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10 Best Wheated Bourbons Under $100 Reviewed (2024)

Best Wheated Bourbons Under $100

There are many great wheated bourbons on the market, but finding the best ones can be challenging, especially if you’re working with a tight budget. Here are the best wheated bourbons under $100, all of which offer excellent value for the price. Read on. 

Top 10 Best Wheated Bourbons Under $100

10. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

Average Price: $34.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 56.6%

Why We Liked It:

Aside from its remarkable hand-dipped red wax seal, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is known to be one of the best wheated bourbons under $100.

A typical Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey consists of at least 51% corn [1], rye, and malted barley on its mash bill. However, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength uses traditional corn, malted barley, and red winter wheat. 

Replacing rye with wheat on its mash bill as a flavoring grain produces a much sweeter taste and less spiciness.

It makes Maker’s Mark Cask Strength surprisingly smooth with rich spice, oak, vanilla, and caramel flavor notes. 

9. 1792 Sweet Wheat 

1792 Sweet Wheat 

Average Price: $65.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 45.6%

Why We Liked It:

1792 bourbon was crafted with wheat instead of the traditional rye as secondary grain for a softer, subtle, and smooth taste.

Each sip has a perfect balance of sweetness and dryness, thanks to its flavoring grain.

The secondary grain gives sweet flavors to the aging bourbon, and the caramel and vanilla notes compliment the hints of the charred oak barrel.

It does not have an age statement, but 1792 Kentucky bourbon is a budget spirit with good quality. 

8. WL Weller Special Reserve

WL Weller Special Reserve

Average Price: $61.59 (Drizly)

ABV: 45%

Why We Liked It:

WL Weller Special Reserve is a Kentucky bourbon you can substitute for Pappy Van Winkle. It has an exceptionally smooth taste, and softer flavor notes that you cannot find on rye bourbon. 

WL Weller is a pride of Buffalo Trace distillery, and it has notable and impressive tasting notes.

It features a sweet honeysuckle flair, notes of butterscotch, honey, and soft woodiness, all at an affordable price.  

7. Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated 

Jefferson's Ocean Wheated

Average Price: $89.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 45%

Why We Liked It:

The aging process of the spirit starts and finishes inside a rickhouse of a distillery but not with Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated.

For Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated and other bourbon bottles, the whiskey is aged at a distillery for a few years on the land. After that, it will spend several months at sea, exposed to heat, cold, and salt air inside the barrels [2]. 

On the nose, it has pleasing notes of sea spray, sweet tobacco, and crème brûlée. It has a soft caramel profile, light brown sugar, and a hint of espresso and cinnamon with a long and smooth finish. 

6. Wyoming Whiskey 

Wyoming Whiskey

Average Price: $43.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 44%

Why We Liked It:

Wyoming whiskey is a grain-to-bottle spirit with a mash bill recipe that consists of corn, wheat, and malted barley. The grains used for the wheat whiskey are locally sourced in Wyoming, so it guarantees high-quality grains from start to finish. 

Steve Nally is the first master distiller of the brand (former employee at Maker’s Mark) so using his expertise in creating spirit, Wyoming whiskey is surely a crowd pleaser.

On the palate, it has rich baking spices, vanilla, cinnamon, and dark chocolate palate. It is light and smooth whiskey with dark amber color from aging in oak barrels. 

5. Larceny Barrel Proof 

Larceny Barrel Proof

Average Price: $28.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 46%

Why We Liked It:

Larceny Barrel Proof is a brand extension of Heaven Hill distillery made from a blend of selected barrels to honor John E. Fitzgerald.

Way back in 1870, John E. Fitzgerald used his privilege of being a bonded treasury agent and stole the best barrels from a distillery for himself. 

Larceny Barrel Proof is uncut and straight from the barrel, and while it does not bear an age statement, the wheated bourbon is bottled at 92 proof.

It has a rich molasses taste and coats the tongue with notes of hazelnut and fig. It has a sweet aroma and lingerie warmth and finishes. 

4. Larceny Small Batch 

Larceny Small Batch

Average Price: $87.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 61.9%

Why We Liked It:

Larceny Small Batch has slight variations with Barrel Proof aside from its relatively high cask strength. Larceny Small Batch wheated bourbon is made with 25% wheat for a smoothness that is hard to resist. 

A bottle of Larceny from Heaven Hill has a rich aroma of spice, fresh bread, and toffee.

On the palate, it has buttery caramel, rich mouthfeel, and honeyed notes. It has a gently sweet, savory, and long finish you can compare with Old Fitzgerald. 

3. Garrison Brothers Small Batch

Garrison Brothers Small Batch


Average Price: $85.79 (Drizly)

ABV: 47%

Why We Liked It:

Garrison Brothers bourbon is another budget whiskey you can include on your wheated bourbon cheat sheet.

For less than $100, you can taste the floral verbena, cinnamon, honey, and solid profile of the spirit. It has a long and complex finish with oak undertones from oak barrels. 

2. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey

Maker's Mark Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: $31.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 45%

Why We Liked It:

When it comes to wheated bourbon, you can never go wrong with Maker’s Mark.

It is a bottle of bourbon that will not blow your ears off because it is never sharp or bitter. The soft red winter wheat makes the spirit full of flavor and easy to drink.

1. Redemption Wheated Bourbon 

Redemption Wheated Bourbon on desk with glass

Average Price: $45.99 (Drizly)

ABV: 48%

Why We Liked It:

Out of all the wheated bourbon whiskeys above, Redemption bourbon has the highest percentage of secondary grain on its mash bill.

Corn is the primary grain, while wheat (45%) is the second grain of Redemption. It creates a mellow and smoother profile with hints of hazelnut, pecan, and pear. 

FAQs Related to Best Wheated Bourbons Under $100

What wheated bourbon under $100 is good for beginners? 

For beginners looking to explore wheated bourbons without breaking the bank, several options offer excellent value and quality. One such bourbon is Maker’s Mark, a widely available and approachable wheated bourbon known for its smooth and mellow flavor profile.

Maker’s Mark features notes of caramel, vanilla, and baking spices, making it an ideal choice for those new to bourbon tasting.

, Larceny Bourbon is another popular wheated bourbon that offers a rich and flavorful experience at an affordable price point, making it well-suited for beginners seeking an introduction to wheated bourbon.

Are wheated bourbons under $100 cheap?

While wheated bourbons under $100 may be considered more affordable compared to some premium or limited edition releases, they are by no means cheap in terms of quality or craftsmanship.

Many wheated bourbons in this price range offer exceptional value and represent a significant step up in terms of flavor and complexity compared to budget or entry-level spirits.

Wheated bourbons under $100 provide an excellent opportunity for enthusiasts to explore the category without breaking the bank, offering a balance of affordability and quality that appeals to a wide range of whiskey drinkers.

What are some examples of wheated bourbons in the affordable price range?

Several wheated bourbons in the affordable price range offer excellent value and quality for enthusiasts looking to explore this category:
Maker’s Mark: Maker’s Mark is a classic wheated bourbon known for its smooth and approachable flavor profile, featuring notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice. It is widely available and offers an excellent introduction to wheated bourbon for beginners.

Larceny Bourbon: Larceny Bourbon is crafted by Heaven Hill Distillery and is noted for its rich and flavorful character. With its smooth mouthfeel and notes of butterscotch, toffee, and oak, Larceny Bourbon provides a satisfying drinking experience at an affordable price.

W.L. Weller Special Reserve: W.L. Weller Special Reserve is a wheated bourbon produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery. While it may be slightly harder to find than some other options, W.L. Weller Special Reserve offers a balanced flavor profile with hints of caramel, honey, and baking spices, making it a worthy addition to any whiskey enthusiast’s collection.

These wheated bourbons exemplify the quality and affordability that can be found in the category, providing accessible options for beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike.

What sets these wheated bourbons apart from others?

Several factors set wheated bourbons like Maker’s Mark, Larceny Bourbon, and W.L. Weller Special Reserve apart from others:

Wheat Mash Bill: Wheated bourbons use a higher proportion of wheat in their mash bill compared to traditional bourbons, where corn is the dominant grain. This results in a softer, smoother flavor profile with less emphasis on spicy rye notes.

Smoothness: Wheated bourbons are often prized for their smooth and mellow character, thanks to the influence of wheat. This makes them more approachable for beginners and appealing to those who prefer a gentler drinking experience.

Flavor Complexity: While wheated bourbons tend to be softer and sweeter, they still offer a range of flavor complexities. Maker’s Mark, for example, features notes of caramel, vanilla, and baking spices, while Larceny Bourbon offers rich butterscotch and toffee flavors. W.L. Weller Special Reserve showcases hints of caramel, honey, and baking spices, contributing to its unique flavor profile.

Brand Heritage: Each of these wheated bourbons has its own rich heritage and tradition, adding to its appeal and distinction. Maker’s Mark, for instance, is known for its hand-dipped red wax seal and iconic bottle shape, while W.L. Weller Special Reserve is part of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s esteemed lineup of whiskies.

Do wheated bourbons offer a different flavor experience compared to traditional bourbons?

Yes, wheated bourbons offer a distinct flavor experience compared to traditional bourbons primarily due to the higher proportion of wheat in their mash bill.

Wheated bourbons tend to be smoother, softer, and sweeter, with less emphasis on spicy rye notes commonly found in traditional bourbons.

The influence of wheat contributes to a more delicate flavor profile with nuanced notes of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch, making wheated bourbons particularly appealing to those who enjoy a gentler and more approachable drinking experience.

What is the smoothest wheated bourbon?

The designation of the “smoothest” wheated bourbon is subjective and may vary depending on individual preferences and tasting experiences.

