Color/Appearance: A little less than amber. Sunset over the pacific. The Weller line of bottles are, well they are there. Not much to look at and kind of dated with a screw top. I describe the look of the liquid and the bottle here but if I find them lacking it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment, though a great look and bottle can slightly enhance the overall experience.
Nose: Apple cider, oak, vanilla, brown sugar, black pepper and cinnamon. Normally I am not a fan of adding water to whisky but a few drops can allow these flavors to present themselves more clearly.
Palate: Lighter and hotter tasting than the 12 year old, allowing it to register a little higher and with more vibrancy. Sweet and smooth underneath all that heat with similar flavors as the nose. The higher alcohol level allows it to cut some of that wheat and corn sweetness, though no hint of the cloying note present in the 12 year old. Some water here can really soften the hard edges and bring out the warm enticing flavors.
Finish: Medium in length with light brown sugar sweetness fading into drying oak with a pepper cinnamon flourish.
Overall: Really, I would probably rate this slightly lower, but it works so perfectly mixed in a 60:40 ratio with the 12 year old that I have to give it serious props. I rarely drink it without mixing it with some of the 12 year, but on its own it can still deliver a pleasant bourbon fix at an extremely low price. Though nowadays it is just as hard to find as the Weller 12 year old and every time I am in a liquor store I make sure to check for it and its 12 year old brother. Together they make something quite splendid. Not sure if its really a poor man’s Pappy but it sure is nice. The higher proof, vibrancy and lower sweetness combine perfectly with the 12 year’s deep and richly developed flavors. So I heartily recommend picking up a bottle of this, but I would suggest not drinking it without first mixing it with some of the 12 year old. Together they make a great wheated bourbon that everyone can afford. If they can find those two elusive bottles. Shows where the bourbon scene is today. Certainly can’t find any Pappy, and have to search high and low to find two bottles that should be everywhere. Happy hunting.
Rating: 8.3 (9.1 for Poor Man’s Pappy)