Bernheim Original Small Batch Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey 7 Years Aged
What the Distillery Says:
At its launch, Bernheim Original Straight Wheat Whiskey was the first truly new variety of American straight wheat whiskey introduced since Prohibition. Heaven Hill Master Distillers saw an opportunity to give today’s whiskey connoisseurs a unique taste experience. Bernheim was the only straight whiskey to use winter wheat as the primary grain in its mashbill, giving it a soft, sweet flavor and medium finish.
Today, on the front of the bottle, Bernheim proudly displays its finest attributes: Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey, small batch, and a 7 year age statement. With an age statement of 7 years, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey truly is well worth the wheat. It is the only straight wheat whiskey distributed nationally. As a straight whiskey, it meets the same criteria as Bourbon or rye—aged a minimum of two years in new, charred oak barrels, distilled at less than 160 proof, and contains no coloring, flavoring or blending agents. As a small batch product, it is made with a dump of 100 barrels or less.
COLOR – Brilliant copper
AROMA – Mildly sweet with hints of vanilla and honey
TASTE – Hints of toffee, berries, & spice with fresh mint
FINISH – Soft toasted oak, elegant and warm
What Gary Says:
Nose: Light, freshly baked French bread, fruit salad. Reminds me of a young single malt Scotch
Palate: A nice citrus fruitiness, peaches, subtle mint with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. A bit thin, and here also reminds me of a young single malt, with a bit more wood (although not woody by any stretch)
Finish: Crisp and clean, bit of spice at the start and then thins out near the end; medium length.
Comments: This is not a powerful, “smack-you-in-the-mouth” dram. Far more nuanced, and makes my mind wander towards single malt Scotch rather than bourbon. More wood notes than a young single malt, but not as forward with sweetness as a bourbon. Perhaps a gateway American whiskey for the Scotch enthusiast who finds bourbon or rye to be a bit too intense?
Rating: Stands Out
What Richard Says:
Nose: There is a light grassy kind of note that I more often associate with scotch. Behind that there is a little honeysuckle sweetness and a fresh bread note, more of a white bread than a richer darker bread.
Palate: Vanilla ice cream on peach cobbler. Bits of mint leaves and another vegetal note.
Finish: It’s spicier than I would expect from a wheat whiskey. It’s also a little dry and grassy.
Comments: Memory is a funny thing. This is one of those whiskey like Elmer T Lee that I tried right after it was first released and loved it. Something seems to have been lost over time. Maybe it’s just me and I expect more from my whiskeys now. It’s a bit all over the place. The nose says scotch, the palate says wheat whiskey, and the finish says rye.
Rating: Stands Out