BEST WHEATED BOURBON
While bourbon remains America's favorite choice of spirit, whiskey aficionados are seeking new flavor experiences. Also, a new breed of drinkers is not interested in going for the mass-produced, big-name bourbon brands. Smaller, specialist distillers are meeting this demand by creating new recipes for different styles of bourbon. This revolution in the market includes wheated bourbon, with its mellow character, that especially appeals to those new to bourbon drinking...
What is Wheated Bourbon?
While a bourbon mash bill must contain corn as the primary grain, most distillers add rye and malted barley as the secondary grains. In wheated bourbon, wheat is used instead of rye to create a smoother and gentler flavor than rye bourbon. Wheated bourbon must be made and aged according to the same strict rules as any other bourbon.
Replacing rye with wheat in bourbon results in a softer and slightly sweeter flavor profile. The corn's natural sweetness blends with the gentle character of the wheat for a complexity you don't find with other grains. You might detect flowery and fruity notes, with hints of honey and caramel. However, one of the most important influences on the bourbon's flavor is the maturation in charred oak barrels.
Best Wheated Bourbon
Rabbit Hole's award-winning Dareringer straight bourbon whiskey is a wheated bourbon made with a mash bill of 68% corn, 18% wheat, and 14% malted barley. After distillation, the whiskey is aged in toasted and charred barrels, which coaxes out sugars from the oak and imparts oaky and vanilla notes. But the bourbon is not finished yet.
Once the master distiller deems the Dareringer sufficiently matured, the bourbon is transferred to hand-made Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry casks from Spain. These barrels have contained sherry for two years and taken on the wine's date and raisin notes. Dareringer rests in the sherry cask for six months and absorbs the flavors and aromas of the wine, resulting in its unique, rich flavor profile.
The outcome of the maturation and resting process is a mellow bourbon with the heady aroma of sherry, along with cherry and caramel notes. You'll pick up subtle hints of currents and raisins, with traces of almonds and vanilla, with a finish that is light and slightly dry. Each batch of Dareringer is selected from no more than 15 barrels and then bottled at 93 proof (46.5% ABV). While best enjoyed neat, the strength means it also stands out in cocktails. Dareringer has been awarded gold in the 2022 World Whiskies Awards and double gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Searching for wheated bourbon can be troublesome for the uninitiated as few distillers use the term on their labels, and there is no requirement to do so. Experienced bourbon drinkers know what to look for, but if you're new to it, you might need to seek guidance. But once you've discovered this smooth drinking bourbon, you might find you're hooked. Whether you're just learning about bourbon or an aficionado looking for a new taste experience, Rabbit Hole Dareinger wheated bourbon will have you coming back for more.