Weller Brand Gets Makeover

Buffalo Trace (Sazerac) continues their quest of brand redesign. Today, BT received approval for a redesigned Weller 12, Old Weller Antique and Weller Special Reserve. While the Weller brands received a huge surge in popularity over the last three years the labels remained the same. I’m sure they’ll continue to be the same great (impossible to find) bourbons.

If you’re not familiar with the Weller bourbons they’re a wheated bourbon made by Buffalo Trace. The Weller 12 year is a great bourbon that retails for around $35. Unfortunately, it’s the identical mash bill as Pappy Van Winkle and has received some trickle down craziness.


Weller 12
OWA
Weller SR

What does this mean for the Weller brand? Probably not a lot. It does kill the rumor that Weller 12 is losing its age statement. I hope this doesn’t increase the price of older label Weller 12. Nothing is changing about the bourbon. Only the label changed. But, I’m sure there will be some sucker willing to fork out $$$ for an “old label weller.”

What do you think? Do you like the new label?

66 comments

    Since the labels are currently invisible, anything will be an improvement as long as they are visible on the shelf.. After all, it’s not the label that matters, but what’s in the bottle and it’s availability!!

    Like the old label better. However it really won’t make a difference to me because I will still buy every bottle I can find. And no not to sell butto consume.

    I hear that! Unfortunately, the bourbon drinkers are all tagged as flippers now….as soon as we walk into a store, we are ALL under “suspicion”…. even worse when we ask about or seek a higher end bottle….I always get “the look”, when I walk over to the bourbon/whiskey section of ANY liquor store in this country…… smdh.

    The old look is great, until you get closer and realize what looks painted on is just a clear plastic sticker. A paper label glued on would be a major improvement I have to say. On an unrelated topic….GO PATS

    I was fortunate to grab a dozen Antiques from my local retailer a few weeks ago (he’s in BT’s ‘barrel select’ program and did a barrel of 107, god love him). Yesterday Waze brought me home on a new route past a large store and I stopped in to check…plenty of 107 and Special Reserve (which I stocked up on), but -both- had locks atttached to each bottle…in fact they were the only items in the entire store that I saw locks on. Madness.

    Now that I’ve seen this post about new labels I’m heading back to buy the rest of what’s on the shelf.

    Don’t really care about the labels. Make the same Great tasting Bourbon and make it easy to get ! I was lucky enough to score two bottles of the 12 year last week. Which is unheard of in Michigan. Waiting to score an OLD WELLER ANTIQUE so I can try mixing these two great bourbons

    That’s a terrible trade come to Chicago not far from Michigan where OWA 107 store pick single barrels are everywhere and special reserve collects dust. 12 yr gone as soon as it hits shelves. Those Michigan bottles have a january bottling date so don’t expect any more this year wth current (soon to be old) labels

    Man, I’d love to get hold of some of those OWA store picks…they’re usually quite good. If you were willing to mess with it, I’d be happy to trade/compensate for a few. Let me know.

    That’s tempting, but I already drank 1/2 of one. Saving the other till I find a 107. Thanks for the offer though. I’ve read on one of my Bourbon Blogs, if you mix 60% 12 yr. and 40% 107. it’s the closest thing to Pappy. In fact I believe it’s called the Poor Man’s Pappy. I’ll just sip my Knob Creek 120 single barrel till I find an Antique.

    Old Weller’s Antique is my favorite (somewhat accessible) pour. Blanton’s when I can’t get Weller’s. Cannot find it in Ohio, but stop in Kentucky when I pass through.

    Set a couple of good, experienced friends up with a blind taste test:

    1. Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    2. E.H. Taylor’s Single Barrel
    3. John J. Bowman’s Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    4. Old Weller’s Antique

    They picked Weller’s out hands down and wondered where it had been all their lives.

    The old labels are fine and entirely recognizable. I’m an 80 yo old fart, and, of course, I’m not particularly fond of change unless it really is an improvement. The present labels don’t seem to hinder sales…so, what’s the point? I thoroughly enjoy wheated bourbons, and, so, the change in labels will not alter my bourbon preferences, at all. Interstingly, for most, sense of taste is different almost every day. Until it became dang near impossible to get, before sipping one of my various bottles of Pappy, I would sip a little Weller 12 before diving into a Pappy to make sure my taster was in shape. Not any more. WLW 12 is simply too tasty/valuable in its own right.

    I like the new labels since it is easier to read then the clear plastic ones. As long as what’s inside the bottle does not change.

    I like tradition, but having said that I’ll echo the sentiments above! Improve allocations, keep the bourbon as it is, and don’t worry about label’s!

    I found a random bottle of Blanton’s last night on the shelf at my local store, but haven’t been able to find an Antique 107 on any shelf at the half dozen or so stores I frequent in nearly 6 months. I hope they were holding back the Weller trying to clear the shelves (i know how ridiculous that sounds..) of the old label and we’ll start seeing it again. This is getting really old.

    Doubtful. Your theory doesn’t make any sense to me. My guess is that it’s just that the Weller brand is under a ton of pressure, they have limited stocks, and the big bumps in production are still years down the road.

    The current labels, while not graphic masterpieces, are far more elegant than the new ones.

    It’s purely a money decision. The new labels will cost a 10th of the existing labels and facilitate the use of automatic bottle labeling equipment.

