W. L. Weller

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W. L. Weller Bourbon whiskey
W L Weller.JPG
750 ml bottle of W. L. Weller Bourbon
Type Bourbon whiskey
Manufacturer Sazerac Company
Country of origin Kentucky, United States
Introduced 1849
Alcohol by volume 45.00% & 53.50%
Proof (US) 90 and 107
Variants W. L. Weller Special Reserve
W. L. Weller Antique
Related products Buffalo Trace

W. L. Weller is a brand of wheated bourbon whiskey. The brand was originally owned by the Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company, which was sold several times after 1972. The brand is currently owned by the Sazerac Company and 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.

The bourbon was named after William Larue Weller (1825–1899), who was a bourbon whiskey 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]

Current brand expressions[edit]

There are several bourbons produced under the Weller name, all of which are wheated. The top three brands are all produced in a signature bell-shaped bottle, while the fourth variation with the title "William LaRue" is bottled in a sleek straight wine bottle. The various brands and their descriptions are:

  • W. L. Weller Special Reserve, 90 proof.
  • Old Weller Antique, 107 proof.
  • W. L. Weller 12 Year, 90 proof.
  • William LaRue Weller, an unfiltered barrel proof bourbon. It was introduced in 2005 as a part of the Buffalo Trace Distillery's "Antique Collection". The proof of this product varies from year to year and has been as low as 118 proof, up to 140 proof.

Past expressions[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 10 years old and bottled at 100 proof. It went out of production in 2009.


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).


  1. ^ "Sazerac Completes Acquisition of Weller and Charter Brands" (Press release). PRNewswire. April 28, 1999. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ "William Larue Weller". Buffalo Trace Distillery. Retrieved 2015-11-24.