Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey (Batch A224)


Classification: Straight Wheat Whiskey

Company: Bernheim Distillery (Heaven Hill)

Distillery: Bernheim Distillery (Heaven Hill)

Release Date: February 2024

Proof: 125.2

Age: 7-9 Years

Mashbill: 51% Wheat, 37% Corn, 12% Malted Barley

Color: Copper

MSRP: $65 / 750mL (2024)

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Sweet bread | Brown sugar buttered dinner roll | Cinnamon sugar powder | Barrel char | Slight ethanol


Bold cinnamon spice | Baked bread | Dry tannic oak | Dry cinnamon stick | Slight leather | Cinnamon spice dominates


Dry oak | Leather | Dry cinnamon powder | Cinnamon spice | Incredibly dry overall


The highest proof Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey to date, the first batch of 2024 brings familiar yet different notes along with an interesting finish.

Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey is named in honor of the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Bernheim Distillery was founded in 1992 by United Distillers (who became Diageo in 1997), and then sold to Heaven Hill and renamed Heaven Hill Bernheim Distillery in 1999. It would later become Heaven Hill’s primary distillery after the 1996 distillery fire destroyed Heaven Hill’s Bardstown Distillery along with 90,000 barrels of whiskey. Bernheim Original Barrel Proof Wheat Whiskey will only be released twice per year, with batches designated with “A” meaning the first batch of the year, “2” meaning during the month of February, and “24” meaning the year 2024.

The latest batch of Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey displays similar traits as the last batch of 2023. Sweet scents abound for the opening with baked bread and cinnamon and various forms of sugar taking center stage. The sweetness from the nose carries over to the palate, however it’s fleeting, as dry notes of tannic oak and leather push forward along with a dominant cinnamon spice. Flowing directly into the finish, these dry notes abound, so much so that it borders on mouth-suckingly dry. A pinch of cinnamon spice helps to add some differentiation, but is no match for the overall dryness that lingers.

Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey Batch A224 is different from the likes of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and Larceny Barrel Proof. While both of those products are bourbon, they’ve also had a few years to refine their flavor profiles and get their feet under it, resulting in whiskeys that are some of the best bang for your buck available to consumers. Being a wheated whiskey, Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey clearly will always taste different, however, it’s not to the point where it’s found its groove. It delivers a nice amount of sweetness from its predominant wheat grain, along with a nice contrasting cinnamon spice, but the dryness holds it back from greater heights. I expect that it will take a few releases for Bernheim Barrel Proof Original Wheat Whiskey to shake out to a more balanced form. If it ever reaches the same height as its other barrel proof whiskey sibling is yet to be determined, but in the meantime, it offers a wheated barrel proof option for a category of the market that is currently lacking.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Jordan Moskal

March 7, 2024
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