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Wheat-Forward Whiskeys Under $60 That You Should Know

When it comes to bourbon, the main ingredient is corn, which has to make up at least 51% of the mash bill. That’s usually followed by rye and barley. But some iconic brands — most notably Pappy Van Winkle and W.L. Weller — are known for their liberal use of wheat over rye. The result is a softer, sweeter whiskey, without the peppery spice of rye.

These wheat-forward bourbon expressions are called — no huge surprise here — wheated bourbons. They’re not to be confused with “wheat whiskeys,” where the mash bill must be comprised of at least 51% wheat. In either case, the more wheat included in the recipe, the mellower and (*gulp* this is a much-hated word in whiskey writing) smoother the final product will typically be (aging is also a big factor here).

That smoothness means that wheat-heavy whiskey expressions are often incredibly welcoming to newbies. They’re the bottles you keep on hand to introduce your friends and family to the slow-sipping style of drinking. We’ve highlighted 10 of our favorite wheaty bottles for your bar cart, below. Click their prices to order them online.

Bainbridge Battle Point Whiskey

Bainbridge

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $50

The Story:

This single-grain whiskey is made exclusively from estate-grown white wheat. Made in a similar style to Scotch whisky, it’s distilled two times before being matured for two years in charred, new American oak casks. The result is a soft, sweet, easy-drinking whiskey that definitely deserves a spot on your home bar cart.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll be greeted with the aromas of dried cherries, vanilla beans, and a nice herbal backbone. The palate is swirling with toasted oak, brown sugar, subtle cinnamon, and just a hint of salted caramel. The finish is long, warming, and ends with a nice kick of buttery vanilla.

Bottom Line:

Bainbridge Battle Point has been named the world’s best wheat whiskey three times at the World Whiskies Awards. This alone should be enough to motivate you to grab a bottle or two.

Larceny Small Batch Bourbon

Larceny

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $25

The Story:

Larceny is a brand committed to maintaining the tradition of using wheat (as opposed to rye) as the second grain (to corn) in their mash bill. Larceny Small batch is matured for six years in charred, new American oak casks. Casks are hand-selected by the Master Distiller for their soft, sweet, rich flavor.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the scents of fresh-baked bread, caramel, and brown sugar. On the palate, you’ll find sweet clover honey, sticky toffee pudding, and toasted vanilla beans. It all ends with a nice, rounded, soft, sweet finish, featuring notes of caramelized sugar.

Bottom Line:

This award-winning bourbon is way cheaper than it should be. It’s complex, sweet, and exceedingly mellow.

McKenzie Bottled in Bond Wheated Bourbon

Finger Lakes Distilling

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $45

The Story:

This wheated bourbon comes from Finger Lakes Distilling, a farm distillery located in New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. The distillery is well-known for its variety of spirits, but its Bottled In Bond Wheated Bourbon just might be its best. Made with 70% locally sourced corn, 20% winter wheat, and 10% malted barley, it’s aged in new, charred oak casks for four years.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of candied pecans, molasses, and fresh-baked bread. Take a sip and you’ll be greeted with flavors of charred oak, ripe cherries, milk chocolate, and sweet treacle. It ends with a mixture of freshly brewed coffee and vanilla beans.

Bottom Line:

This bottle might not be as easy to find as some of the others on this list. If you spot it, we implore you to buy a few bottles. You definitely won’t regret your purchase.

Dry Fly Straight Washington Wheat Whisky

Dry Fly

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $40

The Story:

Dry Fly was the first licensed distillery in Washington State post-Prohibition. Its small-batch, hand-sealed wheat whiskey is made from 100% Washington State wheat, distilled in copper pot stills, and aged for three years in new, charred American oak barrels.

Tasting Notes:

Give this whiskey a proper nosing and you’ll find notes of caramel apples, charred oak, and just a hint of citrus zest. On the sip, you’ll be met with a symphony of buttery caramel, rich brown sugar, and spicy cinnamon. It all ends with a pleasing combination of sweetness and heat.

Bottom Line:

Dry Fly has gained a reputation in the Pacific Northwest for its high-quality whiskeys. If you haven’t tried the brand yet, now is the time to grab a bottle of this soft, rather sweet expression.

Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey

Heaven Hill

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $33

The Story:

One of the first wheated whiskeys produced since Prohibition, this 100% wheat whiskey is named for the well-known Bernheim Distillery, located in Louisville. It was aged for seven years in charred, virgin oak barrels in open-air barrel houses. The result is a smooth, well-rounded, highly sippable whiskey.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find scents of clover honey, toasted vanilla beans, and a nice hit of butterscotch pudding. The palate is dominated by blackberries, treacle, buttery caramel, and just the right amount of spicy cinnamon. The finish is warming, medium in length, and ends with a final note of charred oak and caramel sweetness.

