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7 Best Weller Bourbon Bottles Ranked (2024)

Best Weller Bourbon Brands

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Lydia Martin

7 Best Weller Bourbon Bottles Ranked (2023)

The Weller bourbon lineup is 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%

Nose: Toasted oak, dark fruits, vanilla, hints of spice.

Palate: Rich toffee, ripe cherries, cinnamon, toasted nuts, and a touch of leather.

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It:

First released in 2005, the best bottle in the entire lineup is the only expression that uses the full name of William Larue Weller.

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

“Yet another textbook on bourbon-making by B.T.D. BRAVO!”  – F. Paul Pacult, Author

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

Our nose was greeted with a heavy woody aroma with a bit of cola sweetness and dark fruit notes.

It is a great pour with 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 since it has higher proof than other Weller Single barrel bourbons.

2. Weller Aged 12 Years

Weller Aged 12 Years on desk

Average Price: Roughly $250 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Nose: Caramel, honey, toasted oak, dried fruits, and subtle spices.

Palate: Sweet toffee, ripe apples, toasted almonds, and a gentle peppery note.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It:

The Weller 12 is mostly compared to Van Winkle’s 12-Year and has a low proof.

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%

Nose: Sweet caramel, dried fruits, and hints of citrus.

Palate: Rich toffee, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and smoky char.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

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 great bourbon has no age statement but tastes younger than Weller’s 12 Years. 

The Old Weller Antique 107 contains high alcohol but 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 of Weller Antique has a heavy mouthfeel that can be compared to the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.

ReadWho 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%

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, hints of honey, and cinnamon.

Palate: Sweet butterscotch, ripe peaches, spices, toasted nuts, and a subtle herbal note.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

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 exciting 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 skyrocketing 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%

Nose: Rich caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and hints of cinnamon.

Palate: Sweet toffee, ripe berries, baking spices, roasted nuts, and a gentle peppery note.

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

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 Weller 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 of the high-quality bourbon 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 since it contains higher proof than

You can sip the Full Proof neat or play around with this variety’s rich sweetness by mixing it in a cocktail or 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%

Nose: Sweet caramel, honey, toasted oak, dried fruits, and subtle spices.

Palate: Rich toffee, ripe apples, baking spices, toasted almonds, and a gentle peppery note.

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It:

After Antique 107 and Full Proof, the Single Barrel proof 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 a 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.

ReadSingle 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%

Nose: Toasted oak, hints of honey, and citrus.

Palate: Sweet toffee, ripe pears, toasted nuts, and a subtle herbal note.

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It:

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

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

Weller Special Reserve is a gentle mixer or daily sipping spirit with 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 brand is known for its 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 and created an original wheated bourbon.

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

These original wheated bourbon whiskeys gained immense popularity from the public and numerous awards from the world’s largest spirits competition.

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 the grains’ integrity must be maintained 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 range from four to twelve years.

Who Makes Weller Bourbon?

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

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

The bourbon’s production occurred in the Buffalo Trace, which the Sazerac Company owned.

Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuous whiskey-making facility in the United States, and it 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 unique because it has a soft, smooth finish that goes well with anything.

Bourbons generally taste sweeter 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 unique 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, and barrel-proof. These terms significantly 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 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% A.B.V. 

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

What Is W.L. Weller 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 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].

He had been doing well 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 in 1935. 

This new company quickly gained popularity for its wheated bourbon products, and he passed it on to the Weller Family.

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

Van Winkle Special Reserve

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 cheaper.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (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 an excellent inventory in different stores across the U.S.

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. It is an entry-point bourbon and a great bottle to check out if you want to avoid the higher prices from the secondary market.

Which Weller is closest to Pappy?

The Weller Special Reserve is the closest to Pappy.

It shares the same recipe, mash bill, alcohol proof, and parent company, making the wheated bourbon whiskey the closest. However, secondary prices on both brands and the demand make it harder to find.

How hard is it to find Weller 107?

Finding Weller 107, also known as W.L. Weller Antique 107, can be challenging due to its popularity and limited availability.

Weller bourbons, particularly those with age statements or specific proofs, have gained a devoted following, contributing to increased demand.

