I've allready been through 15yo and 20yo Pappy van Winkle, which was made at Stitzel-Weller distillery with the old Weller wheated bourbon mash bill. I am not 100% sure the 15yo Pappy reviewed is of Stitzel-Weller heritage, but it could very well be, by the time and where I bought it.
Here is a few more of the Weller heritage whiskeys.
Buffalo Trace acquired the Weller brand name and is now producing bourbon after the Weller recipe. The fact that the van Winkles are now tightly associated with Buffalo Trace is making the heritage obvious, at least from the hands-on side. Julian P. "Pappy" van Winkle opened the Stitzel-Weller distillery in 1935. His grandson Julian III van Winkle and great-grandson Preston van Winkle is now in charge of the "Old Rip van Winkle Distillery" (which was a distillery - back in history, but today it's "just" a company name, following a confusing american tradition of naming companies "distillery" that isn't distilleries)
Here's three whiskeys of the Weller heritage:
1. W.L. Weller Aged 12years 45%
This a soft, sweet and delicate bourbon, where my first impression on the nose was oranges!. Not uncommon for me to find this in bourbons. This is almost like drinking caramelfudge sweets with a wooden alcoholic twist. Very nice and this is a very affordable dram, I even found some cheap bottles in Denmark at 289,- which is around 30£. One for the sweet tooth
2. William Larue Weller 66.75%
Part of the 2011 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC)
Special bottling of the same whiskey as the 12yo I reckon. This is not for the faint hearted. The ABV and intensity is breathtaking. Don't tell anyone, but I actually had to add some water to this. It was not to open up the whiskey, it was to make the alcohol burn go away and making me able to drink it. I didn't learn to drink casks strength single malts overnight, and I need to practise on full strength bourbons as well. I need to practise! I really do. It's just practising. It really is.....
With the ABV a little down I am now able to taste this fabulous dram. Out comes the nutty flavours. Caramel with a hint of fruit and brandy, finishing of with licorise tree. The balance between the taste components in this whiskey is simply spectacular good as soon as I got the ABV down. Caramel, fudge, no floor varnish really, nuts, mints, all very well mixed together.
3. Jefferson Presidential Select 18yo 47%
Batch No 27
Jefferson is the brand name of a range of bottlings from the company McLain and Kyne. As they source their whiskies from different distilleries, this is what I would call an independent bottler.
This 18yo is labeled as originating from Stitzel-Weller so there you go.
The nose is a give away as it's more similar to PvW 20yo than any other bourbon I have tried. The wood is laid back and relaxed compared to bourbons in general and I pick up a nutty flavour as well. Loads of caramel-fudge-floor varnish infused together in a delicious cocktail of flavours, with a little hint of wood spices I normally associate with well aged scotch. The finish is long and delivers the mentioned flavours again and again
Comment: As a relative new bourbon drinker I just love how continued drinking learns me to discover new layers of this wonderful dram. No doubt the Weller experiences has educated me and my palate. The more you drink the more wise you get