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Spoiler alert - Weller fanboy here. I just like the Buffalo Trace “funk” about it. It’s like the aroma of wet fall leaves - not for everyone but emotionally does something for me I suppose.
Got together with a friend and drank the lineup with the exception of the unicorn CYOB. Started with special reserve - funk + week old banana, corn sweetness and a hint of oak. Delicious but thin and virtually no finish.
Next up, pseudo-unicorn Weller 12. Overrated some would say. For $300 you bet your ass. For MSRP still solid. Basically special reserve with a little oak on the nose and more barrel char and a bit of wood spice on the palate. Still thin and a disappointingly short finish.
Call me crazy but Antique 107 has been my favorite (is it still???). The nose is profound compared to SR and 12. Tons of vanilla, oak, caramel. The palate rings true and while hot is not sharp. The finish lingers with brown sugar and wood spice. Damn satisfying for the proof. It doesn’t have the mouthfeels of a 125+ proof non-chill filter but...
That’s where full proof comes in. This, in my opinion, is it. First the color - unlike the other theee with their amber hue I force myself to wonder if a slight greenish hue is present? Could it be the non-chill filtering (or just being three deep)? The nose is akin to the 107. Warm, rich caramel, oak and faint wood spice. The mouthfeel and smoothness though, that’s where it gets uncanny. This drinks like maple syrup with a dash of cayanne - no up front burn but a slow warmth. All the classic flavors of the Antique are there with the funk still coming up front, fading mid palate and turning deep caramel sweetness with wood spice on the finish.
This particular lineup, for me, places Full Proof well at the top. I’d probably give Antique a close second and sadly the 12 falls to third place. If I had a fireplace and a cigar then maybe the 12 would win with its slightly more predominant age/char.
How much would I pay for this guy as a non store pick? I’d drop $100 without hesitation. That’s saying a lot given the excellent finds in the $50-60 range (OF 1920, Four Roses Small Batch Select, Bookers if you’re lucky).
So, that’s that. If you love the funk then happy hunting. I’d fill a bunker with it if I could find a truck to hijack.
Covid test pending - time to drink before the nose is gone...
The nose is tobacco forward but vanilla, butterscotch, floral notes and wet oak are all there as well. Medium bodied, full of spicy/earthy goodness with more tobacco, toffee, cherry robitussin and allspice. The finish has a slight bitterness and could be a tad longer. I love the earthiness but might not love this as much if poured blind. Still, worth a pour while I can still taste and smell.