The Weller brand is a very old one, with the Weller family distilling back into the early 1800s. William Larue Weller, born in 1825, started producing his W.L. Weller bourbon brand in the 1840s, which became very popular. In 1893, Julius “Pappy” Van Winkle joined the Weller company as a salesman. W.L. Weller died in 1899, and in 1908 along with Alex T Farnsley he purchased the Weller company. A. Ph. Stitzel had been contract distilling for Weller, and in 1933 the companies joined to become Stitzel-Weller. Their famous distillery opened in 1935 and made Weller products (as well as Old Fitzgerald and other brands) under its wheated bourbon recipe until it was closed in 1992. The brand was purchased by Buffalo Trace in 1999, where it is made today. See also the Stitzel-Weller timeline for more info.

 

Photo libraries, in ascending order by bottling year

Weller Special Reserve Bonded, 1936-1943

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Old Weller Original 5yr 106pf, 4/5qt – 1951

Photos courtesy of Brian Lovejoy

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Weller Antique Reserve 10yr 110pf, 1962

Photos courtesy of Zac Pencikowski

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Weller Antique Reserve 10yr 110pf, 1962 – Leo “Roundy” Coughlin

Labeled for “Roundy” Coughlin, a noted Wisconsin sports journalist from the 1940s-1960s.

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Weller Special Reserve 8yr Bonded, 1956-1964

An excellent example of a bottle that is rarely seen these days. Photos courtesy of Eli Spitzner.

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Old Weller Original 7yr 107pf, 4/5qt – 1964

Photos courtesy of Brian Lovejoy

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Weller Special Reserve Half Pint “Pony Bottle”, 1966

Images courtesy of Kurt Suda

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Weller Special Reserve Bonded 8yr, 1958-1966

Photos courtesy of Daniel Cowell

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Weller Antique Reserve 10yr 110pf, 1967

Photos courtesy of Josh C.

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Old Weller Original 7yr 107pf, 4/5qt – 1969

Photos courtesy of Brian Lovejoy

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Weller Special Reserve 6yr, 4/5qt, 1970

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Old Weller Original 7yr 107pf, pint, ~1970

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Weller Special Reserve 90pf, 1/2 pint, ~1971

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Weller’s Cabin Still 5yr 86pf ~1971

This early version was distilled by Stitzel Weller, before having the Cabin Still brand contract distilled elsewhere.

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Old Weller Original 107pf, 1972

Note the image of Pappy on the label, and below him the plaque at Stitzel-Weller reading “But always fine bourbon.”

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Weller Antique Reserve 110pf, 4/5qt, 1972

Inside the box, this bottle came wrapped in a faux “newspaper” featuring a Weller ad.

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Old Weller Original 107pf, 4/5qt, 1973

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Old Weller Original 107pf, 4/5qt – 760ml, 1974

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Old Weller Original 107pf, 4/5qt, 1977

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Old Weller Original 7yr 107pf, 750ml ~1979

Photos courtesy of Ted Doggett.

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Old Weller Original 107pf, 750ml, 1981

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Weller Special Reserve 90pf NAS, Liter, ~1986

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Weller Special Reserve 7yr 90pf, 375ml – 1989

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Weller Centennial 10 yr BHC, 750ml, Louisville

The year on this is actually unknown. There’s no year on the bottle glass, and it has a government warning, so that would put it some time between 1989 and 1999 when the brand was sold to Buffalo Trace and the city was changed from Louisville to Frankfort on the label.

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Weller Special Reserve 7yr Louisville, liter, 1995

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Weller Centennial Frankfort, BHC and gold cap

The Weller Centennial came out as a part of the Bourbon Heritage Collection, and originally had Louisville on the label. Later the label changed to Frankfort but kept the BHC logo on the cap, and the final version had Frankfort on the label and only a gold capsule.

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Very Old Fitzgerald / Weller Leatherette Display Boxes

Several Very Old Fitzgerald varieties (as well as Old Fitzgerald 1849 and some Weller bottles) have been found encased in sturdy leatherette display-type cases complete with shot glasses and keys for the locking mechanism. The history seems murky on which bottles came with which boxes originally. I’ve been told that they may have been sold separately from the bottles, and that the design of the case didn’t necessarily match up to a particular whiskey. Another theory is that at some point in the 1960s the boxes were offered with any Old Fitzgerald that was 10 years or older. At some point in the 1970s these were replaced with a simple clear plastic box that contained the bottle.
If anybody has boxes not represented here I’d love photos.

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Weller 12yr 90pf, Binny’s Single Barrel, 2004

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Weller 12yr, 750ml, 2005

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Weller 12yr, Kentucky Barrel Society Single Barrel, 2005

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Weller 12yr, Binny’s Single Barrel ~2009

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