W. L. Weller

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W. L. Weller Bourbon whiskey
TypeBourbon whiskey
ManufacturerSazerac Company
Country of originKentucky, United States
Introduced1849
Alcohol by volume45.00% & 53.50%
Proof (US)90 and 107
VariantsW. L. Weller Special Reserve
W. L. Weller Antique
Related productsBuffalo Trace
Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve
Old Rip Van Winkle

W. L. Weller is a brand of "wheated" bourbon whiskey. The brand was created by the Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company, and was sold several times after 1972. Since 1999, the brand has been owned by the Sazerac Company. It is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.[1] Like all bourbons, Weller is distilled from a mash composed of at least 51% corn (maize). The secondary grain used for the Weller brand is wheat, whereas most bourbons use rye.

Name[edit]

The bourbon was named after William Larue Weller (1825–1899), who was a distiller in the early days of Kentucky. He was supposedly the first to produce straight bourbon using wheat instead of rye in the mashbill. His wheated bourbon was first produced in 1849.[2]

Brand expressions[edit]

Current[edit]

There are several bourbons produced under the W. L. Weller name:

  • Weller Special Reserve - "green label", bottled at 90 proof
  • Weller Antique 107 - "red label", bottled at 107 proof
  • Weller Full Proof - "blue label", bottled at 114 proof, and non-chill filtered
  • Weller 12 Year - "black label", bottled at 90 proof
  • Weller C.Y.P.B. - "white label", bottled at 95 proof
  • William Larue Weller - Antique Collection, unfiltered and bottled at barrel proof

Past[edit]

  • W. L. Weller 19 year was bottled at 90 proof. It was released only for the 2000, 2001, and 2002 Antique Collections.
  • W. L. Weller Centennial was aged for 10 years and bottled at 100 proof. It went out of production in 2009.

William Larue Weller bourbon[edit]

Introduced in 2005 as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an uncut, unfiltered bourbon that's bottled at barrel proof. The proof and age of this annual release varies from year to year[3]:

William Larue Weller (WLW)
Release Year of Distillation Product Age Release Proof Number of Barrels Warehouses Warehouse Floors Evaporation Loss Number of Bottles (est.)
Fall of 2005 Fall of 1993 12 years, 2 months 121.9 41 Q 5th 58.04% 4,602
Fall of 2006 Spring of 1991 15 years, 3 months 129.9 22 M 5th 50.64% 2,905
Fall of 2007 Spring of 1997 10 years, 3 months 117.9 34 I 9th 53.27% 4,250
Fall of 2008 Spring of 1997 11 years, 2 months 125.3 40 I 9th 52.05% 5,131
Fall of 2009 Fall of 1998 11 years 134.8 41 N, O 5th 57.20% 4,694
Fall of 2010 Summer of 1998 12 years, 3 months 126.6 55 I, P 4th and 9th 55.50% 6,547
Fall of 2011 Fall of 1998 12 years, 11 months 133.5 45 N, O, P 4th and 5th 57.20% 5,152
Fall of 2012 Spring of 2000 12 years, 4 months 123.4 49 P, I 2nd and 4th 56.60% 5,689
Fall of 2013 Spring of 2001 12 years, 1 month 136.2 39 M, P 3rd and 4th 55.30% 3,468
Fall of 2014 Spring of 2002 12 years, 3 months 140.2 39 D, K, L 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th 62.30% 3,933
Fall of 2015 Spring of 2003 12 years, 3 months 134.6 105 I, K, L 2nd and 6th 72.30% 7,780
Fall of 2016 Winter of 2003 12 years, 7 months 135.2 145 D, K, L 3rd and 6th 65.40% 13,421
Fall of 2017 Winter of 2005 12 years, 6 months 128.2 155 D, I, P 1st thru 6th 54.08% 19,040
Fall of 2018 Winter of 2006 12 years, 6 months 125.7 149 C, I, K, L, M, Q 2nd thru 5th 56.90% 17, 179
Fall of 2019 Winter of 2007 12 years, 6 months 128.0 N/A I 2nd and 3rd 57.00% N/A

Awards[edit]

The 2016 release of William Larue Weller, from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, was awarded a 2017 Double Gold medal by the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Old Weller Antique 107 was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2016 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition.

W. L. Weller 12 Year Old Bourbon won the designation of "Extraordinary / Ultimate Recommendation (95–100 pts)" from the 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge and a Silver Outstanding medal from the 2015 International Wine & Spirits Competition (UK).

Spirits writer Jim Murray named William Larue Weller Bourbon the "Second Finest Whisky in the World" in his Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2015 (ISBN 978-0955472992). The 2015 release of William Larue Weller was awarded a Silver Outstanding medal from the 2016 International Wine & Spirits Competition (UK).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sazerac Completes Acquisition of Weller and Charter Brands" (Press release). PRNewswire. April 28, 1999. Retrieved March 7, 2010 – via thebourbonculture.com.
  2. ^ "William Larue Weller". buffalotracedistillery.com. Buffalo Trace Distillery. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  3. ^ "Bourbonr BTAC Analysis". Bourbonr.com. 2017.