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4 Best Whiskeys to Buy Instead of Weller 12 Year

Weller 12

Weller 12 Year has a reputation for being one of those rare and ultra-sought-after bourbons on the market. This is especially true now, after its brief cameo on the hit TV show Yellowstone. More than ever, consumers can’t get enough of this coveted whiskey.

But is it worth the hype? While it’s true this bourbon has received high marks from critics across the board, there are other whiskeys out there that are just as good and much easier to track down and afford.

So, if you are looking for Weller 12 but keep coming up short, we have a few alternatives. These whiskeys have many similar qualities as the Dutton family’s favorite 12-year-old — and you’ll be much more likely to find them.

Best Whiskeys to Replace Weller 12 Year

Bernheim Wheat Whiskey

Weller 12

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Bernheim sits atop the ever-growing wheat whiskey craze. Despite its competition, this particular whiskey has maintained its reputation and continues to be a top pick among connoisseurs.

This whiskey has won multiple gold medals from numerous competitions but still flies largely under the radar, making it far easier to find than Weller, not to mention significantly cheaper.

Bernheim and Weller 12 Similarities:

  • Taste: Both are sweet and without tons of heat, making them smooth and great for sipping neat.
  • Mashbill: While Weller’s exact mashbill is undisclosed, it is a wheated bourbon, while Bernheim is a wheat whiskey. So, if the smooth sweetness of Weller is what you seek, you’re sure to enjoy Bernheim, which turns that aspect up several notches.
  • ABV: Both are bottled at 45% ABV (90 proof).

Bernheim and Weller 12 Differences:

  • Distillery: Weller is distilled by Buffalo Trace, while Heaven Hill distills Bernheim. Both are award-winning Kentucky distilleries. If you are a fan of other notable Heaven Hill brands like Old Fitzgerald or Larceny, you’ll be in good company with Bernheim.
  • Price: With the scarcity (and now novelty) of Weller 12, finding a bottle under $150 has become difficult. Bernheim, on the other hand, can be found for less than $40.
  • Availability: The nice thing about Bernheim is that it is easily found. If you can’t find it at your local liquor store, you can easily find it online.
  • Age: While Weller has the leg up on Bernheim regarding age (12 years), Bernheim isn’t a super young bourbon either, clocking in at seven years.

Knob Creek 12 Year

Weller 12

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If you’ve been able to try Weller 12 and have noticed and loved the fruity notes of the bourbon, Knob Creek 12 Year will be a great alternative for you.

This release from Knob Creek became available in 2020 but has made a big impact since then, as it has been well-received by critics and Beam fans alike.

Knob Creek 12 and Weller 12 Similarities:

  • Taste: Both Knob Creek 12 and Weller 12 have fruity flavors and are also both notably sweet bourbons.
  • Age: Both have been aged 12 years.

Knob Creek 12 and Weller 12 Differences:

  • Mashbill: Weller 12 is a wheated bourbon, so while it is still made up primarily of corn, wheat is another star player in this whiskey. Knob Creek bourbon, however, is a blend of corn, malted barley and rye, so it doesn’t have that wheat. However, it gets plenty of sweetness from the corn.
  • ABV: Knob Creek has a higher ABV than Weller. Weller 12 sits at 45% ABV, while Knob Creek 12 is bottled at 50% ABV.
  • Price: Knob Creek 12 is typically found for about $60, making it a much cheaper option
  • Availability: Unlike Weller 12, Knob Creek is found pretty much everywhere liquor is sold. You won’t need to order it online and overpay or hope for the best. It should be readily available on the shelves of almost any liquor store.

Old Elk Wheated Bourbon

Weller 12

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Aged for five years and distilled in Indiana before being bottled in Colorado, this whiskey is overflowing with complex flavors, with notes of toffee, pepper, light tobacco and fruit all layered over a hint of oak.

This is another wheated bourbon that has scored well among critics.

