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Blade and Bow vs Weller Special Reserve: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Blade and Bow vs Weller in this head to head comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Blade and Bow

NoseCherry, vanilla, oak, ethanol
PalateFruit, vanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, peanuts
FinishOak, spice, roasted peanuts
Alcohol content91 proof (45.5% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBuffalo Trace, Blanton’s, Basil Hayden’s

The nose is a bit heavy on ethanol, but it fades right away into a cherry note, along notes of vanilla and oak.

On the palate the first sip delivers a sweet fruity flavor of ripe cherries up-front, along hints of brown sugar, vanilla, baking spice, oak and just a little note of roasted peanuts.

The finish has a medium length, burns on the way down, but nothing too severe. Brings a fair amount of spice, along wood and more roasted peanuts.

Adding a dash of water tunes down the warmth by a notch, while releasing additional brown sugar and oak.

Nothing wows me about the Blade and Bow, but is a good option for those who want an everyday sipper with a little warmth to it.

Price is still sensible as it doesn’t break the bank. You get a decent bourbon in a pretty bottle, with a cool backstory and a key that provides you with a glass if you ever visit the distillery; sounds fair to me.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Blade and Bow:

  • It does no have an age statement.
  • The mash bill is undisclosed.
  • This whisky pays homage to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery which closed in 1992.
  • Blade and Bow is aged in a solera-style system, using some of the last stocks of whiskey from the old distillery. Is later blended with other bourbons and bottled at Stitzel-Weller.
  • 5 keys are a common theme in the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. These 5 keys represent the steps in the whiskey-making process: grains, yeast, fermentation, distillation and aging.
  • Blade and Bow is owned by Diageo, a British drinks conglomerate, with a vast and diverse portfolio that includes things like Johnnie Walker, Don Julio Tequila, rums, bourbons, Scotch whiskies, vodkas and every type of spirit that you might think about.

Weller Special Reserve

NoseMaple, apple, leather, oak
PalateCaramel, vanilla, chocolate, baking spice
FinishOld leather, cinnamon, oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, add water
Similar toBuffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Maker’s 46

Weller (Best Bourbon) is made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery using a wheated mash.

In general, wheated bourbons are smoother and sweeter than those who carry rye in the mash as secondary grain behind corn

Nose is smooth and mostly sweet, rich in maple honey, apples, with some old leather and oak coming behind.

On the palate, Weller brings caramel, vanilla and cinnamon at first, followed by dark chocolate and a dash of citrus.

Finish is warming yet pleasant, somewhat dry, with lasting flavors of old leather, spicy cinnamon candy and oak spice.

Drinks nicely neat with very little to no burn, yet adding a drop of water releases sweetness, along more oak making it more tasty.

Weller Special Reserve (Alternatives) is smooth and sweet as you would expect from a wheated bourbon. It could use more body as it feels a bit thin, but overall this is a satisfying pour nonetheless.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Weller Special Reserve:

  • Weller uses an undisclosed amount of wheat in the mash but likely to be around 15%.
  • Weller was the first bourbon back in 1849 to add wheat to the mash as a secondary grain behind corn.
  • Weller is aged anywhere from 4 to 7 years.
  • Earned a Gold Medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Blade and Bow vs Weller Special Reserve: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Blade and Bow$55
Weller Special Reserve$60

Blade and Bow vs Weller Special Reserve: Which is better?

Weller is smoother than B&B

WhiskeyBlade and BowWeller
  • Weller Special Reserve is smooth although lacking a bit in body. It tastes nicely with no off-putting notes making an easy sip.
  • Personally, I find it to be a be a bit underwhelming but a good choice for those who want a sweet bourbon that goes down nicely.
  • Blade and Bow brings more heat to the table, but nothing that a drop of water can’t tame. It makes a solid choice for some folks like me who prefer a bit of warmth in their drinks.

Consider further alternatives by reading my post with the Best Similar Bourbons to Weller where you will find better options.

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