15 Best Wheated Bourbons (Must Try)

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Bourbon is typically made from rye and malted barley in a proportion of 49%, while wheated bourbon replaces the rye with wheat. For a bourbon to be classified as such, it needs to be made from at least 51% corn.

Another characteristic that bourbon needs to have is to be made in American oak barrels that were newly charred. Wheated bourbons can be made of wheat and rye or just wheat instead of rye. 

Wheated bourbons are becoming more popular in the past years but it can be tricky to find the best brand for you. But in this guide, you will find 15 wheated bourbons to try without any risks! 

15 Best Wheated Bourbons 

You can find the following wheated bourbons fairly easily in liquor stores even if the price might differ. Choose the one that is the best for your taste and use it in the combinations that you love! 

1. Maker’s Mark Bourbon


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The first wheated bourbon that you will have to try would be the Maker’s Mark bourbon. This type of bourbon is fairly accessible in most stores and it comes at a budget-friendly price. With an ABV of 45% and notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla, this wheated bourbon is one of the best you can try! 

Maker’s Mark bourbon can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks but it can also be an important ingredient in the famous cocktail Old Fashioned.

To make this delicious cocktail, you will need 1 teaspoon of sugar, 3 dashes of bitter, 1 teaspoon of water, and 2 ounces of bourbon. Mix all the ingredients well and add an orange twist as a garnish! 

2. Larceny Small Batch


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Larceny Small Batch bourbon has an ABV of 46% which is slightly above the average. This bourbon is made of a 20% wheat mash bill and it has a flavor of the bread, vanilla, and butterscotch.

It also has a rich and complex flavor, which makes the Larceny bourbon a great option for those looking to experience a wheated whiskey at a budget-friendly price. 

Besides the fact that you can add it to different cocktails, you can also enjoy a glass of Larceny Small Batch neat or with ice. Its flavor is one that will be suitable for those who like their drinks smooth but still with a generous amount of alcohol. 

3. Garrison Brothers Small Batch


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Garrison Brothers Small Batch is a wheat-based bourbon from Texas, with an ABV of 47%. Among its flavors, you will identify a rich cinnamon and butter taste and a honey type of sweetness.

The wood flavor is also present, discretely and smoothly. People tend to enjoy this type of bourbon mainly for its taste as it can be the drink you need when you want to relax. It is great for plain sips or as part of different cocktails that call for bourbon. 

More: 25 Best Kentucky Bourbons (Market Favorites)

4. Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond


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On the more pricey side, there is the Old Fitzgerald wheated bourbon, which also has a higher ABV of 50%. This bourbon also brings interesting flavors such as vanilla, apple, and baking spices. Old Fitzgerald has a 100 proof level when it is bottled and it is aged for a minimum of 4 years. 

This bourbon is one of the luxury drinks that you will find on the market and it is best enjoyed plain or with ice. However, you can also add it to cocktails as its flavor will add a particular personality to any type of complex drink. 

5. Redemption Wheated Bourbon


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The Redemption Wheated Bourbon comes at an ABV of 48% and a fairly budget-friendly price tag. You can find it easily in most liquor stores and it is a great choice of wheated bourbon for any type of occasion.

This wheated bourbon will charm you with notes of black pepper, coffee, and hazelnuts which sets it apart from other bourbons. Redemption Wheated Bourbon is made of 45% wheat and it is aged for a minimum of 4 years.

This gives it an intense aroma and a particular taste that you will love. It is a great drink for those who are just discovering wheated bourbon as it is smooth and delicate with every sip. 

6. WL Weller Special 


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The WL Weller Special is a wheated bourbon with an ABV of 45%. As soon as you take a sip from this wheated bourbon, you will identify notes of caramel, oak, and a mild sweetness similar to the taste of honey.

Might be difficult to find it in some stores but if you can get it, this is the type of bourbon that you can sip from over interesting discussions and enjoy its smooth flavor and aroma. 

7. Larceny Barrel Proof 


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Another wheated bourbon that will pleasantly impress you from the first sip is the Larceny Barrel Proof. The ABV of this bourbon is between 55% and 60% which is above the average alcohol content you will find in most bourbons.

The flavor of the Larceny Barrel Proof is a mix of pepper, caramel, and vanilla. If you like high-proof bourbon that is based on wheat, this can be one of the best drinks to try. You will find it at different prices but the majority of them are within the budget-friendly range. 

8. Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated


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Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated is a classic bourbon from Kentucky with an ABV of 45% and flavors of stone fruit, vanilla, and oak. The Ocean Wheated is the only bourbon made by Jefferson’s that contains wheat but it is a truly exceptional one.

This bourbon is aged for 4 years, like most bourbon types but after that, it is transported to the ocean so that the sea motion will increase the interaction between the barrels and the whiskey.

The salty air of the sea also helps increase the flavor of this bourbon which gives it a more intense taste. Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated is one of those bourbon types that you can offer as a gift. 

9. Wyoming Whiskey 


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Another wheated bourbon that you will want to try is the Wyoming Whiskey. This bourbon is made of 20% wheated mash bill which gives it the specific wheated bourbon taste.

This bourbon is perfect for cocktails and it contains both wheat and rye, giving it a complex and rich flavor. It has the perfect balance between a sweet and spicy taste and you will enjoy sipping from it as well as mixing it in more complex drinks. 

10. 1792 Sweet Wheat


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A sweeter than average wheated bourbon is the 1792 Sweet Wheat. This bourbon has vanilla and caramel notes and while its sweetness is noticeable, it is not too sweet.

1792 Sweet Wheat is perfect to serve on the rocks with one large ice cube in the glass or simply neat. However, this type of wheated bourbon will add a great flavor to your cocktails. It has an ABV of 45.6% which is significant and satisfying for any bourbon fan. 

11. Pappy Van Winkle


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Pappy Van Winkle is a wheated bourbon with an ABV of 45.2% and it is one of the most luxurious bourbons you will find. The price of Pappy bourbon is also a significant one and so are the flavors that you will encounter in each sip.

Pappy Van Winkle is rich in a caramel flavor that gives it the specific sweetness but also oak, leather, and fruity notes that make this bourbon even more charming.

The wheated recipe of this exquisite bourbon remains a mystery but it is signed by the Buffalo Trace Distillery and it is considered the unicorn of wheated bourbon! 

12. Journeyman Buggy Whip Wheat


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Journeyman wheated bourbon is one of those drinks that you should try at least once. The ABV of this bourbon is 45% and it is bottled at 90% proof after being aged in oak barrels.

Among the notes that you will identify in this drink, there are caramel, vanilla, oak, and a mild orange flavor. You can enjoy the Journeyman Buggy Whip Wheat bourbon neat or on the rocks but also in different cocktails that call for fine bourbon. 

More: 25 Best Sipping Bourbons to Drink Neat

13. Laws Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey


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The Laws Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey is those types of drinks that will charm you from the first sip and you will want to add it to your collection of favorite alcoholic beverages.

This bourbon is aged on average for five years and it brings delicate notes of fruits, flowers, and even a tea-like taste that makes it special. With an ABV of 50%, this is not a light drink but it is one of the most satisfying alcoholic beverages that you will try. 

14. Traverse City Whiskey


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TC Whiskey makes both rye-based bourbon and wheat-based bourbon. The ABV of the Traverse City Whiskey is 43% and it has a smooth floral aroma and a mild sweetness that most consumers enjoy.

Among the tastes that you will find in this bourbon, there are earthly flavors, orange, and honey, as well as rosemary and vanilla. You can enjoy it neat, on the rocks, or as an ingredient in cocktails. 

15. Whistlepig Homestuck


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The last but certainly not the least wheated bourbon that you can try out is the Whistlepig Homestuck. Even if the brand Vermont’s Whistlepig is famous for its rye-based whiskeys, the Whistlepig Homestuck is made of wheat as well and it is just as tasty as other products of this brand. 

Whistlepig Homestuck contains 5-year-old wheat whiskey and 4-year-old rye whiskey and has one of the most satisfying tastes. This type of wheated bourbon is sweet yet a bit spicy and it leaves an intense aftertaste. 

Is Eagle Rare a Wheated bourbon?

Eagle Rare is a rye bourbon with a low-proof level, produced at the Buffalo Trace’s Frankfort distillery in Kentucky. This bourbon is typically aged for a decade before it is bottled, which offers it a highly appreciated aroma and flavor among rye-bourbon lovers. 

