The simplest way to divide your bourbons is by the secondary grain.
Bourbon has to be at least 51% corn, and most are around 70%. The secondary grain is usually rye, but a handful of bourbon producers use wheat instead, yielding a less spicy, less floral, less sour bourbon. Wheated bourbons, or “wheaters,” have a softer and often nutty flavor.
Personally, my favorite bourbons are wheated, including the notoriously hard to find Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, and the best value bottle on the market, Old Fitzgerald 86 proof, which runs less than $10 a bottle.
To the best of my knowledge, this is a comprehensive list of wheated bourbons grouped by distillery. If you know better, please post whatever I am missing in the comments!
Buffalo Trace Distillery
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year (107 proof)
- Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year (90.4 proof)
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 year (95.6 proof)
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 year (90.4 proof)
- Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 year (107 proof)
- Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 year (90 proof)
- W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7 year (90 proof)
- Old Weller Antique 7 year (107 proof)
- W.L. Weller 12 Year (90 proof )
- William LaRue Weller [2010 release] 12 year (126.6 proof)
- Old Fitzgerald year not stated (80 and 86 proof)
- Old Fitzgerald 12 year (90 proof)
- Old Fitzgerald Very Special 12 year (90 proof)
- Old Fitzgerald’s 1849 8 year ( 90 proof)
- Very Old Fitzgerald 8 year (100 proof)
- Very Very Old Fitzgerald 12 year (100 proof)
- Old Fitzgerald [Green label] 6 year (100 Proof)
- Rebel Yell 4 year (80 proof)
- Rebel Reserve 4 year (90.6 proof)
- Cabin Still 4 year (80 proof)
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
To my knowledge, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey is the only “straight wheat whiskey” (at least 51% wheat).
Photo by NDSU Ag Comm