Weller is a name associated with quality in the bourbon world, and with good reason. The core range is exceptional and very reasonably priced.
There is the Weller Special Reserve, the Weller 12-Year-Old and this Weller Antique 107 (sometimes known as Old Weller Antique 107 or OWA). The 107 is essentially a higher-proof version of the Special Reserve and is considered to be the superior product by most. Both of those are No Age statement offerings and then you have the 12 which is… 12 years old!
Back in the days of the Wild West, when pioneers and explorers opened new frontiers, some followed an old buffalo trail that led them to the Kentucky River’s banks. The town of Frankfort was born, the home of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and destined to become Kentucky’s capital city.
Claiming to be the oldest operating distillery in the U.S., a fact attested to by the Guinness Book of Records, Buffalo Trace is still a family-owned business. The original distillery was built in 1812. In 1886, they installed America’s first climate-controlled warehouse dedicated to the aging of whisky.
The original distillery building was burnt to the ground in 1882. During recent renovations, its foundations were discovered and can now be seen by visitors touring the site.
Apart from its celebrated range of exceptional bourbons, Buffalo Trace is also famous for being allowed to remain operational during the era of Prohibition for medicinal purposes.
So what of the Antique 107? Well, I’m about to tell you. Have a read of my review and let me know if you agree or not in the comments:
On the bottle:
“This 107 proof bourbon whiskey tastes sweet yet bold, with unusual floral notes and hints of vanilla in reverence to the legacy of William Larue Weller.”
Burnt brown sugar, oak, caramel, vanilla, sugar cane, spice, ginger, dark cherries and other dark fruits. The nose on this beast really is sublime, they should make the air smell like this!
Much more intense than the 12 with loads of spice, caramel and a good amount of burn. I get some freshly baked croissant, spicy ginger root, dark fruits and it all builds towards a spicy, peppery crescendo. Doesn’t disappoint after the excellent nose.
It’s a lively, raucous finish with rye and pepper spice, more caramel and wood and it hangs around for a good 2-3 minutes. Very enjoyable.
This is a great bourbon there is no doubt about that. It is like a raw untamed alternative to the Weller 12 which is more refined and sophisticated. This is bold and brash with punchy flavors and I really like that.
The other amazing thing about this, and the 12 for that matter, is that they are available at highly respectable prices and both are amongst the very best in terms of value for money. It is better than quite a few “premium” high-priced bourbons I have tried.
I really enjoy the combination in this of the sweet wheated profile but with a spicy twist that some other wheaters don’t have and if that is your kind of thing you will enjoy this too.
Both this and the 12 are not always the easiest bottles to get your hands on, so if you get the opportunity, grab them while you can, you won’t regret it.
Finally, let’s answer the often-asked question of which is better, Weller 12 or the Weller Antique 107… well personally I don’t think there is any need to choose, one day I might prefer the brashness of the 107 and another I might go for the refined profile of the 12. There is no need to decide, you need them both in your collection and that is all there is to it!