Buffalo Trace Launches Experimental Line

Buffalo Trace Distillery said it launched Daniel Weller: an experimental line exploring the impact of different strains of wheat on its storied bourbons, inspired by and named after the trailblazer of the Weller family.

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.

The Daniel Weller experimental line is inspired by Daniel and his pioneering spirit, with plans to release one limited expression every other year, when each experiment is deemed ready for bottling by Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. 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. Archaeologists have found evidence of Emmer wheat domestication over 6,000 years ago, and its symbol is etched into the Egyptian pyramids.

“We began this experiment to see how one of the original, long-forgotten wheat strains would taste in our wheated bourbon,” says Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller. “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.”

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.

Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat will be rolling out in limited quantities to its distributor network,  which will ship to select retailers, bars and restaurants across the U.S. as of June 2023 at a suggested retail price of $499.99 (750ml); state taxes will vary per market.