Weller Special Reserve Background
Weller Special Reserve is the third installment of Weller reviews. I previously reviewed Weller 12 and Old Weller Antique. I’m just going to be lazy the third time around and just copy over some background here… Weller Special Reserve is named after William Larue Weller. Weller is credited as being the first to make Bourbon with wheat and not rye. With wheat rather than rye, wheated Bourbons tend to be softer and sweeter. This bourbon was made at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery and then transitioned to Buffalo Trace where it’s made today with the same recipe.
Weller Special Reserve is thought to aged about 6-7 years. It used to have a 7-year age statement, but that was dropped recently. It’s bottled at 90-proof similar to Weller 12, although obviously Weller 12 is aged about twice as long. The other Weller here is Old Weller Antique which is bottled at 107-proof and aged about 6-7 years.The last member of the Weller family is William Larue Weller which is a part of the Antique College released annually from Buffalo Trace. William Larue Weller can probably be considered a barrel proof version of Weller 12
No age statement, but figured to be 6-7 years old. Bottled at 45%. Wheated mash with no rye. Paid $20 (state minimum)
Caramel, corn, sweetness. Cherries. Fruity. Getting some mild barn yard.
Light and clean. Fruity and sweet. Caramel, vanilla. Creamy. A little warming in the finish with some mild astringency. A pleasant pour.
Compared to the other Wellers I think Weller Special Reserve is a distant third in terms of flavors and complexity. But it’s cheaper. Depending on your budget that may be a factor, but I think Weller 12 and Old Weller Antique are worth the extra coin. I do, however think I may like Weller Special Reserve better than the other popular wheater Maker’s Mark.
I like to keep this around for cooking. It’s a well made sweet bourbon that’s relatively cheap. It’s not going to rock your world, but the price is right. Also I find it’s pretty available on shelves compared to the other Weller products. I’ll recommend this because it’s a little unique as a wheater, it’s a nice Bourbon, and it’s a great price. Clearly, however, Old Weller Antique and Weller 12 are better pours overall.
Weller Special Reserve Recommendation
Buy a Bottle – 3/5 Rating
(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)