North Carolina has a fickle relationship with products from the Buffalo Trace Distiller, and the Weller Lineup of wheated bourbon is no exception. Among the curiosities of this allocated distribution chain has, for years, been the absence of the W.L. Weller line’s entry-level option: Weller Special Reserve. NC residents may not have to wait much longer, though. It may not be long before bourbon collectors can find the affordable Weller Special Reserve in North Carolina.
Weller Special Reserve
The green-label Weller Special reserve is the bottom-shelf, entry level expression of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s “Original Wheated Bourbon”. Weller SR is non-age stated and bottled at 90 Proof (45% ABV). In comparison, Weller 12 Year is also 90 proof but (obviously) aged a minimum of 12 years. Other expressions like Weller Antique 107 and Weller Full Proof come in at 107 Proof (53.5% ABV) and 114 Proof (57% ABV) respectively.
Weller Special Reserve is a popular shelf grab in many states because it makes a great cocktail mixer or daily drinker, usually retailing below $30 for a 750mL bottle (but also often comes in larger bottles).
Can You Buy Weller Special Reserve in North Carolina?
At least in recent years, Weller Special Reserve has not been distributed from its Kentucky distillery to North Carolina. The NC ABC system supposed has a strange relationship with Buffalo Trace Distillery and their allocated bourbons, but that may all just be rumor.
We watch the NC ABC stock lists and special packages lists very closely, however, and were pleased to see Weller Special Reserve pop up in that “Special Packages” category on June 23, 2021. By the looks of things, North Carolina is expecting to sell Weller SR at a standard retail price of $29.80 in ABC stores across the state. As of now, no stock of this whiskey has been reported to have arrived in the state.
It’s unclear whether or not this will be a highly allocated whiskey or not. If it’s available for more than just special order, it will surely fly off the shelves on name recognition alone. I expect the state demand will be similar to that of Buffalo Trace, an equally affordable bourbon that’s not actually easy to get in North Carolina. Certainly some ABC boards will withhold selling bottles in lieu of lotteries, on brand recognition a lone.
If in-person hunting isn’t working out, you might be able to find it (at a premium) through online retailers like Nestor Liquors.
Regardless of the distribution channels, it’s good news for whiskey and bourbon lovers in North Carolina to see more good whiskey distributed to the state. If you want updates on when Weller Special Reserve arrives in North Carolina, subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Instagram.