Jan 25

W.L. Weller Bourbon – Review

W. L. Weller BourbonW.L. Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

90 Proof

Price Point: $15 – $25 for 750 ML

Distiller: W.L. Weller & Sons



About a year ago, I reviewed William Larue Weller Bourbon, one of the coveted whiskeys from Sazerac’s Antique Collection.  This was a wheated bourbon bottled at barrel proof (67.4%).

Today we are examining William Larue’s younger brother – W.L. Weller Bourbon.  This bourbon is bottled at a slightly lower ABV – 45%.  It is still a wheated bourbon, and still a whiskey worth examining, despite its dramatically lower price point.  Let’s get into it…



The nose on W.L. Weller has plenty of wheat and corn.  It’s a little alcohol intense at first, and very woody for a bourbon with no specific age statement.

On your first sip, you’ll notice more wheat and corn.  W.L. Weller perhaps presents a touch of rye, and a nice amount of burn at 90 proof.  It’s a little thin in its mouthfeel, and could certainly have more flavor and complexity.  But hey – you get what you pay for sometimes.  This wheated bourbon is not quite as smooth as other notables from the same genre (such as Maker’s Mark or Rebel Reserve), but the whiskey drinkers who prefer a “bite” may appreciate this more.

This bourbon finishes with a pleasant, mellow aftertaste with sweet, syrupy notes.


Rating & Recommendations

W.L. Weller is a nice bourbon to have on hand, and certainly worthy of a respectable 81 out of 100 rating.

This is a whiskey to sit on your shelf above Evan Williams and below Eagle Rare.




1 ping

  1. Charles Shaulis

    Hello, Ryan.

    I’m glad to see that you’re back to reviewing “blue collar” whiskey. Although I always enjoy reading your whiskey reviews, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of commentary in your Blackadder reviews. This leads me to believe that the Blackadder label is not readily available in the US retail marketplace, where the majority of us purchase our spirit.

    I was first introduced to W.L. Weller Special Reserve bourbon during the early 1980’s, while attending a cash-bar party at the apartment complex where I was staying in Oklahoma City. The subject of whiskey came up during a conversation with several of the local natives at the bar. At that time, my drink of choice was Jack Daniel’s and water. I was told by a very attractive older woman in attendance that “Weller’s beat Jack Daniel’s all to hell.” Not wanting to start an argument or incur her displeasure, I offered to buy her a drink. She accepted and ordered “two Weller’s and coke, one for me and one for my little boy.” Honest to God, Ryan, she wasn’t THAT old. I paid for the drinks and took my first sip of W.L. Weller Special Reserve bourbon and Coca-Cola. As it turns out, she was right…as long as Coca-Cola was the mixer. To this day, I’ve never developed a taste for “Jack” and coke or “Weller’s” and water, for that matter. During the 24 years that I lived in Oklahoma, whenever I wanted a bourbon and coke, I bought W.L. Weller Special Reserve bourbon. I brought my bottle of “Weller’s” with me when I moved back to Maine because I couldn’t find it in the local liquor stores. I managed to make it last until February 2013, when I found out that it could be special-ordered.

    Nowadays, I usually drink “Weller’s” neat or on the rocks. 750-mL sells for $14 here in Maine. The bottle of Special Reserve that I brought to Maine from Oklahoma carried a 12-year age statement on the bottle neck and it was shaped differently than the current W.L. Weller bottles. The Buffalo Trace Distillery web site shows a W.L. Weller 12 Year, in addition to the Special Reserve that no longer carries an age statement. I put the W.L. Weller Special Reserve NAS in the same class as Old Forester 4 and Buffalo Trace 8. If you get a chance, try the Old Weller Antique – the first bourbon I’ve ever had that tastes like cinnamon red-hots; the “hot” coming from the 107 proof. It’s really pretty good.

    Best Regards,


    1. Ryan

      Hi Chuck.

      Yes, the Blackadder collection is a little rare, especially the ones that I had the chance to review. Most of them were bottled over ten years ago, so I really didn’t expect much feedback on those. I’m also happy to be back reviewing more standard whiskeys, and looking forward to more of your comments!


  1. What’s on Your Shelf? (Part 2) | Whiskey-Reviews.com

    […] « W.L. Weller Bourbon – Review […]

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