W.L. Weller Special Reserve, along with all of the Weller brands, is owned by Buffalo Trace who is in turn owned by the Sazerac company. Though it wasn’t always that way. In fact, Weller was once owned by THE Pappy Van Winkle back when it was being made in the Stitzel-Weller distillery.
Named after William Larue Weller, who was a distiller back in the mid 1800’s, all Weller’s are wheaters. This simply means that instead of using rye as the secondary grain like most bourbons do this one uses wheat. The wheat gives it a softer feel and sweeter flavor and aroma that helps set it apart from other bourbons.
Overall the Weller Special Reserve is a good bourbon, but not a great bourbon. It’s not one I want in my glass everyday and when compared to it’s bigger brother the 107 and it’s pappy the 12 it comes across as unimpressive and a tad unbalanced. Though at only $17 a bottle it’s a good thing to keep around for great cocktails.
W.L. Weller Special Reserve Review
Distiller: W.L. Weller and sons / Buffalo Trace
Amber with hints of orange
Spice comes charging out of the Glencairn Copita followed by caramel, cinnamon, cherry heavy dark fruit and wood. There is some butterscotch playing around in the background with a bit of acetone.
Here the spice lays low and lets caramel steal the show along with some citrus, toffee, cinnamon, wood and baking spices. Vanilla and dark fruit play more of supporting roles and there is a strong streak of ethanol kicking up far more than a 90 proof whiskey should.
Roughest of the three entry level Wellers, but still manageable.
Wood, caramel and spice start things off nicely, but after a bit the ethanol rears it’s head again and dampens what could have been a pleasantly long finish.