Woodford Reserve’s New $35 Bottle Could Set Off the Next Trend in Whiskey
Long a proponent of easy-drinking, premium whiskeys, Woodford Reserve has quietly become one of the most diversified whiskey brands in the U.S. In the past few years, the Brown-Forman operation has added a rye whiskey, malted whiskey and pile of other non-standard, experimental releases to go along with its ever-popular bourbon. With the release of another first, that lineup expands further.
Rolling out today, Woodford Reserve Wheat Whiskey joins bourbon, rye, malted whiskey and Double Oak in the company’s permanent whiskey portfolio. The addition of a straight wheat whiskey makes Woodford Reserve the only modern whiskey distillery to produce all four federally approved American straight whiskeys (bourbon, rye, malt, wheat). Made with a four-grain, 52 percent wheat mashbill, it comes in at the Woodford-standard 90.4 proof.
To clarify: wheat whiskey is not to be confused with wheated bourbon. Wheat whiskeys (like Heaven Hill’s Bernheim) are made with a mashbill comprised of at least 51 percent wheat, the remainder of the recipe being filled out by some combination barley, corn and rye. Wheated bourbons, meanwhile, replace either the barley or rye with wheat in a majority corn mashbill.
Wheated bourbons are held in high regard, with bottles bearing the names Pappy, Weller and Old Fitzgerald demanding extraordinary prices at liquor stores. Wheat whiskeys have not seen as much popularity or acclaim, but if the bourbon boom can trigger a rye boom, there’s no reason it can’t do the same for wheat.
According to the Woodford Reserve, bottles of Wheat Whiskey will retail for $35.