15 Best Wheated Bourbons To Drink According to Taste [2023 Edition]

Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Lydia Martin

A bourbon mash bill comprises at least 51% corn, along with rye and malted barley.

But there’s this “unofficial sub-category” called “wheated bourbon,” which replaces rye with wheat in the mash bill.  

This gives the bourbon a unique flavor profile, described as softer, with sweet flavors.

If you want to try something different beyond the classic bourbon, check out these best wheated bourbons. 

Top 15 Wheated Bourbons To Try

15. Journeyman Buggy Whip Wheat

Journeyman Buggy Whip Wheat Bottle and glass on a countertop

Average Price: approx. $47.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is the first bourbon whiskey we tried from this brand, but it’s surprisingly good. 

Crafted from corn, malted barley, and wheat, then aged in oak barrels, it gives the vanilla, caramel, oak, and orange notes, which we enjoy over ice, neat, or in a cocktail. 

We’re on edge replacing this expression with the Old Elk Wheated Bourbon, but this Journeyman Buggy Whip Wheat is a little different, new to the eyes, and just right.  

14. Traverse City Whiskey 

Bottle of Traverse City Whiskey Co. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey and a glasses

Average Price: approx. $39.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Why We Like It: Both rye and wheat fanatics will surely find comfort with Traverse City Whiskey as they offer those two categories. 

But rye aside, the wheated bourbon from TC is interesting. The mild sweetness is close to the 1792 Sweet Wheat, but TC whiskey has more floral notes. 

Also, the citrus-orange note is more savory than Journeyman’s wheat, and the hints of honey, vanilla, and rosemary, make this drink more desirable to sip on the rocks, neat, or mixed drinks.   

13. 1792 Sweet Wheat

Man Holding Bottle of 1792 Sweet Wheat

Average Price: approx. $32.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45.6% ABV

Why We Like It: If you’re looking for wheated bourbon that’s not too sweet, 1792 Sweet Sweat fits the standard. 

“The soft flavor is balanced by rich oak tannins extracted by the bourbon while aging in the charred oak barrels.”

— Ken Pierce, Distillation and QA Director 

The sweetness in this wheated bourbon is mellow, which is nice and doesn’t reduce the quality of this spirit. Besides, the price point is reasonable for what it delivers. 

We recommend 1792 Sweet Wheat for sipping neat or over ice.  

12. Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond

Bottle Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond and a glass

Average Price: approx. $110/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: Released twice per year, Heaven Hill Distillery crafts this Old Fitzgerald BiB wheated bourbon, aged for about four years. 

Unlike other wheated bourbons, we like its unique old-style decanter, great as a collectible and a display on a vintage liquor shelf.

But apart from the impressive packaging, the spirit is excellent as well. 

The sweet aroma of brown sugar and butterscotch is easily recognizable—salted caramel, white pepper, clove, and cinnamon coat the mouth.

The finish is smooth with flavors of leather, vanilla, and oak.

11. Garrison Brothers Small Batch

Man Drinking Garrison Brothers Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch

Average Price: approx. $79.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 47% ABV 

Why We Like It: Crafted from a wheated mash bill, it delivers a rich, deep palate, which is the big highlight of Garrison Brothers Small Batch bourbon. 

The hot climate in Texas, with some chill days, caused this bourbon to juice out flavors from the oak barrels. 

And this is surprising, knowing a small and simple operation can craft something enormous in flavor.  

10. Wyoming Whiskey

Bottle of Wyoming Whiskey on a wooden table

Average Price: approx. $37.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 44% ABV 

Why We Like It:  WW released a small-batch bourbon crafted with slight variations from the usual wheated bourbon.

The mash bill [1] consists of corn and malt, along with both wheat and rye. 

For those unfamiliar with this Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch expression, it’s as nice as any wheated bourbon from well-known distilleries like Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, etc. 

What makes it a standout is it has the balance of sweetness (from wheat) and spiciness (from rye), making it a good base for cocktails like Boulevardier, Manhattan, and Old-Fashioned.

9. Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated

Jefferson's Ocean Wheated Bourbon Voyage 15 Bottle

Average Price: approx. $79.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: Jefferson’s Ocean is the only wheat bourbon in its lineup. After aging bourbon, it is loaded onto a cargo ship to finish the maturation at sea. 

So, the salt air interferes with the whiskey and creates an impressive profile, aside from the flavoring grain used in the spirit. 

It’s an underrated bourbon and isn’t featured often as recommended whiskey. But we find it interesting, not just for its flavor, but for its unique bottle and story. 

8. Pappy Van Winkle

Old Rip Pappy Van Winkle Bottle

Average Price: approx. $119.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45.2% ABV 

Why We Like It: Pappy is a rare, expensive, wheated bourbon whiskey [2]. If Maker’s Mark bourbon is affordable, the Van Winkle can be thrice (or more) as much in price.

Their wheated recipe is a mystery, as Pappy didn’t disclose it to the public, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the unicorn of wheated bourbon. 

