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New Weller Millennium (Bourbon?) Label Leaked – what we know so far

New Weller Millennium (Bourbon?) Label Leaked – what we know so far

Last year on May 6, news of Buffalo Trace’s newest addition to the Weller lineup was leaked – Daniel Weller. The enthusiast community went wild with speculation for a short period of time until the press release was leaked almost 30 days after the initial TTB label was filed.

Today, May 2nd, we have another Weller label spotted on the TTB’s website and the hype is expected to be just as big. Why do I say that? Because it doesn’t look like they’re experimenting with any sort of strange grains. Instead, this appears to be really old Weller bourbon bottled at a decent proof.

Before I expand any further, it might be a safe assumption to believe that the beginning of May is now going to be the official month for new Weller products to be announced (or at least leaked). If it happens this way next year, we’ll know for sure.

What we know so far

The rear label seems to indicate that we’re going to see 18, 19, 21 and 24 year old bourbon all batched together. Pending any information that says that the bourbon was tanked years prior, this is going to make this one of the oldest Weller products released thus far. The average age of the batch ends up being 20 (.08) years old.

I’ll just come out and say it; there is a very real comparison that will be made to Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year. The proof will be an extra bonus because while it’s not 100 proof (why don’t they ever want to bottle Weller products at nice, even proofs?), 99 proof is close enough. That’s almost 9 more proof points than PVW20 as well.

Conspiracy Theory Time!

One thing that’s bound to come up among enthusiasts groups is the distinct lack of the word “Bourbon” on the label. The bottom of the label says it is “A Blend of Straight Whiskeys” rather than “A Blend of Straight Bourbons.” Then my friend (Irish) Mike caught the designation that this label was filed under: 129. For reference, here’s what certain designations mean:

101: Straight Bourbon Whisky

120: Straight Whisky Blends

121: Straight Bourbon Whisky Blends

129: Other Straight Blended Whisky

Does this seem to indicate that something is up with how some of the whiskies used in the blend were aged? Possibly in a used barrel? Or does it indicate a different kind of straight whisky was blended in?

UPDATE: My first thought would be that they blended in something like a “wheat whiskey” (which would be made with 51% wheat in the mash bill) to the final batch. But I looked back at the previous experiments we’ve seen from the Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection (BTEC) and could not find any wheat whiskey experiments.

Then my friend James pointed out that leaked Weller picture from back in 2020 – before Weller Single Barrel was released – that seemed to show an upcoming lineup of new Weller bourbons. Remember this?

From left to right: Weller Wheat Whiskey, Cognac Cask, Single Barrel, Non-Chill Filtered and Bottled-in-Bond

This could be our hint that Buffalo Trace had distilled a Wheat Whiskey at some point. The only odd thing in this whole timeline is that if there truly is Wheat Whiskey in this blend, then it was conceptualized a really long time ago. Could this be the 3%, 24-year-old portion of the blend? Or maybe it’s the 18-year-old whiskey that’s 7% of the blend. Stranger things have happened!

For the time being, I’m going to assume that Weller Millennium is only using barrels of wheated bourbon because that is what the Weller line is known for. To have a celebrated brand that’s built its reputation on wheated bourbon, suddenly make a wheat whiskey would be crazy, right? Right?! Oh crap…

What packaging will Weller Millennium Use?

Last year when Daniel Weller was released, many of us were surprised with the new packaging – specifically the new squat bottle. It came with an ornate topper that wore a compass. I would believe that this year’s Weller Millennium release would also come in this same packaging. The TTB label does not show a traditional paper label like the six standard labels of Weller. Instead, the black background surely hints to this being directly placed on the glass. I imagine the emblem remains raised as well.

Do I think the text will be all black? No, but I’m sure we’ll find them using some sort of complimentary color. I did find last year’s Daniel Weller label to blend in a little bit too much to the glass and liquid, making it hard to read. I think this will change a bit this year.

Also, I wonder if they’ll scrap the compass topper for something else, like maybe a mini clock. My reasoning is that “Millennium” has to do with time AND it would be a cheap and easy circular thing to put on the top. Time will tell (pun intended).

When can we expect Weller Millennium to be released?

Last year, after the Daniel Weller label was first noticed on the TTB website (May 6), there was only 30 days between that and when the launch party debuted the bottle in New York City. The bottle was distributed a couple weeks later.

That means the timeline for when we’ll see Weller Millennium is going to be sooner than we might think. I’m expecting that the first bottles will be dropped in mid-June. Expect to never, ever see this bottle on a shelf.

What will Weller Millennium cost?

Daniel Weller shocked us all with a $500 price tag last year. I expect more of the same this year. If Buffalo Trace is bold enough, they may charge even more. It might make sense seeing as how this is almost double the age of Daniel Weller and a little bit higher in proof. We could very realistically see a price of $750.

Secondary prices for Daniel Weller topped $2,000 and now set around $2,300 for a bottle. Expect more of the same for this one. As an aside, the secondary market has been cooling recently. Sellers aren’t getting the ridiculous amounts they’re asking for and few people are buying. So while I fully expect to see the initial bottles sell for ungodly amounts of money, that will just be to the wealthy taters who want to keep their vertical going.

Comparison to Weller Centennial

One final thing I’ll add is the interesting name they chose for this newest Weller label. It’s kind of a throwback to a previous Weller product named Weller Centennial. This bottle was a blend of Stitzel Weller Wheated Bourbon and New Bernheim Wheated Bourbon. Both of which were used in some Pappy Van Winkle products for a short period of time in the mid-to-late 90’s as well.

With that being pointed out, I’m going to predict the next Weller label to wear a period of time on the label. I present to you:

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