Review: Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey (2009)
Yes Virginia, they make whiskey out of wheat. Not all wheat, mind you, but mostly wheat. While Scotch is made from malted barley and bourbon is made primarily from corn, Bernheim Original is the only known whiskey on the market to use winter wheat as its primary grain. To be sure, wheat is a grain component of many other whiskeys (especially bourbons) — Maker’s Mark is probably the most noteworthy brand on the market — but it invariably takes a back seat to corn in the blend.
As you open it, you’ll find that Bernheim Original is instantly unique. The nose is reminiscent of rye whiskey, with a spicy kick that immediately takes you aback. But it’s surprisingly smooth after that initial rush of heat, offering muted pepper notes, big grain/fresh bread flavors, and a succinctly sweet finish. I wasn’t thrilled with the touch of bitterness that creeps in after that, meddling with what is otherwise a wonderful experience, but on the whole Bernheim offers a truly unique way to experience whiskey.