However, wheated bourbons like Maker’s Mark, Larceny Bourbon, and W.L. Weller Special Reserve are often praised for their smooth and mellow character, making them excellent contenders in this category.

Each of these wheated bourbons offers a distinct flavor profile and drinking experience, with Maker’s Mark being known for its signature sweetness, Larceny Bourbon for its rich butterscotch notes, and W.L. Weller Special Reserve for its balanced blend of caramel, honey, and baking spices.

Ultimately, the smoothest wheated bourbon is the one that best suits your palate and brings you enjoyment with every sip.

Why is wheated bourbon so popular?

Wheated bourbon has emerged as a beloved category within the whiskey world for a multitude of reasons, contributing to its widespread popularity and enduring appeal among enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike.

First and foremost, wheated bourbon’s allure lies in its remarkable smoothness. Unlike traditional bourbons, which often feature a higher percentage of rye in their mash bills, wheated bourbons substitute wheat as the secondary grain. This adjustment results in a softer and more approachable palate, with a notably gentle finish that resonates with those seeking a more refined drinking experience.

Moreover, the inherent sweetness of wheated bourbon sets it apart as a tantalizing option for those with a penchant for sweeter spirits. The use of wheat imparts subtle yet distinctive flavors of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch, creating a harmonious symphony of sweetness that dances across the taste buds. This sweetness, coupled with the absence of the spicy kick often associated with rye-forward bourbons, makes wheated bourbon an enticing choice for both seasoned whiskey connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

Furthermore, wheated bourbon’s popularity is buoyed by its rich heritage and storied tradition. Brands like Maker’s Mark and W.L. Weller boast centuries-old legacies rooted in the heart of bourbon country, each bottle steeped in the time-honored craftsmanship and unwavering dedication to quality that have come to define the industry.

These esteemed distilleries have cultivated loyal followings of enthusiasts who appreciate not only the exceptional flavor profiles of their wheated bourbons but also the historical significance and craftsmanship that each bottle represents.

Are wheated bourbons sweeter?

Indeed, wheated bourbons tend to boast a sweeter flavor profile compared to their traditional bourbon counterparts, largely due to the substitution of wheat for rye in the mash bill. This alteration in grain composition introduces a softer and more delicate sweetness to the whiskey, characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch.

The absence of the spicy, peppery undertones typically associated with rye-forward bourbons allows the inherent sweetness of the grains to shine through, resulting in a smoother and more harmonious drinking experience.

This natural sweetness appeals to a wide range of palates, making wheated bourbons a popular choice among those who appreciate a gentler and more approachable flavor profile.

What is the original wheated bourbon?

The original wheated bourbon is often credited to Old Fitzgerald, a historic brand produced by the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Kentucky. Introduced in the late 19th century, Old Fitzgerald revolutionized the bourbon landscape with its innovative use of wheat in the mash bill, replacing the traditional rye grain.

This pioneering approach resulted in a whiskey that was notably smoother and more mellow compared to its counterparts, setting the standard for wheated bourbons to come.

Old Fitzgerald’s legacy as the original wheated bourbon endures to this day, serving as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its creators and inspiring generations of distillers to explore the possibilities of wheat as a primary grain in bourbon production.

Is Jim Beam a wheated bourbon?

No, Jim Beam is not classified as a wheated bourbon. The distillation process of Jim Beam adheres to the traditional bourbon method, which typically includes a mash bill consisting of corn, malted barley, and rye.

While the exact proportions may vary depending on the specific expression, Jim Beam maintains the quintessential bourbon characteristics that have defined the brand for generations. This traditional mash bill contributes to the distinctive flavor profile of Jim Beam, characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice.

The inclusion of rye in the mash bill adds a subtle spiciness and complexity to the whiskey, balancing the sweetness of the corn and enhancing the overall depth of flavor.

Is Elijah Craig wheated?

No, Elijah Craig does not fall into the category of wheated bourbons. Produced by Heaven Hill Distillery, Elijah Craig is renowned for its rich and complex flavor profile, which is achieved through a traditional bourbon mash bill.

This mash bill typically includes corn, malted barley, and a significant proportion of rye. The addition of rye to the mash bill imparts robust and spicy flavors to Elijah Craig whiskey, distinguishing it from wheated bourbons known for their softer and smoother profiles.

Elijah Craig’s distinct taste, characterized by notes of caramel, toffee, baking spices, and oak, reflects the brand’s commitment to quality craftsmanship and tradition.

Final Thoughts 

The best wheated bourbon under $100 is Maker’s Mark. Aside from being a beginner-friendly spirit, the classic spirit has an easy-going profile with incredible smooth tasting notes and finish.

From single barrel to bottled-in-bond bourbon whiskeys, wheated bourbons under $100 are good value for money. There’s no need to spend above $100 for an Old Fitzgerald or Pappy Van for a good-tasting spirit. Try a bottle now!


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