Reviews Whiskey

Weller Special Reserve Bourbon Whiskey Review

Overall Score: 8.7 Weller can be difficult to find but is a great purchase with a smooth taste and unique, wheated mashbill.


  • Price: $20
    • Weller prices vary based on allotment. The link to Drizly will often have a markup based on limited availability at stores. This is common with the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Markets will differ drastically for price and accessibility.
  • Proof: 90 (45% ABV)
  • Type: Bourbon – Wheated Mash Bill
  • Age: No Statement Age
  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace
  • Visit the distillery page at Weller Special Reserve


Appearance: dark orange tone. It’s a deeper color than bottles of the same proof, which causes you to anticipate stronger flavors via the barreling process and mashbill.

Nose: the nose is subtle and leaves you guessing about the taste. The whiskey smells smooth, which is welcomed by a newer whiskey drinker and likely questioned by one with a bolder palate.

Palate: the heat level is low to mild, which will cause varying perceptions among consumers. What the whiskey lacks in heat, it makes up for in rich flavors. It’s a very smooth whiskey, but you experience multiple tasting notes. The wheated mash bill is special and likely provides the uniqueness. Wheated mash bills are common in some of the most notorious whiskeys (#Pappy) and Weller gives peasants like us a glimpse at how wheat can alter a whiskey’s flavor. It lacks complexity but is still enjoyable. Newer whiskey drinkers will consider Weller an immediate favorite, while more experienced drinkers will enjoy the taste but may seek bolder bourbons. At the price, no one is disappointed.

Finish: the finish is subtle and very smooth. There is no bite but the flavors linger a bit. Friends that don’t frequently drink whiskey can enjoy this neat, which leads to a fun experience when you’re hosting. It’s not a complex finish which will be a negative for some and positive for others.


Overall Score: 8.7 (note: score reflects taste and price)

Weller Special Reserve uses a unique, wheated mashbill to provide rich flavors and a smooth palate/finish. Weller is highly recommended to those beginning their whiskey journey or for sharing with friends. The heat is low and the complexity is limited, but this is enjoyable to a wide audience and an incredible taste for a low price. It’s not changing the game, but you can’t expect that at the price. If you’re fortunate enough to find a bottle, buy two.

Degenerate Discussion

Keeping it real; Weller can be difficult to find in certain markets. We currently reside in Dallas and the hunt for Weller can be more suspenseful than the OJ Bronco police chase. Fortunately, the Weller drinking experience isn’t as controversial and divided as OJ’s verdict. It’s a great whiskey at a low price and has a fun story with the Weller name and comparisons to Pappy Van Winkle (although, the Poor Man’s Pappy story is related to Weller 12 and Weller Antique 107). Weller has made its name off of Pappy in a similar way the Baldwin’s have off Alec and the Wahlberg’s have off Mark. The key difference is Weller is still noteworthy and a great drink! Whereas, the Baldwin and Wahlberg brothers could die tomorrow and we’d still be trying to guess their names (seriously – one of them is named Jim Wahlberg, Google it). Cheers Degenerates!


You can find Weller Special Reserve on one Degenerate Top 10 list. We may have included it on more if it wasn’t as difficult to find.

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