Weller Special Reserve vs Maker's Mark Wheated Bourbon Comparison
Weller Special Reserve and Marker’s Mark are both sub $30 wheated bourbons (based on MSRP) from well-known Kentucky distilleries, but the bourbon world treats them very differently. To oversimplify, Weller Special Reserve is desirable enough that it’s either very difficult to find or heavily marked up in most parts of the country, while Maker’s Mark is everywhere.
The below table outlines key facts and figures for each wheated bourbon.
How do they Compare?
And the winner is...
Weller Special Reserve is able to keep it mostly together and have some balance between the sweetness, fruitiness, and oak, with a little extra green grape, apple, and pear. For the most part I enjoy it, although it has some black pepper flavor that seems out of place. Weller SR still isn’t great by any stretch.
In terms of overall personality, Weller Special Reserve is the brighter and less oaky bourbon while Maker’s Mark is more grassy, nutty, dark, and lightly sour. Don’t be mistaken though, both are still decent “Mid Shelf” bourbons that are fine for MSRP, but it’s clear to me that I enjoy Weller Special Reserve a little more.
Looking at a broader range of wheated bourbons, I still prefer Larceny Bourbon (this is certainly a hot take), but it’s very different than Weller Special Reserve and closer to Maker’s Mark. At the end of the day, enjoy what you want, but when I reach for a wheated bourbon, I’m not reaching for either Weller Special Reserve or Maker’s Mark, I’m reaching for Maker’s Mark Cask Strength or a Private Selection.
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