Posted on March 22, 2010 | By The Bon-Vivant | Comments Off on Old Weller Antique
Posted by The Bon-Vivant on March 22, 2010 | 3 Comments
One of the reasons for starting Liquor Locusts, aside from the bald-faced desire to snag free booze, was that we were hoping to be able to more fully develop, intellectualize, and explain in reasonable terms our love of the brown liquors, especially, bourbon.
All of us are, to some extent, mad for bourbon. We consider it the truest, most complex, and most rewarding of American beverages. Unfortunately, we’re neophytes when it comes to the complex language of tasting, so bear with us as we struggle to develop a technical vocabulary that matches our palates.
Three of the Locusts were involved in this testing, the Enabler, the Bon-Vivant, and the Palate (a.k.a. Mrs. The Enabler, or perhaps the Enablee) representing the distaff side of the blog. Below is our attempt at describing Old Weller Antique, 107 Proof. What follows is a virtually verbatim transcript of our tasting.
To begin with we poured off a stiff three fingers for each of us, neat.
The Enabler: Um, what are you supposed to say about things like this? “Nice aromatic, sweet.” Hows’s that?
The Bon-Vivant: Don’t ask me, I’ve never done a bourbon tasting before. All I know is wine. With wine it’s all flowers and fruits and mushrooms, and then you finish by reaching for some ridiculous analogy like, white horses running along a beach.
Old Weller Antique 107 Proof, The New Unloved Bottle
The Enabler: Kittens nestled upon the upholstery of a new Mercedes.
The Palate:. This one, Mr. Enabler, you should like, as it’s really sweet. To me, it smells like powdered sugar.
The Enabler: Powdered sugar?
The Bon-Vivant: I’m getting a strong caramel smell, definitely a strong sweet caramel smell. Maybe not powdered sugar, but perhaps toffee?
The Enabler: I’m done with the sniffing, time for the sipping.
The Palate: I’m content with sniffing for a while.
The Enabler: In my favorite bourbons, I get a stronger hint of tobacco. Not with this one, it’s there but much fainter. And by the way, I like the old bottle better.
The Palate: This new bottle looks like a brandy bottle. And not an expensive one, more like a Christian Brothers or something.
The Enabler: Paul Masson, we will serve no bourbon before it’s time.
The Palate: Right, and it’s not an expensive brandy bottle, either.
The Enabler: They’ve changed the bourbon too, the old Old Weller..
The Bon-Vivant: The Older Old Weller Antique..
The Enabler: Yes, the older Old Weller was spicier, had a lot more tobacco and was harder. I liked the old stuff better. It had more of an edge.
The Bon-Vivant: It’s definitely strong. But very clean. That’s the word I would use, clean. And very strong.
The Enabler: Yes, that’s 107 proof.
The Bon-Vivant: Is this oaky? I’m getting a little oak, here.
The Palate: I don’t think it’s especially oaky, not compared to some of the other bourbons I’ve tasted.
The Enabler: I think a lot of that is cancelled out by the strong alcohol content.
The Bon-Vivant: It’s actually pretty good.
The Enabler: It certainly is.
The Palate: I’ll give you the caramel
The Enabler: How about the tabacco?
The Palate: You don’t get any of that until it’s in your mouth.
The Bon-Vivant: For me, the alcohol overwhelms, although, I think it’s remarkably smoothish given the 107 proof.
The Palate: You get most of the flavor of this bourbon on the finish, as it goes down. It’s all pleasantly warm, but it’s really as it slides down that you get the best flavors.
The Bon-Vivant: It’s a tiny bit citrusy.
The Enabler: And now, lets add some water to this.
The Enabler pours a little branch water into our tumblers
The Bon-Vivant: Now this is what I’m talking about. This takes the edge off very nicely. It’s quite a good drinking bourbon with a splash or two.
The Enabler:Yes. Very tasty.
The Palate: The citrus in there is one of the heavier, sweeter citruses.
The Bon-Vivant:Like a navel orange?
The Palate: No, a Valencia.
The Enabler: A very good bourbon. It would make an excellent Old Fashioned, or a good pancake syrup if you used it to make a bourbon simple syrup.
The Bon-Vivant: Good for the kids?
The Enabler: A little pick-me-up, a goosed Aunt Jemima.
The Bon-Vivant: I agree, this is fine early morning bourbon, something you could pour over oatmeal with brown sugar.
Conclusion: We all three agree that this is an excellent bourbon for the price (about mid-$20s in California). It’s a good sipping bourbon and a good mixing bourbon, something that would definitely appeal to people who like their bourbon on the sweeter side.