The New Weller Bourbon Line Features an Unusual Grain

A new line of bourbon named after Daniel Weller will feature emmer wheat, an ancient grain that you'll rarely find in today's whiskey world

A stock photo of emmer wheat, an ancient grain that's finding new life in a Weller bourbon line
We can only guess that the new whiskies will be in very high demand

Any whiskey bottle with Weller printed on it is in high demand these days, so it’s no surprise that parent company Sazerac is debuting a new line with that legacy name front and center. However, a few things about the upcoming bourbon line stand out — most prominently in the mashbill. Per Bourbon Culture, the new bourbon is named after Daniel Weller, who fought in the Revolutionary War and later became a farmer-distiller (he was also the grandfather of William Larue Weller, who Buffalo Trace‘s whiskey line is named after). The really interesting part of this new Weller Bourbon, however, is that the recipe utilizes emmer wheat, an Egyptian grain used in beer and bread that’s not very common in today’s stills.

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According to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, emmer is ancient two-rowed hulled wheat that is also known as farro in Europe; it’s high in protein and utilized in bread products primarily, remaining popular in Italy. The flavor has been described as “hearty and robust, with a delicate, nutty sweetness.” It’s also apparently more sustainable than other wheat and grows better in arid conditions — one reason Dry Land Distillers in Colorado recently started a whiskey project touting emmer as part of its ongoing heirloom grains project.

So, what’s it gonna taste like? No clue yet, though Bourbon Culture does know it’ll be 47% ABV and aged at least four years, based on the label they uncovered (the whiskey will also be housed in 375ml bottles). They’re also guessing, based on Buffalo Trace’s distilling history, that the new expression will be distilled to 130 proof and the barrel entry proof will be 114, while the barrels used will probably be given a char level #4 treatment.

And finally, one speculation about the new Weller Bourbon line might as well be stated as fact: “I’m also 100% sure that flippers will be selling the first bottles for $900 on the secondary [market],” says Bourbon Culture. Very true.


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