DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bernheim Original: My Favorite American Wheat Whiskey... The Only American Wheat Whiskey

I recently had my first sip of the highly anticipated (at least I was anticipating) Bernheim's Original Wheat Whiskey from Heaven Hill Distillery. It's not time to give up Bourbon yet, but I wasn't exactly let down either.

Bernheim makes the point that wheat--the filler of the whiskey world---makes good whiskey almost all by itself. Almost, because a wheat whiskey, of which this is the first one, is made from 51% or more wheat. Following the same idea as Bourbon, which is made from 51% or more corn.

Traditionally, corn, rye and barley are the grains of whiskey with wheat acting as a kind of buffer. A "wheated" bourbon is one that uses more wheat than rye in the remaining 49% or less grain in Bourbon. (Maker’s Mark is an example of a wheated Bourbon.)

Bernheim has a very feminine character. It’s smooth, sweet with honey, caramel and vanilla, has a touch of licorice and a very nice round feel in the mouth. The Malt Advocate has more detailed tasting notes here.

On the shelves soon.


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