Old Elk Wheated Bourbon and Weller 12 Similarities:

  • Taste: Old Elk and Weller offer drinkers a sweet, fruity flavor profile.
  • Mashbill: Both are wheated bourbons.
  • ABV: Similar proofs, with Old Elk bottled at 46% against Weller’s 45% mark.

Old Elk Wheated Bourbon and Weller 12 Differences:

  • Age: Old Elk is significantly younger than Weller 12, aged only five years.
  • Availability: While Old Elk Wheated Bourbon might not necessarily be easy to find locally, it is widely available at online retailers.
  • Distillery: Old Elk Wheated Bourbon is distilled in Indiana and bottled in Colorado, unlike its Kentucky bourbon counterpart. While not a huge deal, climate does play a part in the aging process and could be noticeable.
  • Price: Both are on the pricier side, with Old Elk retailing for $75. Old Elk is still likely to be less expensive, however, given Weller’s extensive markups in most stores.

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel

Weller 12

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Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel is a bourbon that stands out from the standard oaky and spicier bourbons.

It’s remarkably light, similar to Weller, but with doughy and fruity nuances that make it sweet. Everything you’d expect a wheat bourbon to be, this single-barrel release has plenty of character and delivers a smoothness that Weller fans will love.

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel and Weller 12 Similarities:

  • Taste: Both are light and fruity with a bit of creaminess.
  • Mashbill: Both are wheated bourbons.
  • Price: Both bourbons will be priced well above the $100 mark.
  • Age: While Weller is older, Rebel Yell clocks in at 10 years, making it a similarly mature bourbon.

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel and Weller 12 Differences:

  • ABV: Rebel Yell is bottled at 50% ABV, making it more powerful than the 90-proof Weller.
  • Availability: Rebel Yell can be ordered from any major online retailer.
  • Type: Rebel is a single barrel release, while Weller 12 is a batched release

Weller 12 Year Qualities to Look for in Other Bourbons

As you continue looking for other bourbons to add to your collection, it’s important that you consider what it is about Weller 12 that makes it so desirable.

The first quality is complexity; paired with the token softness and sweatness that wheat in the mashbill tends to add. Also important is a balance of flavors, with a light sweetness and fruity notes coming through without overpowering each other.

Thankfully, there are more 12-year-old whiskeys out there waiting to be brought home than there used to be, and some may surprise you, even if they aren’t as well-known as Weller.

Ultimately, these qualities will make any bourbon — not just Weller 12 — worth the purchase.

Tips for Tracking Down Rare Whiskeys Like Weller 12 Year

If you’re someone who is truly in it for the chase, we’ve got some tips for finding those unicorn bottles.

Start by looking at the catalogs of specialty spirits purveyors or trying your hand at some online auctions; certain bottles just can’t be found anywhere else.

Understand that some brands keep specific releases under wraps — so don’t be discouraged if your search takes longer than expected. The thrill of leaving no stone unturned as you search for other rarities is part of the fun and will make the moment when you finally track down that bottle you’ve had your heart set on even sweeter. Developing a relationship with a local store is a great idea if you’re looking for rare bourbon, but aren’t in it solely for releases like Pappy, etc.

Additionally, participating in private whiskey groups or tasting societies is also an excellent way to stay in the know while potentially scoring a bottle that other whiskey enthusiasts would love to get their hands on. Or, check out a local bar. Pours won’t be the absolute best bang for your buck, but they’re a great way to try a whiskey before you purchase (or hunt) for a full version.

Finally, Do your research on online liquor stores that specialize in bourbons and whiskeys; these shops often have rotating stock and can provide access to premium bottles you may not be able to find elsewhere.

Here at Whiskey Raiders, we do more than write about current events in Whiskey. We are the only media property reviewing whiskeys and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the whiskey world in one place. We also scour the internet daily in search of the best whiskey deals out there. If you’re interested in having a great whiskey deal and the latest news and reviews delivered to your inbox each morning, sign up for our Daily Deal Newsletter!

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