Whiskey Review: Weller Full Proof

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Buffalo Trace. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

The much anticipated release of W.L. Weller Full Proof is here. After much speculation, Buffalo Trace opted to give the coveted wheated mash bill bourbon series a barrel strength, non-chill filtered bottling, retaining all of the oily flavorful goodness allegedly lost in the chill-filtration process. Weller in general is said to share a similar mash bill to the unicorn-like Pappy Van Winkle, and is sure to garner its share of collection fever in some whiskey corners.

Weller Full Proof’s full proof 0f 114 ( meaning it enters the barrel at 114 proof), or 57% ABV, is fairly robust in contrast to the more standard Weller 12 Year release, which clocks in at 90 proof. The folks at Buffalo Trace went this route, they say, because “bourbon drinkers are asking us for high proof and non-chill filtered bourbon more and more. Bar owners and liquor stores who have selected barrels of Weller over the years will regularly request their bourbon to be non-chill filtered. It will be nice to offer Weller Full Proof as an option.”

Word is this bourbon will be released just once a year in limited quantities. The bottle it is housed in will contain a cork stopper, and the overall presentation for this whiskey may be appealing to the eye for some. It is clocking in at around $50 per 750 ml bottle, but secondary markets and some retailers may choose to bump that price up by a bit or more.

W.L. Weller Full Proof

W.L. Weller Full Proof (image via Buffalo Trace)

Tasting Notes: W.L. Weller Full Proof

Vital Stats: 57% ABV, 114 proof; non-age statement; likely Buffalo Trace wheated mash bill; around $50 for a 750mL bottle.

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Appearance: Dark Amber

Nose: Lots of fruit: grape, cherry, plum. Rich caramel and vanilla develop in the glass over time.

Palate: Velvety and coating, with caramel, cherry, and demerara syrup, finishing long and warming, with cinnamon and oak.

The Takeaway


This Weller was a treat to sample, and absolutely delivers. For a non-age statement, any sign of youth is hidden well, and is very approachable for a full proof. The wheat sweetness is apparent, however there is enough tannin presence to keep it from becoming cloying. It is both complex on the nose and palate, and still scratches a visceral "tasty" bone.

Weller Full Proof is looking like a single annual release, trickling into select stores and states, and bottles are likely to be subject to secondary market absurdity. If you happen to find this on your local store shelf at a reasonable price, it is a no brainer purchase.

User Rating 3.25 (72 votes)