Amidst the hubbub of a global pandemic, quarantining, a new baby, and a severe medical emergency, 2020 wasn’t exactly a typical year here at Single Malt Savvy headquarters. Under normal circumstances, I jump at the chance to share my BTAC reviews but in this far-from-normal year, my review of 2019’s William Larue Weller sat in my notepad app for eight full months. 2020 isn’t quite over yet, though, so I still have an opportunity to get this review published before BTAC 2020 is released nationwide.
William Larue Weller 2019 was distilled in the Winter season of 2007 and aged for 12 and a half years before being bottled at an even 64% ABV (128 proof). As always, the barrel entry proof for WLW is 114. This release was created from barrels on the second and third floors of Warehouse I. Starting in 2019, Buffalo Trace stopped sharing barrel counts for their Antique Collection releases so we can’t estimate how many bottles were made this year. More annoying still is the fact that the letters with the technical specs were also removed from the website. Luckily, I have a pdf copy of the letters for the 2019 Antique Collection. Read more specs about 2019 William Larue Weller here.
How did this wheated powerhouse fare compared to previous years?
|Nose||The oak is apparent here, vanilla ice cream, cherry compote, toffee, cinnamon, dark chocolate. There’s a brightness to this nose that I didn’t experience last year.|
|Taste||A blast of dried berries along with a big layer of vanilla, more baking spice, plenty more deep oak, hint of angel food cake. The subtle sweetness is a nice touch and this wheated profile always shines at high proof.|
|Finish||Wood smoke, drying heat, a bit of pepper, burnt sugar, cola, caramel and oak remain for a long while.|
|Overall Thoughts||The progression of this whiskey took me on a nice journey during the course of this pour. It starts with an oaky and cherry-laden nose. Tasting this enhances those notes but adds a touch of pastry sweetness only to pivot to a spicy, drying finish. This is a step up from 2018 but doesn’t quite approach the level of 2017 which is one of my favorites of the past five years. Extremely well done, as usual.|