Skip to Content

Van Winkle 12 vs Weller 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Old Rip Van Winkle 12 vs Weller 12 in this in-depth head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12

van-winkle-special-reserve-12
NoseOak, caramel, cinnamon
PalateCherry, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate
FinishVanilla, cinnamon, caramel
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toVan Winkle 10

Nose is sweet, with hints of oak, cinnamon and butterscotch.

On the palate, Van Winkle 12 has a nice buttery body and a soft mouthfeel. Flavor is rich in cinnamon from start to finish, with hints of oak and a cherried flavor.

Finish is long and pleasing, with very little warmth, full of vanilla and caramel.

Overall, Van Winkle 12 is a remarkably smooth dram with very little heat with a noticeable cinnamon note and a bready feel due to the rich wheat content in the mash bill.

A very nice dram, indeed. The rich cinnamon note reminds me of Don Julio Añejo Tequila a bit.

An incredibly good tasting bourbon that goes down with no need to add water or ice.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Pappy Bourbon where I rank every release.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Van Winkle 12:

  • Aged for 12 years in new, charred American Oak barrels.
  • Earned 95 points from the Wine Enthusiast.
  • In 1893, Julian Van Winkle began working as a salesman for the W.L. Weller & Sons Company.
  • A few years later, Van Winkle ended up buying W.L. Weller along the Stitzel Distillery merging the two companies.

Weller 12

weller-12
NoseCaramel, cinnamon, oak
PalateCherry, cinnamon, vanilla, oak
FinishCinnamon, caramel, vanilla
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toWeller Antique 107, Full Proof

Weller has caramel on the nose, followed by a drizzle of cinnamon and oak.

On the palate, Weller 12 displays good body. Flavor hits with cherry at first, followed by cinnamon, vanilla and a tad of oak.

The finish is long, rich in cinnamon, with notes of caramel and vanilla.

No warmth or off-putting notes making a nice easy drinker, a bit more proof would make it immensely better, though, as it lacks a bit of punch to make a memorable whiskey.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post Discover the Best Weller Whiskey where I rank every bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Weller 12:

  • Aged for 12 years in new, charred American Oak barrels.
  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

What do Van Winkle 12 and Weller 12 have in common?

Made from the same mash at the same distillery

These bourbons are both made from a mash that carries around 15% wheat making them wheated bourbons.

They are both crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery along other bourbons such as Eagle Rare, EH Taylor, Stagg, Sazerac Rye.

Are Van Winkle 12 and Weller 12 the same bourbon?

It seems likely

  • If you read the tasting notes you will notice that they are the same because these bourbons taste nearly identically.
  • Perhaps there might be difference in barrel management, or the aging location within the Buffalo Trace Distilleries but I can’t find a difference between them.

Van Winkle 12 vs Weller 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Van Winkle Special Reserve 12$1,000
Weller 12$240

Van Winkle 12 vs Weller 12: Which is better?

Price makes the Weller better

  • These bourbons are nearly identical, perhaps the Weller 12 is a bit sweeter while the Van Winkle has more cinnamon but are hard to tell from each other.
  • Due to the lofty price differential between the two I would buy the Weller 12, although I would not buy it before reading how does it stack up against the Weller Antique 107.

Stagg Jr. vs Weller 12: (Which Bourbon Wins?)

Friday 4th of November 2022

[…] Elmer T. Lee, Pappy 12 […]

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel vs Weller 12: (Which Bourbon Wins?)

Friday 4th of November 2022

[…] Weller Full Proof, Pappy 12 […]

Van Winkle 10 vs Van Winkle 12: Which Bourbon Wins?

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

[…] Weller 12 […]

Weller Special Reserve vs Weller 12: Which Bourbon Wins?

Monday 24th of October 2022

[…] Weller Full Proof, Van Winkle 12 […]

Best Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey: Which Pappy should you buy?

Tuesday 7th of June 2022

[…] Also read: Old Rip Van Winkle 12 vs Weller 12: Discover the Better! […]