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Woodford Reserve Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve Wheat: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Woodford Reserve Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve Wheat in this in-depth comparison and decide which whiskey is better for You!

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

NoseMint, honey, vanilla, citrus
PalateSweet oak, cinnamon, mint, ripe fruit
FinishOak, caramel, baking spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toFour Roses, Knob Creek, WR Malt

Woodford Reserve is pleasant and subtle on the nose, with hints of wood, mint, vanilla and caramel.

Palate is sweet and spicy yet entirely smooth. Some oak up front, but in moderation, along cinnamon, mint, and a sweet fruity note.

The finish brings additional sweetness, along oak, and satisfying warmth that lingers.

This bourbon is nicely balanced, body is creamy and does not have any off-putting or demanding notes reasons to make it one of the top-selling whiskeys.

It makes a great sipper due to its smoothness and is yet spicy due to rich cinnamon notes.

This is a sweet and mellow bourbon with the right level of heat that drinkers of all levels will appreciate alike.

Excellent everyday bourbon, smooth and clean, good both neat and on ice.

I find it somewhat weak to make great cocktails. I’d rather use the Woodford Reserve Rye that has many tasting notes in common but with additional rye in the mash making it more spicy and punchy.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Woodford Reserve:

  • Woodford’s mash bill is made from 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% barley; the rye content makes it a bit spicy.
  • This bourbon ages for 7 years in one of the few warehouses that uses heat cycling. This process involves cooling and heating the air to closely control the aging.
  • Earned gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Woodford Reserve Wheat

NoseOak, bread, cinnamon, apple
PalateCherry, bread, brown sugar, baking spice, oak
FinishCinnamon, apple, oak spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toWeller, WR Malt, Bernheim

On the nose, the traditional Woodford Reserve oaky note is present, followed by hints of bread and cinnamon-dusted apples.

On the palate, Woodford Wheat displays a good creamy body. Flavor is sweet, with a strong hint of cherry, brioche bread, brown sugar, baking spice and just a tad of oak spice.

The finish is dry, perhaps too dry, with very little warmth to it. There is a lingering cinnamon and apple aftertaste along more oak and spice.

As opposed to wheated bourbons such as Maker’s MarkWeller or Larceny that only carry around less than 20% of wheat grain in the mash, the Woodford Wheat is quite rich in wheat as it carries 52%.

This provides strong bread-like hints to the whiskey making it particularly interesting, although is not neither mind blowing nor earth shattering.

The finish is notoriously dry, more than in any other Woodford release, so you better keep that in mind before purchasing it.

The Woodford Wheat goes down very smooth, with a nice lingering note of vanilla and apples. Drinks nicely neat or rocks, with very little warmth to it making it a good sipper.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Woodford Wheat:

  • Made using a mash comprised of 52% wheat, 20% malt, 20% corn and 8% rye.
  • It does not have an age statement but might be around 4 years.
  • Woodford Reserve is owned by Brown Forman who also holds Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester among other brands such as Herradura Tequila.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve Wheat: Mash bill

This chart illustrates how the mash bills are comprised:

WhiskeyMalted BarleyWheatRyeCorn
Woodford Reserve Bourbon10%18%72%
Woodford Reserve Wheat20%52%8%20%

Woodford Reserve Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve Wheat: Price comparison

Price are approximate and stated in USD:

Woodford Reserve Bourbon$40
Woodford Reserve Wheat$39

Woodford Reserve Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve Wheat: Which is better?

Woodford Bourbon is better than Woodford Wheat

  • Woodford Wheat is something worth trying out of curiosity as this one of the very few whiskeys that use mostly wheat in the mash bill proving a nice and smooth brioche bread hint to it.
  • Not particularly interesting nor complex yet easy drinking pour with very little warmth.
  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon is super reliable bourbon that ticks in all the right boxes making one of the best basic pours that you can buy today.
  • Good body, sweet, nicely balanced, with the right level of oak and warmth striking a solid offering that drinks nicely either neat or rocks; somewhat weak to make flavorful cocktails.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Woodford Reserve Bourbon where I rank every bottle.

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