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Who Makes Weller Bourbon? Answered (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Weller, sometimes known as “poor man’s Pappy,” has become one of the most sought-after bourbons. Spirit professionals said it’s the alternative and closest to the expensive, hard-to-get Pappy bourbon.

But don’t get us wrong, Weller is its own kind, not a second-rate copycat bourbon or imitation. Let’s find out who makes Weller bourbon in this blog post.

About Weller Bourbon’s Real Manufacturer

Weller bottles

Weller bourbons are named after William Larue Weller, a whiskey rectifier and distributor during the 1840s. Weller has been given credit for creating the first commercial wheated bourbon.

He owned a company back then and hired Julian” Pappy” Van Winkle as a sales representative.

Following Weller’s death, Van Winkle bought the company and merged it with Stitzel Distillery, thus creating the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The distillery released a few brands like Cabin Still, Old Weller, Rebel Yell, and Old Fitzgerald.

After Van Winkle’s death, the company and the brands were sold off to different companies, and Sazerac Company bought Weller in 1999.

What Distillery Manufactures It? 

Buffalo Trace Distillery, owned by Sazerac Company, now has the right to manufacture the Weller bourbons after they bought the brand in 1999.

Weller bourbons are being produced in the Buffalo Trace Distillery located at Frankfort, Kentucky, one of the oldest distilleries in the US that also produces other famous brands like Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, and Pappy Van Winkle.

How Weller Bourbon Is Made

Like all bourbons, Weller has at least 51% corn on its mash bill, but instead of rye, it uses wheat as its second ingredient.

The mash bill then undergoes a milling process to maintain the grains’ integrity. The milled grains, together with pure limestones, undergo a cooking and fermentation process before aging them into new charred oak barrels.

The barrels are aged between four to twelve years, depending on which expression, as some bottles don’t have age statements being disclosed.

Where It’s Made

Buffalo Trace Still Warehouse

The famed Buffalo Trace Distillery makes the Weller bourbons at Frankfort, Kentucky.

Since the acquisition, the distillery has released seven expressions, which have become popular as an alternative to the famous Pappy Van Winkles bourbons.

Does Buffalo Trace Make All Weller Bourbon Variants?

Yes, Weller bourbons and all its expression are made by the famous Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Since 1999, all seven expressions have been distilled only at Buffalo Trace, including the latest Weller Single Barrel bourbon in 2020. Some of the Weller bourbon expressions won awards and gold medals in several spirit competitions.

Buffalo Trace Own Weller Bourbon?

Yes, Buffalo Trace bought Weller in 1999 after it was sold off by Diageo (a company that owns Stitzel-Weller Distillery after it was sold off several times).

Ever since Buffalo Trace purchased the brand Weller, they now have exclusive rights and ownership of the brand. 

The Sazerac company also owns other famous brands that are considered to be top-notches and exceptionals, like Blanton’s and Pappy Van Winkle.

Who Distributes Weller Bourbon?

Sazerac House

The Sazerac Company is now the sole producer and distributor of all the Weller bourbon expressions, and it is distilled in the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Though some people distaste the company for its heavy allocations in distribution, they make exceptional bourbons like no other and have become popular in the industry.

FAQs

Which Weller bourbon is the hardest to find?

The Weller 12-year and Antique 107 are probably the hardest to find among its varieties, though all of them are now rare.

In 2014, Weller’s bottles could be seen all over, but now it has become rare, and if you’re lucky to get your hand on it, it’ll already be the inflated price.

How much does a bottle of Weller bourbon cost?

A bottle of Weller has an MSRP of around $25 to $99, depending on the expression. But in the actual market or in your local liquor stores for bourbon ( that is, if available), prices are often doubled or tripled the original MSRP because of the demand and popularity.

How many bottles of Weller bourbon are made each year?

It’s hard to tell how many bottles of Weller bourbons they released each year for the brand as most of them are already allocated. However, it is said that Buffalo Trace produces around 30-40 thousand bottles of William Larue Weller every year.

Which Weller bourbon is closest to Pappy?

The Weller 12 is the closest to Pappy Van Winkle 12, as both share the same wheat bourbon recipe (mash bill that uses wheat as a secondary ingredient instead of rye). It is said that there’s just a slight difference in the aging process of the barrels.

In A Nutshell 

It’s no wonder why Weller has become one of the most sought-after bourbons because they are produced by the one and only Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The company has proven its worth and carved its name in the industry. [1]

Reference:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemicallef/2021/07/03/mark-brown-on-the-future-of-sazerac-and-the-spirits-industry/ 

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