Review: Weller Single Barrel
You don’t have to tell Buffalo Trace when it’s sitting on free money. With the launch of Weller Full Proof and, now, Weller Single Barrel, the distillery is taking one of its greatest assets — the Weller bourbon brand — and pushing it, slowly but surely, up-up-upmarket.
Weller Single Barrel is exactly what you think it is, a selection of drawn from Weller-bound wheated bourbon barrels. If you’re wondering what exactly this is a single barrel version of, the answer is nothing, it’s just a single barrel of whiskey that otherwise would have ended up as one of the Wellers, no bottling in particular. Bottled at a slightly higher proof, 48.5% abv, with no age statement, it doesn’t match up at all with anything else on the Weller menu.
There is a catch here: Weller Single Barrel does not carry any barrel identification information, so you’ll never be able to compare your Weller Single Barrel with your BFF’s. The Single Barrel will be an annual release hitting every year in June, so if it’s up your alley you’ll need to plan ahead… and prepare for a lengthy wait between bottlings.
Let’s give it a whirl.
Weller Single Barrel has all the hallmarks of other Weller bottlings; it’s easy to see why people love this stuff — it’s so soft, gentle, and creamy on the tongue, yet full of spice and life. The nose is actually quite peppery and spicy, racy with cloves and cinnamon red hots, and aromatically it feels rather youthful and expressive. There’s no real hint of the sweetness that awaits you on the tongue, but once you sip the whiskey, that changes quickly and dramatically. A complex web of honey-sweetened tea, butterscotch, and some ground black pepper takes you on a quick little journey from sweet to savory and back again. Lots of vanilla comes along soon after, with a light cocoa note and a shaving of barrel char giving the whiskey a big, dessert-like finish that evokes campfire marshmallows. It’s delightful when paired with chocolate, which makes the cinnamon on the back end really pop.
It’s hard to find a release of Weller that isn’t worthwhile. The new Single Barrel — while, of course, your barrel may vary — isn’t changing that calculus. It’s hard to put down, so grab it if you can. The price below, of course, is suggested, and everyone in the world apologizes for that.
97 proof. Arrives June 2020.