. Which is exactly why you are seeing it in the first place. Wait for an event and pick this up around $40-50, unless this is totally your jam. For me I'm undecided.