William Larue Weller
A true distilling pioneer, W.L. Weller is credited with being the first distiller to produce Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey using wheat instead of rye in the mash bill. Weller’s original “wheated bourbons” became extremely popular, with a softer, smoother taste. They were so popular, in fact, it’s been said that Weller was forced to put a green thumbprint on his invoices and barrels to ensure that customers were receiving the real deal.
After serving in the War with Mexico as a member of the Louisville Brigade in the 1840s, Weller returned to Louisville to take part in a family tradition of whiskey distilling. After the introduction of his original wheated bourbon in 1849, Weller, along with his brother, founded a very successful bourbon trading company. Weller marketed his product with the slogan, “Honest Whiskey at an Honest Price.”
Weller’s namesake company eventually went on to merge with Pappy Van Winkle’s A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery to form the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, becoming renowned for such brands as W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell and Cabin Still.
Weller’s legacy continues to be honored with the production of top-notch, award-winning wheated brands of bourbon, including the W.L. Weller 12 Year, W.L. Weller Special Reserve and W.L. Weller 107 Antique.