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Woodford Rye vs Woodford Wheat: Which Wins?

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

Woodford Reserve Rye

NoseOak, vanilla, rye spice
PalateRipe fruit, rye spice, vanilla, oak
FinishLong, vanilla, tobacco, oak spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Rye, Woodford Malt

The Woodford Reserve Rye is a “barely legal” Rye Whiskey as it only carries a bit over the minimum of rye in the mash established by law to belong to this category.

This makes it taste like a spicy version of the much beloved Woodford Reserve Bourbon while still providing some of the signature notes such as the toasty oak.

Woodford Rye has a nose rich in oak at first and as you let it develop vanilla and rye spice appear.

The first sip provides mild rye spice followed by rich and sweet hints of vanilla and a fruity note that tastes like apricot. The body has a good texture, not too creamy but thick nonetheless.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm with little burn leaving vanilla and a bit of oak spice.

The Woodford Reserve Rye drinks nicely neat, due to its low rye content it does not have much spiciness making it quite easy to sip.

If you add a little ice it will become even smoother and will bring out some sweet vanilla making it more enjoyable.

This is a solid whiskey and among the best rye whiskeys to sip neat.

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

  • Made from a mash of 53% rye, 33% corn and 14% malted barley.
  • There is no age statement on the Woodford Reserve Rye, but it is a straight rye so that means it’s at least 4 years old.
  • Woodford Reserve Rye is crafted in its own distillery in Woodford County, Kentucky.

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 drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWoodford Reserve Malt, Weller Special Reserve

As opposed to most wheated bourbons such as Maker’s Mark, Larceny or Weller that only carry between 10% and 20% wheat in the mash, the Woodford Reserve delivers a highly wheated bourbon at 52% wheat!

This provides strong bread-like hints to the whiskey making it particularly interesting.

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

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

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

The finish is quite 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 Reserve Wheat:

  • Made using a mash comprised of 52% wheat, 20% malt, 20% corn and 8% rye.
  • It does not have an age statement.

Woodford Reserve Rye vs Wheat: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Woodford Reserve Rye$40
Woodford Reserve Wheat$40

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

Woodford Rye for mixing, Woodford Wheat for sipping

  • The Woodford Wheat is a nice sipping wheated bourbon, a bit drier than any other Woodford release, but quite enjoyable delivering a fully-wheated experience as this bourbon carries a high percentage of thi grain in the mash making it unique.