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Buffalo Trace vs Weller: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Buffalo Trace vs Weller in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Buffalo Trace

NoseCaramel, cinnamon, baking spice, cereal
PalateCaramel, vanilla, oak, espresso coffee, chocolate
FinishVanilla, baking spice, oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar toMaker’s Mark, Bulleit Bourbon, Knob Creek

Buffalo Trace is one of the most popular bourbons for two good reasons: it’s smooth and tasty and attractively priced providing a good experience and good value for the money.

Nose is very subtle with notes of caramel, vanilla and a touch of baking spice. 

Taste hits the spice a little harder, displays oak and fruit and the underlying sweetness is still there, a little caramel and vanilla goes a long way. Mouthfeel is soft and approachable, light on the heat.

The finish has a moderate length, rich in vanilla and baking spice, although flavors don’t sit on the tongue for long but leave a refreshing sensation in the mouth.

The Buffalo Trace is a well-rounded bourbon, making a nice easy sipper with a medium to full body, soft with a chewy feel, fruity and oaky with a medium spicy finish.

It’s not intense or mind-blowing, but it gets the job done delivering a pleasant and satisfying bourbon.

Overall, Buffalo Trace is a solid mid-shelf bourbon, a sipper that does not need neither water nor ice. Makes a solid option for an “everyday whiskey” although not the best mixer as it lacks the punch to deliver tasty cocktails.

If you want to consider further options I’ve compiled a list of alternatives to Buffalo Trace that you should look into.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Buffalo Trace:

  • Buffalo Trace is made from corn, rye and malted barley in undisclosed amounts.
  • Buffalo Trace uses a unique aging process of 8 years in which the barrels are stored in the middle floors of the warehouse where temperature fluctuations are the greatest.
  • According to Buffalo Trace who has been using the same recipe and methods for the last 200+ years these variations get reflected in the bourbon creating deeper flavors.
  • 40 barrels at a time are chosen to create one single, small batch of Buffalo Trace.
  • Double Gold North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition 2019.
  • Gold San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018.
  • Crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery owned by the Louisiana-based Sazerac Company.

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 toLarceny, Blanton’s, Maker’s Mark

Weller is a wheated bourbon crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Wheated bourbons tend to be smoother smoother and sweeter than those that use rye 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, the Special Reserve 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 is smooth and sweet as you would expect from a wheated bourbon. It could use more body as it feels to be lacking a bit, 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.

What’s the difference between Buffalo Trace and Weller Special Reserve?

  • Buffalo Trace is a traditional bourbon made primarily from corn followed by rye. The latter adds a spicy and peppery note to the spirit.
  • Weller is a wheated bourbons. This type of bourbon has a softer and more friendly flavor as compared to bourbons that use rye as their secondary grain, and have a slightly sweeter taste.

What do Buffalo Trace and Weller Special Reserve have in common?

Both are crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery along Pappy van Winkle, E.H. Taylor, Blanton’s, George Stagg among others.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Buffalo Trace$35
Weller Special Reserve$60

Buffalo Trace vs Weller Special Reserve: Which is better?

Buffalo Trace provides better value for the money

WhiskeyBuffalo TraceWeller Special Reserve
  • Buffalo Trace is quite competent, with no let downs, nicely priced, providing great value for the money and an easy “everyday whiskey”.
  • Weller is quite good and sufficiently different from the Buffalo Trace as wheat in the mash provides a nice bready flavor.
  • Not the best in terms of value as there are options out there such as Larceny or the Maker’s Mark 46 give the Weller a run for the money.

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