More often than not, you find whiskies distilled from rye grain. The W.L. Weller Special Reserve Whisky is the original wheated bourbon. Using wheat gives the whisky a smoother flavor with softer notes of honey and butterscotch, accompanied by a soft woodiness. The whisky is a rich amber with hints of orange in color. The nose of the whisky comes across with a strong spice that is followed by caramel, cinnamon, and cherry. This 90 proof whisky is bottled at a 45 percent ABV.
W.L. Weller is made by the same distiller and aged in the same warehouse as Pappy Van Winkle—an extremely popular and even harder to find wheated whisky. Buffalo Trace, the distiller behind W.L. Weller Special Reserve, may be cashing in a bit on the popularity of Pappy Van Winkle, but who can blame them. But even if they are, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t producing a high quality product. As the story goes, the same recipe is used for both W.L. Weller and Pappy Van Winkle, so fans of Pappy will find plenty to like in the W.L. Weller, especially the lower price point. Weller starts out with a 51 percent corn mash that, as has been noted, finishes off with wheat instead of rye. Many drinkers find the W.L. Weller Special Reserve to be simple and uncomplicated, making it a popular whisky for people who are new to whisky.
Named for Wiliam Larue Weller, a Kentucky distiller in the 1800s, the whisky has won several awards. Weller is best known for being the first to produce a straight bourbon with whisky instead of rye in the mashbill. That first barrel was produced in 1849.