The simplest way to divide your bourbons is by the secondary grain.

Bourbon has to be at least 51% corn, and most are around 70%.  The secondary grain is usually rye, but a handful of bourbon producers use wheat instead, yielding a less spicy, less floral, less sour bourbon.  Wheated bourbons, or “wheaters,” have a softer and often nutty flavor.

Personally, my favorite bourbons are wheated, including the notoriously hard to find Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, and the best value bottle on the market, Old Fitzgerald 86 proof, which runs less than $10 a bottle.

To the best of my knowledge, this is a comprehensive list of wheated bourbons grouped by distillery.  If you know better, please post whatever I am missing in the comments!

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Maker’s Mark

Heaven Hill

  • Old Fitzgerald year not stated (80 and 86 proof)
  • Old Fitzgerald 12 year (90 proof)
  • Old Fitzgerald Very Special 12  year (90 proof)
  • Old Fitzgerald’s 1849 8 year ( 90 proof)
  • Very Old Fitzgerald 8 year (100 proof)
  • Very Very Old Fitzgerald 12 year (100 proof)
  • Old Fitzgerald [Green label] 6 year (100 Proof)
  • Rebel Yell 4 year (80 proof)
  • Rebel Reserve 4 year (90.6 proof)
  • Cabin Still 4 year (80 proof)

A. Smith Bowman Distillery


To my knowledge, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey is the only “straight wheat whiskey” (at least 51% wheat).

Photo by NDSU Ag Comm

Join the Conversation


  1. Fine list, but there’s a new kid in town: Larceny Bourbon, made by Heaven Hill. Inexpensive at $35 a liter (NYC pricing), rich in mouthfeel, and being compared to Makers 46. I like it a lot more, actually. Check it out!

  2. Began drinking Rebel Yell at 16 years old. Cooter Brown would buy it for us. All we had to do was buy him one too. Still love the taste of it. Taste best straight from the bottle while sitting on a log in the woods with your best friends. Those were the days. Now more than half of us are dead and gone but those were good ole days. Great Bourbon for the price.

  3. Believe Larceny is a wheated bourbon. John E Fitzgerald family out of Heaven Hill.

  4. Noah’s Mill from Willett, is, I believe a wheated bourbon.

    And is, I know, very tasty.

  5. Many more Wheat Whiskeys. A few are Masterson’s Wheat, OYO Oloroso Wheat, Dry Fly Wheat, Seven Brothers Wheat, New Holland Bill’s, Rough Stock, Cedar Creek. Check them out.

  6. Poster above about stated Wheat Whiskeys. Could you please state which of those is a Bourbon or not?

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