Limited production and allocation by the distillery also play a role in the scarcity of Weller 107 on store shelves. As a result, enthusiasts often encounter difficulty in locating this particular expression.

Why is there a shortage of Weller bourbon?

The shortage of Weller bourbon can be attributed to several factors.

Weller bourbons, produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery, have experienced a surge in popularity, driven in part by their association with the highly sought-after Pappy Van Winkle line.

Additionally, the increasing interest in premium and allocated bourbons, coupled with the time-intensive aging process, has led to heightened demand and limited availability.

The distillery allocates its Weller products to meet market demands, contributing to the challenges consumers face in finding these bourbons.

Is Weller Antique better than Special Reserve?

The preference between Weller Antique and Weller Special Reserve is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences.

Weller Antique 107 is known for its higher proof and robust flavor profile, while Weller Special Reserve is typically lower in proof and offers a milder taste.

Some may prefer the bold and intense characteristics of Weller Antique, while others appreciate the smoothness and approachability of Weller Special Reserve.

Is Weller 12 year the same as Pappy?

Weller 12 Year is often considered a more accessible alternative to the highly coveted Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year.

Both Weller 12 Year and Pappy Van Winkle are wheated bourbons produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery.

While they share a similar mash bill and aging process, Pappy Van Winkle is aged for a more extended period, and some argue it undergoes additional production nuances.

While they are not identical, the similarities make Weller 12 Year an attractive option for those seeking a comparable wheated bourbon.

Why is Weller 12 so good?

Weller 12 Year is highly regarded for its quality due to several factors. It is aged for 12 years, allowing for a longer maturation period that imparts complexity, depth, and rich flavors to the bourbon.

The use of wheat as the secondary grain in the mash bill contributes to a smooth and mellow profile.

The combination of aging, mash bill, and careful production processes by Buffalo Trace Distillery results in a bourbon with a well-balanced and highly desirable flavor profile, contributing to its reputation as an excellent and sought-after whiskey.

Is Weller as good as Pappy?

The comparison between Weller and Pappy Van Winkle is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences.

Both Weller and Pappy Van Winkle are produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery and share a similar wheated bourbon mash bill.

Some consider certain Weller expressions, especially Weller 12 Year, to offer a comparable experience to Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year due to their shared characteristics.

However, the scarcity and mystique surrounding Pappy Van Winkle often contribute to its elevated status among whiskey enthusiasts.

Which Weller is poor man’s Pappy?

Weller 12 Year is often referred to as the “poor man’s Pappy” because it shares similarities with the highly sought-after Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year.

Both are wheated bourbons produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery, and while they are not identical, Weller 12 Year is considered by some as a more accessible alternative due to its availability and relative affordability compared to Pappy.

Why is Weller so hard to get?

Weller’s popularity and limited production contribute to its scarcity.

The brand has gained a devoted following, driven in part by its association with the highly coveted Pappy Van Winkle line.

The surge in demand for premium and allocated bourbons, coupled with Buffalo Trace’s commitment to maintaining quality and consistency, results in limited availability.

The distillery allocates Weller products to meet market demands, making it challenging for consumers to find certain expressions.

What is so special about Weller bourbon?

Weller bourbon is considered special for several reasons. The use of a wheat-heavy mash bill, rather than rye, contributes to a smooth and mellow flavor profile.

The aging process, especially in the case of Weller 12 Year, allows for a longer maturation period, imparting complexity and depth to the bourbon.

The association with Pappy Van Winkle and the resulting hype add to Weller’s allure.

Its quality, taste, and relative affordability compared to other premium wheated bourbons make Weller highly sought after by enthusiasts.

What is the hardest whiskey to find?

The title of the hardest whiskey to find can vary based on regional availability, limited releases, and individual market dynamics.

Highly sought-after and allocated whiskies, such as certain expressions of Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, or limited releases from independent distilleries, are often considered some of the most challenging to find.

However, the scarcity of specific whiskies can change over time as production quantities, distribution, and consumer demand evolve.

Final Thoughts: Best Weller Bourbon

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 the Weller lineup, but the William Larue Weller is the best Weller bourbon 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. 






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