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7 Best Weller Bourbon Bottles Ranked (2023)

Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Weller Bourbons are getting so much attention for being a long-standing backup for the Pappy Van Winkle bourbon collection.

While it may share similar mash bill and barrel specifications as Pappy, Weller bourbons have a unique flavor profile, making it one of the most sought-after spirits in the market today.

Read on as we give our honest take on this hype about the best Weller bourbon bottles.  

Top 7 W.L. Weller Bourbon Signature Expressions

1. William Larue Weller 

William Larue on desk

Average Price: Roughly $1099.00 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 64%

Why We Like It:

First released in 2005, this product is the only expression that uses the full name of William Larue Weller.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a bottle of this bourbon whiskey is around $99, but the secondary market sells it at a premium because of its limited supply.

This wheated bourbon is aged over 12 years, resulting in high alcohol content, amazing tasting notes, and a smooth finish.

The nose is heavy on the woody aroma with a little cola sweetness and dark fruit notes.

It also has a velvety soft mouthfeel from the first sip, but it develops a taste of brown sugar, cinnamon, rich honey, vanilla, and spiced apple on your palate.

The heat intensifies as it finishes in a long and drying spiciness.

2. Weller Aged 12 Years

Weller Aged 12 Years on desk

Average Price: Roughly $250 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

The Weller 12 is the one mostly compared to Van Winkle’s 12-Year.

In 2016, the similarities between the two liquors increased the demand for Weller 12-Year, making it another hard-to-find drink.

The liquor enters the mouth with a soft, creamy, buttery texture backed by hints of dried fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla, and dark spices.

It is a 90-proof bottle with the smell of rich vanilla, candied caramel, old leather, and robust oak. It finishes in a burst of warm oak and lingering heat. 

3. Weller Antique 107

Weller Antique 107 on desk

Average Price: Roughly $142.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 53.5%

Why We Like It:

After the Weller name gained immense popularity, Weller Antique 107 is one of the products you can still find on a bar shelf or in some high-end stores.

This heated bourbon has no age statement in the bottle, but it has a younger taste than Weller 12 Year. 

The Old Weller Antique 107 contains high alcohol, but it surprisingly mixes well with cocktails. You can also have it as a daily sipper.

Its nose is full of black licorice and seasoned oak traces, while the palate has a heavy mouthfeel of dark fruits, vanilla blossoms, and sweet apples. 

Read: Who Makes Weller Bourbon?

4. Weller C.Y.P.B.

Weller C.Y.P.B. on desk with glass and ice

Average Price: Roughly $699.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 47.5%

Why We Like It:

The Weller C.Y.P.B. joined the expanding Weller varieties in 2018, just two years after launching their interactive website.

The Craft Your Perfect Bourbon (C.Y.P.B.) website lets their hardcore fans or liquor enthusiasts decide on every aspect of whiskey making. 

The result is a whiskey with a high percentage of wheat as the secondary grain content instead of rye.

C.Y.P.B. is one of the best Weller bourbons, and it is an interesting expression because it enhances the balanced sweetness and intense oak flavors associated with the brand.

Since this wheated bourbon is a limited edition, you can find it at some retailers at a skyrocketed price of more than $500.

5. Weller Full Proof

Weller Full Proof on table with cocktail

Average Price: Roughly $401.24 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 57%

Why We Like It:

Weller Full Proof is the purest expression from the company, with no chill filtration.

The process is about imparting all the woody flavor of the barrels to the whiskey’s pure form while maintaining 114 alcohol proof. 

The wheated bourbon has a similar aroma to the Weller Antique 107 but is slightly sweeter and gentler.

The palate is full of sweetness, from bright fruit notes to candied caramel and vanilla. But the sip finishes with a little spicy and heated layer of oaky notes. 

You can sip the Full Proof neat or play around with this variety’s rich sweetness by mixing it in a cocktail or just having it on the rocks.

6. Weller Single Barrel

Weller Single Barrel on desk with bourbon cocktail

Average Price: Roughly $899.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 48.5%

Why We Like It:

After Antique 107 and Full Proof, the Single Barrel is the latest addition to the brand’s lineup, which was released in June 2020 and is bottled at 97 proof.

The initial price of Weller Single Barrel is about $50, but now you can find this variety at secondary markets with a price of more than $800. 

The nose opens with bright hints of ripe red cherries and continues to the mouth with soft vanilla and dry wood taste.

It eventually builds up with white pepper and dark chocolate notes and slowly finishes with woody vanilla and mild tobacco with a smooth finish.

Read: Single Barrel & Small Batch Bourbon Comparison

7. Weller Special Reserve

Weller Special Reserve on table with mint julep

Average Price: Roughly $64.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Bottled at 90-proof alcohol, Weller Special Reserve Wheated Bourbon has an exceptionally smooth taste that is pleasant to drink daily.

Although it has no age statement, you can feel the amazing texture of this whiskey on the palate. 

Weller Special Reserve is a gentle mixer or daily sipping spirit with caramel, vanilla, honey, and light fruit notes.

This whiskey has unique tasting notes and a smooth finish.

The suggested retail price of this variety is around $25, but you can find it at roughly $64 in some retailers.

This wheated bourbon is the best in class at its original price point among the Weller line.

Check out Weller Special Reserve bourbon and 107 comparison here.

What is W.L. Weller Bourbon?

W.L. Weller is a brand of wheated bourbons named after a Kentucky distilling pioneer, William Larue Weller.

In 1849, he introduced using wheat instead of the usual rye in making a straight bourbon.

Buffalo Trace followed the original blend of W.L. Weller on their modern whiskey products.

The Sazerac company produces seven signature varieties, with the Single Barrel as the latest addition in 2020 [1].f

These bourbons gained immense popularity from the public and numerous awards from the world’s largest spirits competition.

