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miller542
07-25-2010, 08:18
Anyone have any info or update as to the current state of Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey? Are people still buying this stuff? When it was introduced, I remember some speculation/hope/rumor of an older aged version that may come at some later date. Any chance of this seeing the light of day? Conversely, any chance the whole thing may be discontinued? Are competitors watching this and planning their own straight wheats, or are they caught up in the flavored bourbon movement?

For what it's worth, I bought two bottles, one to drink and one to bunker. I haven't bought any more since mainly due to price. It's good, but I'm not sure it's $40 good. Their website has a suggested retail of $30, but I've never seen it available at that price. $30 seems about right and any "super premium" version would appeal to me in the $40 space.

OscarV
07-25-2010, 08:49
I see it around everywhere all the time, I think it made it's debut in 2005. The problem I have with it is it's quick finish, as soon as you swallow the taste is gone.
As far as an older and/or cask proof wheat whiskey goes, HH said that the Parker Heritage Collection was going to be 4 in a series, 1 a bourbon, 2 a wheat whiskey, 3 a corn whiskey and 4 a rye whiskey.
Maybe that's what you were thinking about, but these other's have never came out, probably with the critical and sales success of the 3 PHC bourbons they are on hold or cancelled.

nor02lei
07-25-2010, 09:26
Anyone have any info or update as to the current state of Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey? Are people still buying this stuff? When it was introduced, I remember some speculation/hope/rumor of an older aged version that may come at some later date. Any chance of this seeing the light of day? Conversely, any chance the whole thing may be discontinued? Are competitors watching this and planning their own straight wheats, or are they caught up in the flavored bourbon movement?

For what it's worth, I bought two bottles, one to drink and one to bunker. I haven't bought any more since mainly due to price. It's good, but I'm not sure it's $40 good. Their website has a suggested retail of $30, but I've never seen it available at that price. $30 seems about right and any "super premium" version would appeal to me in the $40 space.

I have actually been waiting several years for older and stronger straight wheat. I think the Bernheim stands up well compared to bourbons with the same age and proof.

Leif

DeanSheen
07-25-2010, 10:21
I like the stuff but agree that I would be much more inclined to buy it at $30.

Josh
07-25-2010, 11:51
I like the stuff but agree that I would be much more inclined to buy it at $30.

Then you're in luck, the Michigan state minimum went down by $10 a few months ago and now it's going for $29.99.

DeanSheen
07-25-2010, 12:07
Thanks for the tip Josh.

cowdery
07-25-2010, 12:52
I like it and buy it from time to time. I have an open bottle now. I haven't heard anything about it one way or another. Maybe HH will put honey in it. (That seems to be their big thing these days.)

p_elliott
07-26-2010, 07:20
I am very fond of the Bernheim wheat whiskey to answer your question as to whether anyone else makes it, Dry Fly does see this post. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12540

camduncan
07-26-2010, 15:39
I flew back (to Australia) from New Zealand last night with two bottles in my bag. It's not available here, so I stocked up while I could. It's not available in our market, so I didn't mind paying $98 AU per bottle.

cowdery
07-26-2010, 17:49
There are a couple of micro-distillers making wheat spirits, a couple can even be called whiskey, but nobody else is making anything aged. (Bernheim is reportedly five years in wood.)

miller542
07-28-2010, 09:49
Thanks for the responses. Everything posted is about want I expected but I wanted to check with everyone to be sure.

I now have two additional thoughts. 1. A Parker Beam Heritage collection straight wheat that would equate to Bernheim Original on steriods would be very interesting. 2. It just seems strange to me that Heaven Hill would go to all the trouble to introduce a new product and then the marketing goes virtually silent once the introduction phase is over. Maybe their target was a few people buying a few bottles every now and then all along and they're happy with that. I would think there's some leverage with "the first straight wheat whiskey since prohibition"

StraightBoston
07-28-2010, 10:02
Judging from the other threads, maybe a similar issue to ri(1) -- put it out there as a premium product and let it fizzle if it doesn't take off?

Josh
07-28-2010, 13:24
Thanks for the responses. Everything posted is about want I expected but I wanted to check with everyone to be sure.

I now have two additional thoughts. 1. A Parker Beam Heritage collection straight wheat that would equate to Bernheim Original on steriods would be very interesting. 2. It just seems strange to me that Heaven Hill would go to all the trouble to introduce a new product and then the marketing goes virtually silent once the introduction phase is over. Maybe their target was a few people buying a few bottles every now and then all along and they're happy with that. I would think there's some leverage with "the first straight wheat whiskey since prohibition"

The price cut in Michigan had me wondering the same thing. I wonder if they've stopped producing it entirely. Supposedly when Saz took over Barton they found some wheat whiskey. According to our tour guide at Tom Moore last April, they were, up until last year, still making corn and wheat whiskey as a sort of warm-up to making bourbon. She seemed to imply that it was all sold off for blending.

