Whiskey Review: William Larue Weller (2021 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection)

, | December 19, 2021

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Buffalo Trace. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Buffalo Trace fans, I have some sad news if you have not heard already. Although the 2021 Antique Collection (BTAC) has been released, you will not be able to find the George T. Stagg to complete the series this year. Buffalo Trace had this to say: “This year, the lineup is missing George T. Stagg, the uncut, unfiltered 15-year-old whiskey. George T. Stagg will not be part of the release because the 15-year-old barrels do not meet the Distillery’s taste standards for the Stagg brand.”

At least we are assured the William Larue Weller, the Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, the Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old, and the Sazerac 18-Year-Old Rye meet Buffalo Trace’s high-quality standards. Of the 2021 BTAC, the William Larue Weller is the only wheated bourbon offering. This helps balance all the ryes in the collection. If you were not lucky enough to get a bottle at its MSRP of $99, hopefully, you will be able to snag a taste of it.

The William Larue Weller in the BTAC honors the distilling legacy and heritage that led to the man’s success. Weller first started his own distillery after selling the brown liquor. After becoming a prominent whiskey brand, Weller hired Julian P. Van Winkle Sr. whom we all know as “Pappy.” Following Weller’s death, Pappy merged the distillery with Arthur Stitzel, and thus Stitzel-Weller opened on derby day in 1935. So if you can’t find a bottle of the illustrious Pappy Van Winkle, you can always get yourself a bottle of Weller, or the Antique William Larue Weller.

William Larue Weller 2021 review

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2021 (image via Buffalo Trace)

Tasting Notes: William Larue Weller (2021 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection)

Vital Stats: 61.75% ABV, 123.5 proof. Distilled in winter 2009. Aged 12 years and 6 months in #4 charred new American oak from warehouses K, L, D, Q, and C. The sour mash bill consists of Kentucky corn, North Dakota wheat, and North Dakota malted barley. 750ml $99.

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Appearance: Polished mahogany

Nose: French vanilla mingles with chocolate and cinnamon-like a hot mug of cocoa at the beginning of the nose. A touch of lemon nail polish remover lingers in the background. The nose is rich with figs as well.

Palate: The mouthfeel is soft and velvety. Brown sugar touches the tastebuds first before making way for nutmeg and cinnamon. Fig and an almost raisin or port note balance out the spice and warmth. The finish is peppery with tobacco and dried papyrus reminiscent of an antique bookshop.

The Takeaway


The William Larue Weller from the 2021 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is my favorite this year. The figs on the nose and palate wrap everything neatly all together. The whiskey is perfect for a nightcap on a cold winter day.

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Courtney Kristjana

Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...