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Weller Antique 107 vs Special Reserve Bourbon Compared (2022)

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Do you have a soft spot for drinking wheated bourbon? Weller Antique 107 and Special Reserve are two of the most prominent wheated bourbons from Buffalo Trace Distillery. 

Each of these bourbons has amazing flavor profiles that are hard to pass up, so you may be torn between what bottle to get. 

No worries because today, we’ll help you decide which is better with our in-depth comparison of Weller Antique 107 vs Special Reserve. 

Weller Antique 107 & Special Reserve’s In-Depth Comparison 

Weller 107 and Weller Special Reserve Bottles

Weller Antique 107 boasts higher alcohol proof than the Special Reserve. The Weller Antique features 107 alcohol proof, while the W.L. Weller Special Reserve features 90 proof. 

Weller Special Reserve was released in 1991, while the Weller Antique 107 was first introduced in 1973 under the Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company. 

Today, the W.L. Weller bourbon collections are produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery, owned by the Sazerac Company. 

How Do They Differ? 

History & Origin

Weller Antique 107 was first introduced than the Weller Antique 107, but they were both released under Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company before ending up with Buffalo Trace in 1999. 

Weller Antique 107 was introduced in the market in 1973, while the Weller Reserve was released in 1991. 

These bourbons have received various awards since 2013.

As of this writing, Weller Special Reserve won 39 awards, while Weller Antique 107 bagged 40 major awards. 

Some of the prestigious awards they received are the 2022 Gold New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and the 2022 Gold American Whiskey Masters. 

Production Process 

mashbill

Stitzel-Weller Distillery began using the unique mash bill with wheat (instead of rye) for a smoother and softer bourbon. 

Both bourbons use an undisclosed ratio of mash bill, but Buffalo Trace Distillery uses the wheated bourbon mash bill for the Weller brands [1]. 

Another big difference in the production process of these bourbons is the alcohol proof.

Weller Antique boasts 107 proof (53.5%), while Special Reserve features 90 proof (45% ABV). 

Aging Process & Age Statement

Weller Antique 107 and Special Reserve are aged in newly charred oak barrels to develop flavor profile and character [2]. 

Weller Antique 107 has a previous seven-year age statement, but now a no-age statement has been released, and it is suspected to be aged 6-8 years. 

Weller Special Reserve does not carry an age statement, but it is generally assumed to be around 4-7 years old. 

Tasting Notes 

close up shot of Weller Special Reserve bottle

Weller Antique Special Reserve Bourbon

Palate: Honey, Soft woodiness, butterscotch, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and baking spice

Color/Hue: Golden amber

Nose: Sweet caramel, vanilla, maple, oak, apple, and leather

Finish: Smooth, calm, delicate with sweet honeysuckle flair

Weller Antique 107 Bourbon

Palate: Well-balanced, sweet fruit notes, sharp, spicy tones, and a strong vanilla undertone

Color/Hue: Rich dark amber

Nose: Floral, caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon

Finish: Smooth, long, with notes of oak and baking spice

Ownership & Distillery

Weller Antique 107 and Special Reserve was owned by Stitzel- Weller Distilling Company before Buffalo Trace acquired it in 1999. 

Today, the wheated bourbons are produced and bottled by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. 

Weller bourbons are under Sazerac Company, a beverage giant that owns multi-brands like Van Winkle, Sazerac Rye, E.H. Taylor, Jr., and George T. Stagg.

Price & Value

Weller Special Reserve is cheaper than the Weller Antique 107.

In Drizly online, the Special Reserve costs around $63.78, while the Weller Antique 107 is roughly $138.59. 

Weller Antique 107 and Special Reserve are well-lauded and valued by different award-giving bodies in the spirits world. 

Do They Have Similarities? 

To begin with, they share a similar mash bill ratio and secondary grain-wheat.

Both bourbon whiskeys do not contain rye as they are wheated bourbons. 

Wheated bourbons are gentler in flavor, sweeter in taste, and much smoother than whiskeys with rye as the secondary grain. 

“[Wheat] It makes it sweeter than your typical bourbon… it also has a lighter or more soft mouthfeel.”

– Forrest Price, Former Whiskey Advisor

Also, they share similar owners and producers. Weller Antique 107 and Special Reserve are produced and bottled at Buffalo Trace Distillery, owned by Sazerac Company. 

FAQs

Which is harder to find, Weller Antique 107 or Special Reserve?

Weller Antique 107 is harder to find than the Special Reserve. Antique 107 was available almost everywhere, but it became incredibly difficult to find since Buffalo Trace took it. 

With this, many enthusiasts cannot easily get their hands on Weller Antique 107, but a bottle is absolutely worth the hunt. 

Is Weller Special Reserve better sipped neat than Antique 107?

No, Weller Antique 107 is way better to sip neat than Weller Special Reserve.

While Special Reserve is a smooth and enjoyable whiskey, Antique 107 has a nice balance of flavor profile. 

Weller Antique 107 has a creamy body with sweet-tasting notes and well-balanced oak, baking spice, and tobacco, making an excellent pour. 

Will Weller Antique 107 get you drunk faster than Special Reserve?

Yes, Weller Antique 107 will get you drunk faster than Special Reserve since it has higher alcohol content. 

However, getting drunk can also depend on how much and fast you consume. If you consume alcohol in shots or at a faster rate, expect you will get drunk in no time. 

Final Verdict

Wheated bourbons are generally smoother and sweeter, so it is not surprising that many people love sipping Weller Antique 107 and Special Reserve. 

While Weller Special Reserve is budget-friendly and has a nice flavor profile, Weller Antique 107 is a massive upgrade. 

Weller Antique 107 has a well-balanced sweetness, is much flavorful, and is full of character that makes an incredible sip. It has a higher alcohol-proof, with a warmth that does not burn your throat. 

Reference:

  1. https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink/whiskey/buffalo-trace-bourbon-rye-buying-guide-prices-brands-value/#william-larue-weller 
  2. https://www.thespruceeats.com/effect-of-aging-on-liquor-759921

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