You’ll enjoy the caramel-flavor sweetness and fruitiness in each sip, but with hints of leather and oak to balance the flavors, making it more interesting. 

7. Whistlepig Homestuck

Whistle Pig HomeStock Bottle on a wooden table

Average Price: approx. $70/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV 

Why We Like It: Whistle Homestuck wheated bourbon is as pleasing as their rye expressions. Actually, there’s a rye spice within their wheat-based expression.  

And the reason for its unusual profile is that this bourbon is a blend of 25% single malt, 30% wheat whiskey, and 45% rye whiskey. 

It’s fairly enjoyable, and the complexity is just balanced. Though it’s unique and quite delicious, it only ranked this high as there are better options (coming next as you proceed). 

6. Larceny Barrel Proof 

Larceny Barrel Proof C922 Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: approx. $59.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 55%-60% ABV 

Why We Like It: Another Heaven Hill creation is this Larceny Barrel Proof, which contains the same mash bill as the expensive bottled-in-bond Old Fitzgerald.   

We like how it gives the satisfaction that high-proof whiskey and cask-strength wheated whiskey offers. Although it’s a little pricey, you get what you pay for. 

Mind you – the Larceny Small Batch bourbon is also good, but this is better. 

5. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bottle

Average Price: approx. $45/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 54%-57% ABV 

Why We Like It: The availability of Maker’s Mark makes it a great go-to bourbon for anyone who enjoys a spirit in its purest form. 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength version is non-chill filtered [3], bottled at 108-114-proof, depending on the barrels used.

Actually, we don’t expect this expression to be this smooth due to its high proof and budget-friendly price. 

Unlike the Maker’s Mark Rye bourbon, this wheated expression used red winter wheat on its mash, so the combo of baking spices, stone fruit, honey, and vanilla highlights the flavor profile. 

4. Laws Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey

Laws Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey with cocktail drink on a table

Average Price: approx. $69.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is a great expression of wheat-based whiskey that leaves you wanting more. 

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch and this Laws Centennial Straight Wheat use both the combination of wheat and rye in their mash bills. 

However, we prefer Law Centennial as it’s higher in proof than the Wyoming Whiskey.

It ranks this high because the aromas are more delicate and relaxing to the nose. 

As you proceed, the sweetness and slight spiciness are noticeable, but it’s well-balanced, ending with a smooth and lingering finish.   

3. New Riff Red Turkey Wheated Bourbon

New Riff Red Turkey Wheated Bourbon with glasses and ice on the table

Average Price: approx. $49.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: This wheated version of New Riff consists of 25% red Turkey wheat, 70% corn, and 5% malted barley. 

Aged in virgin American oak barrels for five years, this bourbon gives soft, sugary whiskey flavors with notes of vanilla ice cream, dried cherries, oak, and raisins. 

2. Redemption Wheated Bourbon 

man holding Redemption Wheated Bourbon

Average Price: approx. $42.49/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 48% ABV 

Why We Like It: Redemption Wheated Bourbon comprises a high-wheat mash bill (45% wheat). It’s impressively soft with clear sweet notes, which makes it a good entry point for beginners. 

We like how Redemption Wheated Bourbon provides the notable flavors of espresso beans, vanilla, and dried fruits.

Overall, it’s a well-balanced drink that deserves a permanent place in any home bar.

1. WL Weller Special Reserve

Hand Holding W. L. Weller Special Reserve Bottle

Average Price: approx. $25/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: FYI, WL Weller Special Reserve shares the same mash bill recipe as Pappy Van Winkle and is crafted at one of the big distilleries – Buffalo Trace Distillery. 

This is our best wheated bourbon– with buttery caramel notes on the nose and soft palate, followed by a wooded finish with hints of butterscotch and honey. 

It is well-aged yet light—no sharpness and full of desirable crisp flavors– perfect for sipping.    

Note: Other spirits that didn’t make it on this list, but are quite good as well, include:

  • Larceny Small Batch
  • Frey Ranch Straight Bourbon
  • Old Elk Wheated Bourbon
  • Rebel 100 Bourbon
  • McKenzie BiB 


Are wheated bourbons smoother than Kentucky straight bourbons?

Wheated bourbon can be smoother than a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey [4] due to the reaction of wheat and corn when mixed. Corn imparts sweetness, and the subdued character of wheat creates a sweeter and smoother bourbon. 

What is considered a wheated bourbon?

Bourbon is considered “wheated” if it replaces rye grain with wheat, either in part or as a whole. Some wheated expressions contain corn, malted barley, and wheat, while some use both rye and wheat in their recipe. 

Why is wheated bourbon so popular?

Wheated bourbon is popular due to its sweetness and smoothness, which slightly differs from the traditional rye or bourbon expressions. 

Wrapping Up

Now you know the best wheated bourbons you can try, it’s time to pick which you opt for first and enjoy the sweetness and softness it delivers. 

Bourbon is diverse, so don’t limit yourself to rye, and give wheated ones a space in your liquor cabinet.

You’ll see how these expressions can provide the same level of satisfaction you can get from other types of bourbon.  



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