Next up in our Beginner Bourbon Series this week of our Best Beginner Bourbons is a favorite of mine, Weller Special Reserve. If you follow around this blog long you will notice I am a huge fan of the Weller line of bourbons, and a huge fan of wheat bourbons. This is one of my favorite, go-to, just overall great sipping bourbons that I like to always have on hand in my collection. Below you will find our tasting notes for a pour of Weller Special Reserve. Don’t forget, we hope you continue to follow along and even post your tasting notes as well so we can compare and contrast.
All bourbon by definition must be majority (51% or greater) corn. The other main ingredients that make bourbon unique are rye and wheat, usually in that order. What makes Weller unique is that it’s secondary ingredient is wheat where most bourbons use rye as their second main ingredient. It even states “The Original Wheated Bourbon” on the bottle’s label. This offers some subtle but noticeable differences in overall profile and taste. Weller brand of bourbons is owned by the Sazerac Company, and is produced at Buffalo Trace Distilleries in Frankfort, Kentucky. Remember our Buffalo Trace tasting notes from last week? I mention in those I am a huge fan of theirs because of all the great products that come out of that distillery.
My neighbor Bourbon Ben participated in this tasting with me. Our notes are listed below.
Weller Special Reserve Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Very sweet smelling similar to other tastings but a much lighter nose. The smell of Weller Special Reserve reminds me of being outside in the woods. Some slight floral nose as well as some honey.
Color: Light Caramel
Taste: A much different experience here than with some of the other bourbon’s we’ve done notes on. Very light on the tongue. Immediate sweetness, specifically honey here. Also a slight “cookie” or “cake” taste here, I would describe it as a sugar cookie taste almost (not sure if this is from the “wheat” profile). This has a somewhat natural or “woody” flavor I can’t quite put a finger on,
Finish: A very slow, smooth, and mellow finish. The bourbon almost just rolls through easily. Very little burn and very easy to drink. The easiest sipping bourbon we’ve tasted on the site to date.
Notes: Easily one of my favorite sipping bourbons. I like to keep one stocked on my shelf at all times. Smooth and mellow, and just a little different than other big name bourbons you might be used to. Getting harder and harder to find regularly however which may affect price.
Bourbon Ben's Notes
Nose: Citrus, Vanilla
Taste: Smooth delivery of oak, followed by vanilla and orange peel.
Finish: Smoky oak/vanilla. Smooth, characteristic of wheated bourbon.
- Another great beginner bourbon.
- Light and mellow, extremely easy drinking. Very forgiving for new bourbon drinkers.
- Well priced When you can find it!
Elaborating on that last point a little bit, Weller bourbons are getting harder and harder for me to find here in Kentucky. If you’re finding them with ease where you are from, consider yourself lucky (and if you’re in central Kentucky, let me know because I rarely can find it on the shelves around here). You used to be able to find this bottle for around $20-30 but the demand has risen and so had the price at many stores. It can be found around $30 but not consistently. The last bottle I picked up I had to pay $41 which for a beginner is a little steep. Since I am a fan of it I don’t mind spending that, but would like to see it normalize and the price return closer to the $30 mark. If you are out and about and find this bourbon for $35 with the current shortages I suggest you pick yourself up a bottle or two without hesitation.
As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Pour yourself a glass of Weller Special Reserve and chime in with tasting notes of your own so we can see how similar or different we feel about this bourbon. We look forward to hearing from you. Cheers!
I literally just left a store that said they get Weller in once or twice a month, but their sticker price for Weller Special Reserve was greater than $60. Do yourself a favor and if you happen to stumble across this out and about for $30 pick yourself (and a friend) up a bottle. I’m sure they will thank you. Cheers!