Liquor Laboratory

Is Buffalo Trace A Wheated Bourbon? Solved (2024 Best Edition)

is buffalo trace a wheated bourbon

Have you noticed the hype about Buffalo Trace these days? Folks posted photos with the Buffalo Trace bourbon, and some felt out of the loop. 

But is Buffalo Trace a wheated bourbon or not? We’ve got the answer here in Liquor Laboratory. 

Is Buffalo Trace A Wheated Bourbon?

Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace Distillery is known to produce different American whiskey brands, including big-league bottles of wheated bourbon mash bills.

While the actual mash bill percentage is unknown, we know for sure that the traditional rye percentage was replaced by wheat. This yielded a richer and sweeter flavor profile of grass, vanilla, and caramel. 

Numerous brands fall into one of the five mash bill recipes of Buffalo Trace, and Kosher Wheat belongs to the wheat mash bill recipe [1]. 

Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat uses the same grains as W.L. Weller and Van Winkle, but it undergoes a specific production process to satisfy the Passover requirements.

It was released in 2020 in partnership with the Chicago Rabbinical Council [2]. 

What’s Buffalo Trace Wheated Mash Bill? 

Buffalo Trace wheated bourbon uses the wheated bourbon mash bill wherein rye is replaced with wheat.

While the ratio of wheat is not disclosed, it is reputed to be sweeter and smoother than rye whiskeys (which we all know are bold and spicy).

The mash bill is used to make the Pappy Van Winkle (except for the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye) and W.L. Weller line.

It is also the same mash bill used in making the infamous William Larue Weller expression from Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection. 

Wheated Bourbons Produced By Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat 

Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat

ABV: 47%

Average Price: from $89.99/750ml (Drizly) 

Quick Description:

Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat is part of the three kosher whiskeys released in 2020 by Buffalo Trace Distillery. The wheated bourbon contains the same quality of mash bill as the W.L Weller but with a 100% kosher production process. 

The bourbon is aged for seven years, and the distillery ensures that the lines are not in contact with non-Kosher spirits before bottling at 94 proof. 

Read: Popular Buffalo Trace Alternatives

Pappy Van Winkle Line 

ABV: 45.2%- 53.5%

Average Price: $1000-$55000 (Drizly)

Quick Description:

Pappy Van Winkle Line uses a wheated recipe from specially selected barrels in the heart of Buffalo Trace’s aging warehouse.

Unhurried by time and untouched by human hands, the bourbons have an elegant and luxurious aroma of vanilla and caramel corn. It is aged from 10 to 23 years. 

W.L. Weller Line

W.L. Weller Line

ABV: 45% – 57%

Average Price: $17.49 – $11000 (Drizly)

Quick Description:

W.L Weller Line is a widely acclaimed wheated bourbon whiskey in the market today.

The expressions have a light aroma with a well-rounded and balanced flavor profile. Moreso, it is exceptionally smooth and sweet with a medium to long finish. 

William Larue Weller

ABV: 64%

Average Price: roughly $1000/750ml (Drizly)

Quick Description:

Unfiltered and uncut, William Larue Weller is a hand-bottled bourbon from Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection. It is barrel proof with a smooth and composed finish.

We think you’ll appreciate the sweet scents of light toffee, caramel corn, plum, new leather, and pipe tobacco. To the palate, you’ll get figs, dates, salted almonds, marshmallows, and nougat.

Read: Buffalo Trace vs Woodford Reserve Bourbon

What Does Its Wheated Bourbon Taste Like? 

Wheated bourbon is generally smoother, softer, and sweeter than other types of whiskey-thanks to the wheat grain it comprises.

The primary grain of bourbon is corn, and the secondary grain of wheated bourbons is wheat instead of rye.

With this, wheated bourbon is easy to drink, with notable sweetness, and has a gentle kick. But is Buffalo Trace gluten-free?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When did Buffalo Trace use its wheated mash bill?

Buffalo Trace began utilizing its wheated mash bill for bourbon production during the mid-20th century, marking a significant shift in their whiskey-making approach.

This transition represented an exploration of alternative grain combinations and recipes to craft bourbons with distinctive flavor profiles. By incorporating wheat as the secondary grain instead of the more traditional rye, Buffalo Trace aimed to create whiskies known for their smoothness, softness, and enhanced sweetness.

This departure from convention showcased the distillery’s commitment to innovation and experimentation in pursuit of exceptional bourbon expressions.

Is Buffalo Trace’s wheated bourbon rare?

Buffalo Trace’s wheated bourbon offerings, such as W.L. Weller and the renowned Van Winkle lineup, are widely regarded as rare and highly sought after by whiskey enthusiasts.

