What are Wheated Bourbon and Wheat Whisky?

Written by Peoples Bourbon Review Staff |
Published on:

All whiskeys are made from a combination of grains which is known as a mash bill. What makes them different is the ratio of the different grains that go into the manufacturing and distilling of the finals products. Also, the kind of barrel used in aging, the fermentation period, and the place of distillation makes the whiskeys different.

For instance, wheated bourbon is an American whiskey that requires 51% corn to be called bourbon. This leaves room for other grains to be incorporated in the drink covering the 49%, ranging from malt, rye, and wheat defending with the distiller's choice. Therefore, wheated bourbon opts for wheat to provide flavoring in the place where rye is normally used.

From left to right: wheat, rye, barley, and oats

What happened is that when brewers first started making bourbon, wheat was quite an expensive ingredient making them opt for rye to provide flavoring as it was more affordable. The malt is used as it has enzymes that enable the conversion of starch to sugar which aid in raiding the alcohol level of the beer. That's how the corn, malt, and rye traditional recipe of bourbon came to exist.


While the rye offers a more bold or spicy taste, wheated bourbon is known to have a smooth and sweeter feel as you gulp it down.

On the other hand, Wheat whiskey is made by following the same procedure as the bourbon, only that the wheat will take center stage at 51%, unlike the bourbon, which takes 51% corn. Depending on the manufacturer, wheat whiskey may have up to 100% wheat.

The Best Wheat Whiskey To Try Out

It's no secret that wheat gives a more subtle and mild taste to the whiskey. This is evident from the popularity gained by pappy van winkle since their introduction to the market. Here is a list of the best wheat whiskey to grab when you stagger to that liquor store for whiskey lovers.

1. Cedar Ridge Wheat Whiskey

This is made by the Cedar Ridge manufacturers, and its distinction is because of the white wheat, which is a deviation from the usual red winter wheat. And also, during aging, a more light char was gone into the barrel, which is also a deviation. All this helps to accentuate the floral side of the wheat, making it go into your list of drinks.

2. Bernheim Original

Originating from the Louisville distillers, they have never made public the percentage of wheat that goes into making this sweet brew. It's among the beloved consisting the aging period was raised from 5-7 years.

3. Middle West Spirits OYO Wheat Whiskey

This one originates from Ohio and has a bottling proof of 102. It is said to have 100% wheat and undergone several years of aging in new barrels. The finishing has the drink going into sherry casks for up to 18 months. The end product is a blend of the smoothness from the wheat and the taste of dried Sherries, making it unique.

Other brands include the Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey and the Topo Eight Oak Carolina Whiskey.

The Best Wheated Bourbons

As earlier mentioned, these are different from the traditional bourbons as they swapped corn for wheat. Some of the wheated bourbons have become such a hit in the market as the Pappy Van Winkle. Other brands entail the:

  • Old Fitzgerald
  • Maker's Mark
  • Larceny Bourbon
  • W. L Weller
  • Rebel Yell
  • Redemption Wheated
Author: Peoples Bourbon Review Staff
The People's Bourbon Review - The ultimate Bourbon reviews and tasting notes by enthusiasts and the people.


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