Buffalo Trace announced today the debut of Daniel Weller: an experimental line exploring the impact of different strains of wheat on its bourbons. It is named after Daniel Weller, grandfather to William Larue Weller, in honor of a family known “as one of the first to sell a ‘wheated’ bourbon in Kentucky.”
Plans call for this new line up of wheated bourbons, according to those behind it, to release one limited expression every other year. The inaugural release “is made with Emmer wheat, an ancient Egyptian grain that’s rarely seen in modern-day stills, and mainly used to make beer and bread.”
“We began this experiment to see how one of the original, long-forgotten wheat strains would taste in our wheated bourbon,” said Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller, in a prepared statement that was emailed to us. “We’ve found it offers just a slightly – yet delightfully – different taste that brings us into a new bourbon territory. It will taste like Weller, but with distinct, unique notes that make it stand apart from the other Weller whiskies we’ve released to date.”
Of note with this initial release is that the mashbill is not the only variable in this experiment. It was distilled in the E.H. Taylor, Jr. Microstill, which Wheatley “spent two years custom-designing. A combination pot and column still, the Microstill is both versatile and innovative, allowing the team to experiment with very small batches without interrupting main production capabilities.”
Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat is aged for nearly 12 years and bottled at 94 proof. In what is described as “homage to Daniel’s pioneering journey, each release from the Daniel Weller series is packaged in a clear 750ml glass bottle with a unique compass stopper. Once opened, underneath the stopper one will find the coordinates pinpointing the location of Daniel’s farm near Botland, KY.”
This bourbon will be rolling out in limited quantities across the United States this month at a suggested retail price of around $500 (750ml). It joins the Weller lineup of Weller Special Reserve, Weller Antique 107, Weller 12 Year Old, Weller Full Proof, Weller C.Y.P.B. (“Craft Your Perfect Bourbon”), and Weller Single Barrel as well as William Larue Weller, which is released each fall as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.
With regards to the backstory of the Weller family legacy, Buffalo Trace noted the following: “while William Larue (W.L.) Weller’s place in whiskey history is widely known as one of the first to sell a ‘wheated’ bourbon in Kentucky, his grandfather’s story has yet to be shared. After fighting in The Revolutionary War, Daniel Weller embarked on a flatboat voyage down the Ohio River with his wife and children, ultimately settling in Kentucky in 1794.
“Following in his father Johannes Weller’s footsteps, who distilled rye whiskey used as currency in early American barter economy, he soon began producing whiskey and leased his still to proprietors like Jacob Hirsch to supplement his income.
“When Daniel passed away in 1807, he left no will, requiring his son Samuel to purchase his stills and equipment to continue the family legacy, which he would ultimately pass down to his son William Larue, founder of W.L. Weller & Sons.”
Official tasting notes for Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat mention that “the nose is fresh and nutty, with notes of orange zest, hazelnut, cinnamon and caramel; the palate a well-rounded blend of bold oak, sweet honey and orchard fruits with a complex oak-forward finish complemented by baking spice and leather notes.”
Read the full article at Daniel Weller Debuts As Buffalo Trace’s New Experimental Wheated Bourbon Line Up