Despite Buffalo Trace producing other bourbon brands using its standard mash bill, wheated bourbons are typically released as special and limited editions. This limited availability, coupled with their popularity among collectors and connoisseurs, contributes to their rarity.

As a result, bottles of Buffalo Trace’s wheated bourbon can be challenging to find on retail shelves and often command premium prices in both primary and secondary markets, reflecting their coveted status within the whiskey community.

What is the mash bill of Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

While the specific proportions of each grain in Buffalo Trace Bourbon’s mash bill are proprietary to the distillery, it generally consists of corn, rye, and malted barley. Corn serves as the primary grain, providing the bourbon with its foundational sweetness and contributing to its smooth and approachable character.

Rye, though typically present in smaller quantities compared to corn, imparts spicy and peppery notes, adding complexity to the flavor profile. Malted barley, with its enzymatic properties, aids in the fermentation process and contributes to the development of flavors during maturation.

Together, these grains form the backbone of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, resulting in a versatile and well-balanced whiskey enjoyed by aficionados worldwide for its distinctive taste and quality craftsmanship.

Are there any Wheated Bourbons produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery?

Yes, Buffalo Trace Distillery produces several Wheated Bourbons as part of its whiskey portfolio. One of the most notable examples is the W.L. Weller line, which pays homage to William Larue Weller, a pioneering figure in American whiskey history.

The W.L. Weller lineup includes expressions such as W.L. Weller Special Reserve, W.L. Weller Antique 107, W.L. Weller 12 Year Old, and W.L. Weller Full Proof.

These Wheated Bourbons are crafted using a mash bill that substitutes wheat for the traditional rye grain, resulting in a distinctly smooth and mellow flavor profile that sets them apart from other bourbons.

What differentiates Wheated Bourbons from traditional Bourbons?

The primary difference between Wheated Bourbons and traditional Bourbons lies in the secondary grain used in the mash bill. While traditional Bourbons typically use rye as the secondary grain after corn, Wheated Bourbons replace rye with wheat.

This substitution has a significant impact on the flavor profile of the whiskey. Wheated Bourbons are characterized by their softer, smoother, and sweeter taste compared to bourbons made with rye.

The wheat imparts a delicate sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel to the whiskey, resulting in a more subdued spice profile and a greater emphasis on flavors like caramel, vanilla, and baking spices.

Can you taste the difference between Wheated and traditional Bourbons?

Yes, the difference in grain composition between Wheated and traditional Bourbons is readily apparent in the flavor profile. When tasting Wheated Bourbons, you’ll notice a distinct smoothness and mellow character that sets them apart from traditional Bourbons.

The absence of rye in the mash bill allows the wheat to shine, contributing to flavors that are sweeter and more subdued. Wheated Bourbons often exhibit notes of caramel, honey, and fruit, with subtle hints of spice and oak in the background.

In contrast, traditional Bourbons typically feature bolder and spicier flavors, with a more robust and assertive profile that reflects the influence of rye. You may detect flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper, along with deeper oak and char notes in traditional Bourbons.

Is Buffalo trace Bourbon still highly regarded despite not being Wheated?

Yes, Buffalo Trace Bourbon remains highly regarded and esteemed within the whiskey community, despite not being a Wheated Bourbon. Buffalo Trace Distillery is renowned for its commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and innovation, and Buffalo Trace Bourbon exemplifies these values through its exceptional flavor profile and consistent quality.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon is crafted using a traditional mash bill that includes corn, rye, and malted barley. This classic combination of grains results in a bourbon with a well-balanced and complex flavor profile that appeals to a wide range of palates. The bourbon is known for its smoothness, depth of flavor, and versatility, making it a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts and bartenders alike.

While Wheated Bourbons like those in the W.L. Weller line have gained significant popularity in recent years, Buffalo Trace Bourbon maintains its own dedicated following and continues to receive accolades and awards for its outstanding quality. The bourbon’s rich history, consistent quality, and accessible price point contribute to its enduring appeal and widespread acclaim.

Final Thoughts 

Today, Buffalo Trace is still one of the most popular wheated bourbons on the market and remains a favorite among whiskey lovers worldwide.

Aside from the expressions from WL Weller and Pappy Van Winkle, the Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat is another wheated bourbon you should not miss. 

Have you tried a bottle of wheated bourbon? How was it? Let us know by commenting below. 


  1. The Complete Guide to Every Buffalo Trace Whiskey (Bourbon, Rye and More)
  2. Buffalo Trace Releases Three Kosher Whiskeys
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