We've previously reviewed Old Weller Antique 107. W.L. Weller Special Reserve, also produced by Buffalo Trace, is the entry level wheated bourbon. I place it at the bottom of the Weller totem pole, only because it is the youngest and the cheapest. It is certainly not bad.
The Special Reserve is created from the same mash bill as the Old Weller Antique 107, W.L. Weller 12 Year, and the Old Rip Van Winkle/Pappy bourbons. It is, however, aged for 7 years or less in a different warehouse from the Van Winkle bourbons and is diluted to 90 proof, resulting in a different flavor profile.
W.L. Weller Special Reserve
Buffalo Trace Distillery/W.L. Weller and sons
$19 at Green's Beverages in Columbia, SC
Color: Burnt orange
Nose: Caramel, vanilla, spiced apples, cinnamon. Exactly how I want my everyday bourbon to smell.
Tasting notes: Fairly smooth sip, caramel, honey, butterscotch, and oak notes. Possibly some citrus in there, but the finish is just a touch wilder than the 107 despite the lower proof.
Overall: B+. Damn good bourbon for less than $20.