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How It’s Made

Weller Bourbon - How It's Made

The mash bills of this whiskey went through the milling process first. It is a crucial process because it has to maintain the integrity of the grains before cooking. 

The milled grains and pure limestone are put into a cooker to make a sweet mash.

This sweet mash will go through the fermentation process with a sour mash to transform into alcohol.

The liquor will go through the aging process in new charred oak barrels before transferring into the bottles.

Some Weller bottles have no age statements, but they range from four to twelve years. 

Who Makes Weller Bourbon?

William Larue Weller is the original maker of Weller bourbons. After his death, Julian Van Winkle bought and merged the company with Stitzel.

The Stitzel-Weller was sold to different companies until Sazerac Company bought it in 1999.

All of the bourbon’s production took place in the Buffalo Trace Distillery, owned by Sazerac Company.

Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuous whiskey-making facility in the United States that also produces other bourbon brands such as Eagle Rare and George T. Stagg [2]

Why Bartenders Think This Bourbon Is Special

Why Bartenders Think This Bourbon Is Special

Bartenders think W.L. Weller is special because it has a soft and smooth finish that goes well with anything.

Bourbons generally have a sweeter taste than other types of whiskey, but wheated bourbons amplify this sweetness and add a fruity flavor to the liquor. 

The rush of soft caramel and sweet vanilla made a perfect recipe for any cocktail, especially the Black Manhattan and Old-Fashioned.

W.L. Weller is also the cheaper and more available alternative to the notable Pappy bourbons

Read: Bulleit Bourbon vs Four Roses

What Makes William Larue Weller Extra-Special

The William Larue Weller is more special than the other members of the W.L. Weller line because it is the only expression that uses the creator’s full name.

The wheated bourbon is unfiltered, uncut, hand-bottled at barrel-proof. These terms greatly impact the final flavor profile of the liquor.

Most whiskey products use chill-filtering to reduce the alcohol content before transferring them into the bottles.

The process will remove some particles that give the spirit rich and flavorful characteristics. 

The term uncut works almost the same way. It dilutes the spirit to reach a lower alcohol content, most commonly 45% ABV. 

What Is W.L. Weller Craft Your Perfect Bourbon (C.Y.P.B.)?

What Is W.L. Weller Craft Your Perfect Bourbon (C.Y.P.B.)?

The C.Y.P.B. results from Buffalo Trace’s crowdsourcing of more than 100,000 whiskey enthusiasts.

It is a limited-edition release, bottled at 95-proof and barrel-aged for eight years.

The website is accessible to any Weller fans who want to take a chance to craft their bourbon, and it has a simple layout.

You get to choose your bourbon recipe with an unspecified grain percentage. You also decide on the liquor’s age, oak, and bottling proof.

Buffalo Trace released the first batch of C.Y.P.B. in 2018 for around $50.

Is Pappy Van Winkle Weller’s First Hire?

Yes, Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr. is W.L. Weller’s first hire as a whiskey salesman in 1893.

He chose to be a traveling salesman at 18 despite being born into a family of educators and lawyers [3].

Pappy was doing good at his job for many years, and in 1908, he and Alex Farnsley purchased the W.L. Weller & Sons company.

Eventually, he merged with Arthur Stitzel and opened the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in 1935. 

This new company quickly gained popularity for its wheated bourbon products. 

W.L. Weller 12 Year & Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year Similarities

W.L. Weller 12 Year & Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year Similarities

As mentioned earlier, W.L. Weller-12-Year and Van Winkle’s 12-Year have similarities aside from their age.

Both spirits used the same mashbill of corn, red winter wheat, and malted barley [4].

Although slightly different in the aging and production process, both bourbons have almost the same flavor profile. 

“Weller 12 is strong and smooth,”

Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller

The Buffalo Trace Distillery produces both brands, but W.L. Weller is easier to find and available at a lower price.

On the other hand, Van Winkle aged their barrels on the lower floor at a constant cool temperature.

This process made the liquor production longer, making the prices more expensive than the other brands.

FAQs

Which Weller bourbon is the hardest to find?

The Weller 12-year and Antique 107 are the hardest to find among other varieties of the company. Some retailers sold these wheated bourbon bottles with a $200 or more tag price.

One of the main reasons it is hard to find is the limited supply and rise in demand for these bourbons.

With the steady supply, it is nearly impossible to maintain a nice inventory in different stores across the US.

What bourbon brand tastes most likely like Weller?

Products from Maker’s Mark almost taste like Weller because both are wheated whiskey brands using almost the same mash bill percentage.

Maker’s Mark products have lower prices compared to Wellers.

Which Weller is closest to Pappy?

The Weller Special Reserve is the closest to Pappy. It shares a similar mash bill and parent company, making the whiskey close to Pappy.

Final Thoughts 

Many bartenders and critics agree that the W.L. Weller brand has excellent quality and flavor notes.

The Weller aged 12 years and Antique 107 are good bottles of Weller, but the William Larue Weller is the best Weller expression.

Most of the time, the products are only available in the secondary market. But the prices are sometimes sky-high and unreasonable. 

The best option to acquire a bottle of this whiskey is to befriend a local liquor store owner. They can keep you updated regarding the next batch of releases. 

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradjaphe/2020/05/19/new-single-barrel-bourbon-from-the-makers-of-pappy-van-winkle/amp/
  2. https://savingplaces.org/distinctive-destinations/buffalo-trace-distillery
  3. https://www.winemag.com/2020/03/03/pappy-van-winkle-expensive/
  4. https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink/whiskey/buffalo-trace-bourbon-rye-buying-guide-prices-brands-value/#eagle-rare

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