Bourbon Breakdown: Weller Bourbon

September 13, 2023

William Larue Weller (1825-1899) is an important figure in Kentucky bourbon history. He was a whiskey dealer and distiller (truthfully, a rectifier, but I digress). He also hired Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. (yes, that Pappy) as a salesman for his W.L. Weller & Sons company back in 1893. A few years after Weller’s death, Pappy bought the company along with Alex Farnsley. Later in 1935 the pair merged with another distillery to form the Stitzel-Weller Distilling Co.

It was at Stitzel-Weller that the Weller bourbon brand was created and it quickly became known for its wheated bourbon recipe. In 1999, the Sazerac Company which owns Buffalo Trace purchased the brand and it has been distilled there ever since. Today there are several Weller bourbon brands to discover, and we’ve gone over a few points below to help you decide which one to purchase next.

However, as with most bourbons made at Buffalo Trace, Weller bourbon brands retail at prices far higher than the distillery suggests. In fact, ever since whiskey experts have touted its similarities to the in-demand Pappy Van Winkle collection, prices for all Weller bourbon brands have skyrocketed. You may have better luck heading to your local watering hole, particularly if they’ve got a solid whiskey collection, to see what the fuss is about for yourself.

Weller Special Reserve

This Special Reserve bottling is the entry-level bourbon in the collection.

What to Know:

Like all Weller bourbon brands, this Special Reserve is made with a wheated bourbon recipe. It’s bottled at 90 proof.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Sweet with honey, apples, leather and shelled nuts.

Avg US Price: $92
ABV: 45%

Weller Bourbon Brands: Weller Special ReserveWeller Special Reserve Bourbon

Weller Antique 107

This bottling is named for its proof.

What to Know:

Sadly this bottling lost its 7-year age statement, but you may come across one out in the wild. The bourbon is now around 6-8 years old.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Slight burn from heat of alcohol with cinnamon, dark fruits, apples and caramel. Long finish.

Avg US Price: $193
ABV: 53.5%

Weller Full Proof

Full Proof is an annual limited-edition release which first appeared in June 2019.

What to Know:

It’s bottled at 114 proof (57% ABV), the same proof as it was when it went into the barrel to mature. It also is bottled without chill filtration for a fuller flavor.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Vanilla bean, baking spices, sour cherries and cassia bark.

Avg US Price: $510
ABV: 57%

Weller 12 Year

This is commonly known as the “poor man’s Pappy” since it shares the same wheated bourbon recipe.

What to Know:

Aged 12 years, it’s bottled at 90 proof.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Vanilla, orange peel and chocolate mixed with baking spices and pecan maple syrup.

Avg US Price: $356
ABV: 45%

Weller Bourbon Brands: 12 YearWeller 12 Year Bourbon /Photo Credit: Buffalo Trace

Other Weller Bourbon Brands to Know:

Weller CYPB

This Weller bourbon brand was created in response to the over 100,000 fans who completed the Buffalo Trace interactive experience called “Craft Your Perfect Bourbon.” This educational experience allowed fans to select the recipe (mash bill), warehouse placement, age and proof of a bourbon. Most requested top floor warehouse placement and a wheated bourbon to be bottled between 90-99 proof. It’s aged around 8 years and is bottled at 95 proof. The average US price is $911.

Weller Single Barrel

This Single Barrel Bourbon was first introduced in June 2020. Each barrel is hand selected so expect the flavor profile to vary from barrel to barrel. It’s bottled at 97 proof and has an average US price of $1064.

Ready to do your own Weller Bourbon comparisons?

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