Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Sazerac Company, Inc.
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Release Date: Summer 2022 (Annual release)
Age: NAS (Aged at least 4 years per TTB regulations)
Mashbill: Undisclosed (Buffalo Trace “Wheated” Mashbill - Corn, Wheat, Malted Barley)
MSRP: $50 (2023)
Coffee cake | Dry seasoned oak | Caramel | Some heat | Cinnamon
Caramel | Vanilla | Oak | Coffee cake | Cinnamon | Barrel char | Bold
Heat ramps up | Cinnamon | Turns sweet | Brown sugar | Caramel on the backend
Weller Full Proof 2022 offers a consistent, balanced, high octane Weller flavor profile, but as more bourbons are continually released finds a harder time distinguishing itself in the marketplace.
Buffalo Trace originally launched Weller Full Proof in June 2019. Its “Full Proof” moniker doesn’t mean it's bottled at barrel proof, but instead that it is bottled at the same 114 proof that the original distillate entered the barrel at, which is lower than the maximum allowable 125 barrel entry proof for bourbon. Weller Full Proof is part of the Weller family of products that include Weller Special Reserve, Weller Antique 107, Weller 12 Year, Weller C.Y.P.B., and Weller Single Barrel. William Larue Weller is also considered part of the Weller family, but is barrel proof and sports a different bottle and label design because it’s released annually as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC). Weller Full Proof is released annually with a targeted summer release window, and is offered through Buffalo Trace’s single barrel private select program.
Over the past decade or so, Weller has transitioned from a high value, easily accessible whiskey to one that commands a much higher price point in the market than its MSRP is set at. Buffalo Trace was smart to expand the Weller lineup into a wider array of options, and seems determined to branch out to every variation of Weller consumers could possibly ask for.
Like 1792 Full Proof, Weller Full Proof plays into the proof that the distillate entered the barrel at, and then it’s proofed back down to that proof for bottling. It’s the highest proof standard release Weller bourbon (excluding the limited edition William Larue Weller), eclipsing Antique 107 by 7 proof points. Despite typically leaning towards higher proof whiskeys, I slightly prefer Antique 107 by comparison, which seems to allow the flavors to come through against the rising heat from the proof. I also really enjoy the top of that curve where William Larue Weller goes all in on bold flavors.
Because of the swell of demand for this product and the reality of finding it at MSRP, it’s impossible not to discuss the reality of obtaining one. It’s a great deal at $50, fair at $75, and overpriced at $100 when all is said and done. Ultimately, with so many other bourbons entering the market, many more of them wheated bourbons, and plenty in the same proof range, it’s much harder to find distinguishing characteristics offered by the latest release of Weller Full Proof (though Eric enjoyed the 2020 release a bit more) that might command the higher price point its demand has successfully established in the marketplace.