Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey Batch A224 Review

When Heaven Hill added Bernheim Wheat Whiskey to its barrel-proof portfolio early last year, it filled a big market hole. Wheat whiskeys at any proof are rare, but this barrel-proof offering is the only one from a major brand like it.

Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey Batch A224 Review


  • DISTILLER: Heaven Hill Distillery
  • MASH BILL: 51% Wheat | 37% Corn | 12% Malted Barley
  • AGE: no age stated, reportedly 7-9 years
  • YEAR: 2024
  • PROOF: 125.2 (62.6% ABV)
  • MSRP: $65


SHARE WITH: Those who enjoy a good barrel proof American whiskey. Heaven Hill fans, naturally. Friends who say wheat whiskey doesn't do it for them.

WORTH THE PRICE: Absolutely. Like many of Heaven Hill's other barrel proof releases, there's a lot of bang for your buck packed into this bottle. At $65, it's a no brainer, but it wouldn't take much persuading to get me moving a little north of that. Retailers gotta eat, too. And drive Audis, apparently.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle. All. Day. Long. Heaven Hill is currently dropping these releases at the very beginning and end of the year, so just make sure you savor this one as long as possible.

OVERALL: As I write this review, my dwindling bottle of Parker's Heritage 8th Edition, the 13-year-old, cask strength wheat whiskey made from the original batch of Bernheim, seems to be starring at me from across my office asking nervously "Whatcha got in the glass?". It has good reason to be a little insecure.

When the Parker's release dropped in 2014, right before our era of whiskey hysteria and uber premiumization, it was considered a lux offering at $90 a bottle. Prices for that bottle now hover somewhere north of a grand. It enjoys pride of place on my shelf not because its expensive today but because it's very good. And very rare. Or at least it was.

When Heaven Hill added Bernheim Wheat Whiskey to its barrel proof portfolio early last year, it filled a pretty big hole in the market. Wheat whiskeys at any proof are still very rare, but this barrel proof offering is the only one like it from a major brand. Better yet, it comes with a healthy age statement of 7-9 years (not stated on the bottle) and a more than reasonable price point. How does it compare to its more mature and more famous predecessor?

I think it might be better. The nose is big with warm grain, not gritty but well-baked to a golden brown. Thick, sweet notes of brown sugar and candied apple sit comfortably atop a foundation of seasoned oak. The palate delivers a rich, syrupy sweetness with notes of fresh honey, butterscotch pudding, and a little peanut butter fudge. It sings at barrel proof, exceedingly approachable with an easy, even warmth. The finish is silky with caramel candies and lemon peel.

The Parker's has all of that going for it, too, plus a richer oak profile from those extra years in the barrel that both enhances and detracts from the expressive, balanced simplicity of this younger Bernheim Barrel Proof. Some may prefer that. I thought I did. Get some.


This extension to the Bernheim brand means you can now enjoy a premium Wheat Whiskey at full barrel proof. Like the original, Bernheim Barrel Proof is produced at the Bernheim Distillery and is the first wheat whiskey to use winter wheat as its primary grain, giving it a soft, sweet flavor that’s extra smooth. Released twice a year, each offering is aged for seven to nine years in our open-air rickhouses. This is a chance to experience our unique wheat mashbill in its pure form: non-chill filtered and bottled at barrel proof.

Tasting Notes

  • Color: Mahogany
  • Aroma: Oak staves and fresh bread
  • Taste: Buttery notes of caramel and honey with clove spice
  • Finish: Soft and complex; notes of honey and caramel

Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.