Class: Kentucky Straight Bourbon (Wheated)
Reviewer: Bobby Long
Produced in Bardstown, Kentucky by the Barton 1792 Distillery, which is owned by Sazerac Company (i.e. Buffalo Trace), this is the first and only wheated whiskey in the 1792 lineup. Most bourbons have rye as the second largest contributing grain (bourbon must be 51% corn) but wheaters opt instead to use wheat. Wheaters have been part of the bourbon scene for a long time, and have been popularized by lines like Makers Mark and Van Winkle. Maker's Mark is the most common wheated bourbon you'll find, and serves as an excellent baseline for wheaters to be judged against.
- No age statement, but allegedly 8(ish) years old.
- Mash bill info is not disclosed, other than that wheat is used instead of rye alongside the corn and barley.
- Bottled at 45.6% ABV (91.2 proof).
Nose: Alcohol prickle creeps up first but is quickly followed by sweet fruitiness. Almost like a thumbprint cookie, sweet elements dominate here. The fruit is strong and reminds me of a fruit punch medley with warm vanilla and light toffee underneath.
Palate: Sweet, light and thin. The oak is present initially, follwed by the sweet fruit punch flavor which pulls this whiskey along your palate. There is some caramel and vanilla mixed with the fruit and wheat. This dram shines mid-palate when the sweet vanilla really hits the fruitiness. There's an odd touch of sourness like wine or maybe apples before it leaves you with a nice pie crust flavor.
Finish: Lots of soft and fresh literal wheat notes here, alongside fruit and vanilla with a little cream to it-almost custard like, then it goes to that warm baked pie crust I noticed at the tail end of the palate.
Buying Recommendation: Worth buying a pour. This has the big sweetness of a classic wheated whiskey, but is a bit thin, lacking overall depth and character. This is an easy sipping whiskey that most people could probably get along with, but I can help but feel like a few extra proof points would have really elevated this whiskey. For $30-40, you could do worse, but unless extra sweet is your thing you can likely do better.
The Rating Scale
At WBSE we use a true 100 point scale for scoring to allow whiskeys to further differentiate themselves (as opposed to a letter grade scale where 90% of whiskeys fall between 78-92). This allows you to more easily compare scores between different whiskeys. Here is how the scale breaks down:
1-49: Varying degrees of bad
60-69: Better than average
90+: truly exceptional
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