Wish to Drink Barrel Proof Wheat Whiskey? Heaven Hill’s New Bernheim Is Right here to Assist.

Heaven Hill is well known for the excellent barrel-proof versions of two of its core whiskeys, Larceny and Elijah Craig. But now the Kentucky distillery is putting some muscle behind its wheat whiskey as well, with the announcement of a new barrel proof version of its Bernheim label.

Larceny and Elijah Craig are both bourbons, although Larceny stands out as being a wheated bourbon. This means that wheat is used in the mashbill as a secondary flavoring grain instead of rye, just like a little brand you might have heard of called Pappy Van Winkle. But Bernheim is Heaven Hill’s straight wheat whiskey, meaning it’s made from a mashbill of at least 51 percent wheat—in this case, 51 percent wheat, 37 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley. The use of wheat (winter wheat specifically for this whiskey) tends to lend the palate a sweeter, softer flavor according to the tasting notes, along with butter caramel, honey and cloves.

Bernheim Original is a seven-year-old whiskey bottled at 90 proof, but the first batch of this new barrel-proof version clocks in at 118.8 proof, aged between seven and nine years and is non-chill filtered. The whiskey will be released in two batches per year, as opposed to three for the Larceny and Elijah Craig barrel proof bourbons. Each batch will be coded in a similar fashion—the first is A223, meaning the first batch released in February of 2023. “The launch of the Barrel Proof expression of Bernheim Wheat Whiskey is a very exciting one for Heaven Hill,” said master distiller Conor O’Driscoll in a statement. “We know this is a product consumers want, and we think this batch has the smoothness they’ll recognize from Bernheim Original, but with an even greater depth of flavor.”

Other distilleries have straight wheat whiskeys in their lineup, like Woodford Reserve. And there are some other barrel-proof wheat whiskeys available, but they are much less common and mostly come from craft distilleries. A few of note include Michigan’s Traverse City Whiskey Co., Bluebird Distilling in Pennsylvania and Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane, Washington. Technically, this is not Heaven Hill’s first foray into barrel-proof wheat whiskey—there were two batches of the limited-edition Parker’s Heritage Collection released in 2014 that were cask-strength wheat whiskeys aged for 13 years.

The new Bernheim Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey will be allocated, but should be much more readily available than those pricy expressions. Bottles will start rolling out later this month online and in stores with an SRP of $64.99.

Source: Robb Report

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