- 114 Proof
- Barrel #323
I have never been a Weller "fanboy." While I certainly do enjoy Weller products, I've never been one to chase after the 12 year, or even the Single Barrel or CYPB, for that matter. That said, for some reason I have loved Full Proof from day one. Perhaps that proof just does make that much of a different. Before Full Proof was a thing, I did prefer the Antique at 107 proof, so it does kind of make sense.
Binny's has had a number of private picks since the Weller Full Proof private barrel program started. I think they may be up to Batch #4 or #5 by now. But, that's just it. Up until this bottle was released, they had all ben "Small Batch Select" bottlings. This was the first "Single Barrel Select" Binny's pick, so I was very eager to try to get my hands on a bottle. Plus, I heard that this particular bottle was phenomenal, so the FOMO hit me hard on this one. Luckily for me that was a fear I never realized.
On the nose I got a great combination of cinnamon liqueur, cherry and dark chocolate. It was sweet but not sweet all at once. In that sense it kind of reminded me of a cherry cordial, where any sweetness is balanced by the booziness of the liqueur and the bitterness of the dark chocolate. There was also a distinct oak note on the nose, something I don't necessarily recall getting from a Weller Full Proof before. But, it was a sweet oak note, not the kind of tannic note you get from an over-aged bourbon.
The flavor, interestingly, seemed to go a slightly different direction. There I was immediately met with a rich caramel or toffee note that was paired with lush, dark fruit notes. I was getting blackberry and raisin, along with a sweet but lightly tart cherry note. It almost had a Cabernet to it (but did not at all taste like a wine-finished bourbon).
It also had a pastry like quality to it, bready and sweet. Perhaps like a sweet cinnamon roll or perhaps a cinnamon and chocolate chip muffin, but more just the top where it's sweeter. It had that slight yeast note to it, but it paired so well with the toffee and dark fruits as well as that cinnamon. So well, in fact, I would love to have it for breakfast.
The oak did show up on the finish, but again it was a sort of sweet, nutty oak, and not the tannic, drying oak that you sometimes get in old bourbons. The toffee and cinnamon, however, were the main event on the finish, and those flavors remained on my tongue and at the back of my throat seemingly forever.
I didn't want to finish this bottle, because I know once it was gone it was gone for good. But, once I got down to just a few pours left, I just couldn't help myself, and next thing I knew it was gone. The early reviews on this bottle were dead on. This was a fantastic bourbon!