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Eagle Rare vs Weller Special Reserve: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Eagle Rare vs Weller Special Reserve in this head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Eagle Rare 10 Year Straight Bourbon

NoseToasted oak, orange peel, maple syrup
PalateOak, dried fruit, vanilla, caramel, baking spice
FinishOak, tobacco, leather
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toBuffalo Trace, EH Taylor, Blanton’s

The Eagle Rare is made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery using the same mash bill as the Buffalo Trace. The difference lies in the aging as the Eagle Rare is aged for 10 years while the Buffalo Trace for 6.

Additional aging provides a dryer and oakier taste to the Eagle Rare making it feel like a grown-up iteration of the Buffalo Trace.

Nose kicks-off with toasted oak, followed by orange peel, red fruit and maple syrup.

On the palate, the Eagle Rare shows a creamy body as the texture feels buttery. First sip is strong in oak, but as you let it develop vanilla, dried fruit, caramel and baking spice pop-up bringing good balance to the dram.

The finish is long, providing a bit of a bite, with more oak to it, along old leather and tobacco notes.

Adding water brings a bit more of caramel, tunes-down the finish, although it remains oaky.

Eagle Rare might not be the best bourbon for beginners as it’s a bit too oaky, but it has plenty to appreciate as it drinks quite nicely and makes one of the best 10 year old bourbons.

Definitely a keeper at MSRP ($50-$60) but not good enough to pay a crazy price for it!

I have compiled a list of similar bourbons to the Eagle Rare that should look into as it has become increasingly hard to find.

There are a few things worth knowing about Eagle Rare:

  • It ages for no less than 10 years in new, highly charred American oak barrels under the sun.
  • The barrels are hand-picked for quality and consistency before bottling.
  • The brand was launched in 1975 by Seagram, was later purchased by the Old Prentice Distillery and was acquired by Sazerac in 1989.

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, Weller 12, Weller Antique

Weller is also crafted by Buffalo Trace but using a wheated mash. In general, wheated bourbons tend to be smoother and sweeter than those that use rye grain 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 do Eagle Rare and Weller have in common?

Crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery

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

These bourbons use different mash bills and are aged for different lengths so they are not the same in case you were wondering.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Eagle Rare 10$50
Weller Special Reserve$62

Eagle Rare vs Weller Special Reserve: Which is better?

Eagle Rare is a more satisfying bourbon

WhiskeyEagle RareWeller Special Reserve
  • Personally, I find the Eagle Rare to be more rewarding as it’s more tasty and complex, than the Weller although a bit warmer but still within smooth bourbon territory.
  • Weller is a smoother and sweeter pour although a bit thin lacking in body and drier on the finish.
  • Weller does not taste much better than the Maker’s Mark 46 that is also a wheated bourbon making me prefer the latter due to the price differential in favor of the latter.

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