W.L. Weller is a brand of bourbon made in Frankfort, Kentucky by the Buffalo Trace distillery. Like all bourbons, it is difficult to trace the evolution of a brand name. Certainly the Weller family was active in the bourbon distilling business around 1800. In 1849, William Larue (W.L.) Weller invented a style of bourbon that replaced the rye in the grain bill with wheat, making a softer spirit.
The Weller brand came into being with the opening of the Stitzel-Weller distillery on Derby Day 1935. In 1972, the distillery was sold to Norton Simon, who then sold it in turn to United Distillers, who sold it to Sazerac/Buffalo Trace.
W.L. Weller is still a 'wheated' bourbon, and there are four main variations: a 7 and a 12 year, 90 proof bourbon, a bottling called "Antique" that is 107 proof, and a bottling called "William Larue Weller" introduced in 2005, which is barrel proof and unfiltered.
Some popular cocktails containing WL Weller
- Pear Collins — Bourbon, Falernum, Bitters, Pear juice, Simple syrup, Lemon juice, CioCiaro
- Boulevardier Riff (Fred Sarkis) — Bourbon, Bonal Gentiane Quina, Cynar, Orange bitters, Salt
- Two Trick Pony — Beer, White whiskey, Bourbon, Bitters, Lemon juice, Orgeat, Demerara syrup, Orange peel
- Right to the Bitter End — Bourbon, Byrrh, Campari, Peychaud's Bitters, Cherry
- Western Paradise — Bourbon, Bianco Vermouth, Drambuie, Apple brandy, Bitters