    Sorry to see. At least three other Bourbons have finally put Pappy to where he belongs! Looks like Buffalo Trace is doing everything they can to increase revenue.

    I’ve never tasted the label…lol, so, as long as the 12 Year Old, and Special Reserve drinks the same, as in flavor, to me it doesn’t matter the label.

    I like the new, more classy and elegant labels very much but LOVE the suddenly “old” labels on the bottles in my stash.

    When something that’s not broken gets fixed, it usually means someone figured out a way to squeeze out a few more $$. Weller’s rep and value didn’t come from the label. Don’t change it.

    A picture of labels not on bottles is difficult to compare to the existing labels. Is the bottle shape changing? Reserve judgement, just want to be able to buy it!

    Loved the look of the old label with the full W.L. Weller name. The downside is the old plastic “film” labels always bubbled or puckered up on the bottles I’ve bought in the last couple years. Just bought a 12 year today and it’s bubbled up too.

    The old labels are fine. Why change labels if you are not changing the contents. It is just some mid-level exec trying to justify his paygrade and trying to be “cool” to the next generation. If it was good enough for my grandfather, it is good enough for me. Some folks take great stock in their labels/logos–ie.–Mercedes Benz, Coca Cola, and Rolls-Royce, to name a few. Brand identification and customer loyalty have always been important aspects of marketing a product. As the old adage goes, “Why mess with something when it is working fine!!” But since this change looks like a done deal, I say, “Cheers to all of us Weller-drinkers, new label or old”. JT

    Yup…it’s tough finding one that’s reasonably priced…..seems they’re all allocated these days. NO longer shelved…..Wonder what bottle(s) we should be bunkering to avoid what became of these?

    Now all the bottles will look the same in my opinion. Why not leave well enough alone. It’s what’s inside the bottle that counts! Now I will have to look twice to make sure I’m buying the correct bottle. Really, if I can find them, I’ll buy all three!

    The old labels were nice, traditional. The 12 YO was printed on the bottle wasn’t it. New labels are I guess. Now if only I could find the bourbon. Bill

    Agree. Why change if more brand recognition isn’t needed. Oh well…marketing decisions in the here and now with a splash of Coke.

    I really don’t care about the label. What I would like to see is enough Weller 12 to go around so I can find it in my local stores. That would be a welcome and significant change. Changing the label on something we can’t find, who cares!

    The new labels really don’t move the needle in my opinion. Would rather see a cork instead of screw top. Oh and of course just MORE of the glorious liquid (especially 12yr)!!

    I live how all of you hipster wannabes (Blake included) are so worried about duster bourbons. Only one of these three is worth drinking on the regular. Buffalo Trace is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Don’t see any reason to change labels but hey—-they didn’t ask me or you, did they? Doesn’t really matter anyway because you have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding any of it on the shelf—–except Special Reserve. Blanton’s beats it out anyway—–quit looking and enjoy some bourbon.

    Well, Blake, looks like there are quite a few Weller’s fanciers out there!
    I agree with the heavy majority. The proposed labels look cheap compared to the existing ones.
    ANY Weller’s is “Hen’s-teeth” in s/e Mich. Some local stores have simply given up
    on expecting anything with Weller on the bottle!
    A tip for any of you with (trustworthy) friends or relatives in TEXAS. A B.Trace source
    advised me last year that TEXAS gets an inordinate share of Weller labels, for whatever reason.
    Go fetch !

    I dunno. I’m 100% okay with the labels looking cheap. That might deter some buyers who base their buying decisions on the label and not the stuff inside.

    i so much prefer the old labels.
    what i don’t prefer is the screw top. for whatever reason, i prefer to have a cork in my bottle. i know, cork is harder to come by these days (my other expensive hobby is high-end fishing tackle). it would also require a redesign of the bottle itself. anyone know if the new labels will be coming with a refactoring of the bottle itself?

    The new labels are selling for $50.00 apiece,
    If you want the label on a bottle it will be $100.00, if you want the bottle filled with 12 year old bourbon it will be $200.00!!

    these “old labels” are about 8-10 years old. search for weller special reserve on google and see the old white paper label that was used just a handful of years ago. refreshing packaging is something liquor brands do all the time. not really worth getting all worked up about. just this year, wild turkey, jim beam and several others have updated their labels as well.

    As long as it’s just the labels that are changing, i wont lose any sleep….although I hear sometimes, change is good. I have A LOT of the Weller secondary bottles (12 yr.old, ,Antique and Reserve) in my “bunker”…..but wouldn’t turn down a few more this season if I’m lucky enough to find them resonably priced in the *WILD*!

    Got a bottle of Weller 12 (1.75L) yesterday and the label is ugly. Just a plastic sticker slapped on. I’ll respectfully disagree with those that say it’s what’s inside that counts. It is like splurging on a nice restaurant. They have great food but it is all just piled up together on a white Corelle plate. Presentation is part of the experience. The older Weller offerings had great labels that beautifully brought alive the sense of its heritage. They knew he first rule of bottling a premium bottle of bourbon – put a picture of an old guy on it. And the Old Weller had two old dudes on it so you just knew it was great. Now the label is blech and so is the stuff inside (at least in comparison, it isn’t bad at all on it’s own).

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