Bottom Line:

You might have never heard of this wheated whiskey, but if you’re a fan of soft, highly drinkable whiskeys you should quickly get acquainted with it.

Oregon Spirit Wheat Whiskey

Oregon Spirit Distillers

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $39.99

The Story:

This award-winning whiskey from Oregon Spirit Distillers is made with a base of winter wheat. But unlike most wheat whiskeys, the mash bill also contains rye and malted barley. It’s aged in new, charred American oak barrels for four years.

Tasting Notes:

Breathe in the aromas of caramel apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup before taking a sip. On the palate, you’ll find notes of buttery caramel, charred vanilla beans, sweet honey, and spicy cinnamon. It all ends in a crescendo of toasted marshmallows and peppery rye.

Bottom Line:

While still mellow and soft, if you’re looking for a wheat whiskey with a little bit of peppery spice, this is the bottle for you.

1792 Sweet Wheat Bourbon

Barton 1792

ABV: 45.6%

Average Price: $60

The Story:

A winner of multiple awards, this bourbon is made with wheat in the mash bill instead of the usual rye. The result is a well-defined, complex whiskey that pairs the gentle sweetness of corn with the rich, mellow flavor of wheat in perfect unison.

Tasting Notes:

Before sipping, take a few moments to let the scents of charred oak, vanilla beans, and honey fill your nostrils. On the palate, you’ll be introduced to hints of raisins, dried cherries, caramel corn, and toasted wood. The finish is long, mellow, and ends with a dollop of caramelized sugar.

Bottom Line:

Maybe you’re not ready to go all-in on this wheat-centric journey. If you still require sweet corn flavor as well as wheat, this is a great gateway into the wheated whiskey world.

Redemption Wheated Bourbon

Redemption

ABV: 48%

Average Price: $43.99

The Story:

When the folks at Redemption say that this is a “wheated” bourbon, they’re not kidding. While exactly 51% of the mash bill is made up of corn, 45% is wheat (the other 4% is malted barley). This award-winning wheated bourbon is an esquisite sipping whiskey, thanks in part to the nearly 50/50 recipe of corn and wheat.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find swirling aromas of charred oak, crisp apple, and maple syrup aromas. The sip features flavors of freshly brewed coffee, smoked bacon, buttery caramel, and an overall nutty sweetness. The finish is warming, subtly herbal, and full of toffee sweetness.

Bottom Line:

Redemption is most known for its rye whiskey. You can’t go wrong with that spicy, rich expression. But if you’re on the lookout for something much sweeter and smoother, purchase a bottle of its wheat bourbon ASAP.

Weller Antique 107 Bourbon

Buffalo Trace

ABV: 53.5%

Average Price: $60

The Story:

Honestly, we could fill up this whole list with various bottles of Weller. But chances are you’d never get to try them and that would make for a pretty boring list. One of the easier to find, yet still amazing, is Weller’s Antique 107 expression. The high ABVs are right there in the name, but this wheated bourbon still manages to be well-balanced and extremely soft on the palate.

Tasting Notes:

Give this whiskey the nosing it deserves, and you’ll find notes of toasted vanilla beans, charred oak, and a subtle floral backbone. The palate is heavy on the dried fruits, creamy vanilla, and brown sugar. A nice kick of spicy cinnamon adds lovely balance to the dram. The finish is long, filled with warming heat, and ends with a nice combination of toffee and that cinnamon warmth.

Bottom Line:

No list of wheat-forward whiskeys is complete without at least one expression from Weller. While this is one of the easiest to find, you can’t go wrong with any of the other Weller expressions either.

Woodford Reserve Wheat Whiskey

Woodford Reserve

ABV: 45.2%

Average Price: $45

The Story:

Located in the heart of horse racing country, Woodford Reserve is a big name in the bourbon world. But this offering isn’t even a bourbon. The distillery’s Wheat Whiskey is comprised of 52% wheat (followed by 20% corn and 8% rye).

Tasting Notes:

A nosing of this elegant whiskey will reveal the aromas of caramel apples, toasted oak, charred vanilla beans, and buttery caramel. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of toasted marshmallows, crisp apples, milk chocolate, and just a hint of peppery spice. It ends with a nice mixture of dark chocolate and sweet caramel.

Bottom Line:

This is the kind of wheat whiskey that deserves to be slow sipped over a single ice cube while you sit alone, watching the world float by.

As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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