This past weekend I traveled to North Carolina to conduct a bourbon tasting. As mentioned in my previous post, bourbon using wheat in the mashbill was featured. I had 17 tasters attend.
I decided to line up the bottles based on proof so they were presented as follows:
W.L. Weller 12 year 90 proof: Most everyone liked this one although some stated it was a little hot. Overall, well received and most stated they would purchase a bottle. For those in the group that are hard core Pappy fans, I told them this is the closest they can get for the price sans having PVW itself.
Jim Beam Red Wheat 11 year 90 proof: Most were indifferent to this selection. I found the nose to have a slightly funky sour note to it. The entry didn't exhibit this sour note but had a sweet start and then a quick finish. Very one dimensional with the nose getting a thumbs down.
Larceny 92 proof: Overall, this was an average bourbon. For the most part average feedback with most stating the nose was a little underwhelming. This one didn't do anything for me whatsoever. To me, a simple sipper.
Makers Mark 46 94 proof: This was an instant hit among the group. They liked the entry, sweet with spice, transitions over the palate finishing with dark chocolate. I like this expression. Normal Makers is not something I keep around because it's average to me but the "46" expression punches above its brother. While most liked it, many said the extra $10 plus dollars was not worth it over the standard shelf expression.
Old Fitzgerald BIB 100 proof (HH): Many liked this and I thought it was decent enough to sip on. Granted, this is no SW variation but as a 2009 release, I thought it was good enough. Overall for the group, average pour.
Old Weller Antique 7 year 107 proof: I cheated on this selection. For the life of me I could not find a normal OWA shelf offering. I've mentioned before the Weller products are exceedingly difficult to find so I had to grab one of my single barrel selections. This hands down was the favorite of the group. Profile was fruity with spice and cream exhibiting a great mouthfeel and long finish.
We had a great time and I've been asked to maybe consider doing this twice a year. Summer would be a great time to visit down south and share some bourbon.