#427 • Buffalo Trace Antique Collection William LaRue Weller 2016

67.7% alc./vol.
Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky, United States

We are going to spoil ourselves today with a rare and stellar bourbon, aptly named the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection William LaRue Weller 2016.

Produced at Buffalo Trace, the WL Weller series is a range of bourbons containing a good part of wheat in its mashbill, something that would have established in 1849 its eponymous designer. Replacing rye with wheat in these cases makes the bourbon sweeter and softer. The William LaRue Weller is a rare and exclusive annual bottling introduced in 2005, always presented at the strength of the barrel.

As the American author of novels, short stories and science fiction essays Philip Kindred Dick (1928-1982) said so well:

A pessimist is someone who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.

Nose:
Distinguished, plums, dates and flavored tobacco reminiscent of some old sherry casks. Citrus and burnt caramel. No trace of its alcohol level. He's using the trees. Silky.

Taste:
Sweet, caramel, spicy sharp, corn in power calmed by notes of cherry and wood. Ignited.

Finish:
Yet the fire of the spirit goes up in smoke as soon as the sip is swallowed. Dry and dusty wood of the drum.

Balance:
A great bottle, if only for the chance to get your hands on one of them. To savor with caution and respect.

Note: ★ ★ ★ ★

#200 • Pappy Van Winkle 15 Family Reserve

53.5% alc./vol.
Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky, United States

I will begin this article by apologizing for an unusually long time since my last update. But what's wrong is for a good reason, it's after all the critical 200e of BLOGUEDEWHISKY.COM!

So as 200e, I could not choose anything, it took something out of the ordinary, or even something particularly epic. Having had the chance to have spent part of the spring in US soil, so out of reach of the long arm of our state monopolya myriad of options were available to me.

One fine evening I went with some colleagues to a San Jose bar called Single Barrel. What an evocative name, with the only sign of a blank barrel hanging in front of the door ... hard to fall badly. It's a bar of style a speakeasy, like the underground bars of the prohibition era. No music, no one speaks loudly, cozy atmosphere. Following a range of questions about your tastes, the bartender offers a personalized cocktail that will surely please. But while my colleagues were drowning in indecision, I saw a pearl on the top-shelf from the bar ...

Declining his cocktail and his questions, I ask the bartender if he can serve his whiskey in a glass more suitable for tasting. He shows me with a big smile a superb snifter whiskey (essentially a Glencairn on foot). I give him back his smile and commands him with excitement a Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 years, neat.

The Pappy is one of, if not the most popular bourbon in the world. Made by Buffalo Trace, it is far from easy to find a bottle, and on average 900 dollars, even less to afford it. In 2013, the distillery declared the theft of sixty crates of three bottles of this precious bourbon. Since all the leads of the authorities have led to nothing so far, an 10 $ 000 reward has been offered for information that could lead to the conviction of the authors of the theft.

As my late friend said so well Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965) so aptly put it:

I'm happy with the best ...

Deep red and as tantalizing as a beer of the same color ..

Nose:
Salted caramel and toffee take us by storm, but without attacking us, which is not customary for an expression as strong in alcohol as this one. Apple of tug. Corn is found, followed by nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla bean. The liqueur "Dr. Pepper", oak, almonds, wheat and flowers. There is also a scented tobacco leaf in the bottom of the glass, with pictures of the biggest Scottish sherry bombs. Simply stunning.

Taste:
Delicate and fiery. Caramel and spices, cinnamon, burnt brown sugar, vanilla, apple cider and fruit chocolate. Tire "Grandma" that is given on Halloween.

Finish:
Long, warm and soft to the extreme. Bitter bitterness. Tobacco and spices, balloon gum. The final portrait is one of a sweetness and a subtlety appalling.

Balance:
I have never tasted such a complex bourbon. Elegance to break everything. Unfortunately it is a product that remains very expensive, and it will be of the party only on special occasions. Worse yet, do not expect to see this in SAQ anytime soon. Redefines the adjective "epic".

Note: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★