83

Score

Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey, 45%

Price: $40.00 Issue: Fall 2005 Reviewer: John Hansell

Gentle in personality and predominantly sweet, with notes of honeyed vanilla, caramel, maple syrup, coconut cream pie, and a hint of red licorice. Underlying bright fruit, suggestions of green tea, and a dusting of cinnamon keep the whiskey lively and upbeat. A soft, toasted oak finish tames the sweetness and provides balance. The whiskey is more approachable and easier to drink than a typical bourbon containing rye-the spicy rye intensity isn’t there. Some bourbon enthusiasts will miss the challenge-and rewards-that the rye would normally provide. For this reason, this whiskey will be more appealing to drinkers of wheated bourbons (e.g., Maker’s Mark, Old Fitzgerald, W.L. Weller). It is an interesting change of pace from the standard bourbon fare, and it is a unique exploration of American whiskey without sacrificing authenticity.