This type of bourbon won several awards in the whiskey industry and it is a popular drink worldwide. However, while Eagle Rare is fairly accessible in the States, it can be difficult to find it in other parts of the world and if you do, it will come at a high-range price. 

What bourbons contain wheat?

When it comes to bourbons, you will find that most of them are made of rye. However, big distilleries such as Buffalo Trace, try to add at least a few other varieties such as wheat bourbons or bourbons made of a mix of rye and wheat.

Bourbons are made of at least 51% corn to be considered bourbons. They also contain malted barley and rye or wheat as a flavoring grain. The flavoring grain gives the bourbon the spice and the specific taste that differentiate it from other spirits. 

Therefore, besides the wheated bourbons in the list above, you will find others such as Old Elk Wheated Bourbon, made with 45% wheat, or Frey Ranch Straight Bourbon which contains 10% winter wheat. 

Are Wheated bourbons sweet?

Wheated bourbons have different levels of sweetness as well as notes of caramel and honey. Generally, wheated bourbons are sweeter than rye bourbons. This is due to the sweetness that comes from mixing corn with wheat.

However, the overall flavor of wheated bourbons is smoother and less spicy than the one of a rye-based whiskey. This delicate taste makes wheated bourbons a great choice for beginners and they combine perfectly with other ingredients to create delicious cocktails! 

Best wheated bourbon to drink neat

Drinking bourbon neat means you simply pour your beverage into a glass, without adding ice or other ingredients and you enjoy it plain. But while you can enjoy all bourbons neat, not all of them will have the same intense flavor. 

One of the best-wheated bourbons that you can enjoy neat is the Jefferson’s Ocean wheated bourbon. Its exquisite flavor achieved on the sea will give it a lot of value to satisfy even the pickiest consumers. Adding ice to this whiskey will dilute its taste but you will still be able to enjoy its unique notes. 

The Pappy Van Winkle is another wheated bourbon that you will prefer to drink neat rather than in combination with other ingredients. This whiskey is not only very expensive but also very rich in flavor and every sip of it should be cherished. 

Other wheated bourbons that can be enjoyed plain are Maker’s Mark, Larceny Small Batch, or Traverse City Whiskey but also other brands that you might find appealing.

As a general rule, it is important to taste your bourbon of choice neat before you mix it into other drinks or add ice to it. By doing so, you will get familiar with its flavor and learn to appreciate it at its true value. 

Wheated bourbon vs bourbon

Wheated bourbon follows all the requirements of bourbon. It contains at least 51% corn, a percentage of malted barley and wheat instead of rye, or a combination of wheat and rye. 

In terms of taste, wheated bourbon tends to be sweeter than bourbon that is made of rye, but its flavor is smoother and more discrete as well. You will also notice a more potent fruity flavor when it comes to bourbons that use mainly wheat. 

Note that wheated bourbons are not as common as rye bourbons, and therefore, they tend to be more expensive, even if you can find luxurious bourbons in both categories. 

Wheated bourbon vs rye

When it comes to bourbon, using wheat or rye as a flavoring grain can be the ultimate difference. Wheated bourbons bring a different flavor compared to rye bourbons and so they will be preferred by different customers.

Wheated bourbons and rye bourbons are produced similarly. However, rye bourbons offer a spicier flavor, and a peppery aftertaste which makes them better enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Wheated bourbons are softer in taste and more adequate for cocktails and other mixed drinks. They are a better choice for beginners who don’t like the strong taste of rye and prefer a more discrete flavor to their bourbon. 

Both rye bourbons and wheat bourbons come in different levels of ABV from 40% to 62.5%. However, you will find one of the most common ABV concentrations to be 45% to 50% when it comes to bourbons.

 Consider the ABV not only when you want a neat drink but also when you want to fix a cocktail because it will change the entire alcoholic content of the final drink. 

Final thoughts 

Wheated bourbons are very versatile as you can find them perfect for a variety of combinations and occasions. You can enjoy them neat, on the rocks, or in your favorite bourbon cocktails.

They are the perfect gift to offer to a bourbon fan and the ideal drink to impress your company with. This guide should help you choose the best bourbon made with wheat and treat yourself to a delicious alcoholic beverage!

 You can’t go wrong with wheated bourbons as they come in some of the most enchanting flavors! 

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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