Res/st-or
07-28-2010, 17:11
Saw 4 bottles for $32 at a local grocery store last night. I see it all over anywhere from $30 - $40. Sipped a glass last night also... Very pleasant.

The PH is very good IMO... Pricey though.

dgonano
07-29-2010, 13:18
The HH national sales reps were at my local retailer just recently. They were promoting the Bernheim Wheat at the lower $30 price. This is a nationwide push.

Rughi
07-29-2010, 13:44
Has anyone followed Bernheim's flavor profile from the first releases to the recent bottlings?

I've still got an unloved bottle from it's initial west coast rollout (2006?) and wonder if it's improved or stayed on its initial course. I find it highly likely there's been a learning curve on how to optimize the high wheat content of this unique (for a macro-distiller) product.

Most of all, I disliked the hay-ish, wet cardboard nose and the slightly uncooked grain flavors (like unconverted mash, for you homebrewers). I imagine the very mild character and the short finish are part and parcel of being a wheater, but the nose and palate seem improvable.

I know that everyone has different tastes and some have probably loved it all along, but has it won over any early doubters?

Roger

cowdery
07-29-2010, 13:54
My current bottle is recent and I've had it from time to time since it was introduced. I like it for a change of pace. It hasn't evolved very much, in my opinion, but I wouldn't expect it to because that's the profile they're going for.

Companies like Heaven Hill don't give their products very much support, which makes it hard to grow a brand, especially one that's in a league of its own. But they can do some things, like adjust the price. They're probably making a little more of it every year, so if they can sell more by selling it for less they can still make the same or more profit.

I don't hear much about it but it might be going exactly according to plan.

Bernheim was introduced in 2005.

The Bernheim web site (http://www.bernheimwheatwhiskey.com/mainsitealt.html) confirms that the suggested retail price is $29.99. (Go to the FAQ.)

Gillman
07-29-2010, 13:57
It got somewhat deeper in flavor after (probably the barrels getting older) but not a whole lot, I'd agree.

Gary

DeanSheen
07-29-2010, 14:36
The HH national sales reps were at my local retailer just recently. They were promoting the Bernheim Wheat at the lower $30 price. This is a nationwide push.

Not a bad deal there. I'll have to pick some up next time I'm out of state.

foxflyer5
07-30-2010, 11:54
somewhere around May is when i first started seeing the Bernheim in the PA/DE/MD area. now i see it all the time for $30, at almost every store. it was good to experience once. but its too sweet for my tastes.

cowdery
07-30-2010, 20:40
I can confirm that it's a permanent price re-positioning that started the first of this year and has been rolling out, market by market, depending on existing deals and inventories. They lowered the price for the most basic of reasons, to increase sales. They recognize it is a difficult product for many people to understand so they think a $30 vs $40 price point will help gain trial and get more people to make the leap. This is not my conjecture, this is the word from Heaven Hill. I do think it's a good idea and $30 is probably the right price for what it is. I like Bernheim and know I'll buy it more frequently at that price.

CorvallisCracker
07-30-2010, 21:08
The OLCC dropped the price from $50.45 to $29.95 back a coupleorthree months ago, but they're bumping it back to $50.45 on August first.

I would ask them why, but like most professional bureaucrats they're very good at not giving straight answers (I'm still getting the run around on the deletion of WRMC Maple Finish from the August Price Changes list), so I don't think I'll bother.

Halifax
07-31-2010, 09:29
When it was on the shelves in NC it was always $24.95. I recently acquired some clearanced at $19.95. It's still on the special order list for $24.95. I've got 7 bottles bunkered so I think I'm fine for a while.

cowdery
07-31-2010, 15:52
The OLCC dropped the price from $50.45 to $29.95 back a coupleorthree months ago, but they're bumping it back to $50.45 on August first.

I would ask them why, but like most professional bureaucrats they're very good at not giving straight answers (I'm still getting the run around on the deletion of WRMC Maple Finish from the August Price Changes list), so I don't think I'll bother.

The new price hasn't been rolled out everywhere yet. It could be that because of the way Oregon buys or the way they price, the new pricing hasn't gone through the pipeline yet. The earlier price cut may have been for inventory reduction and not related to the new lower wholesale price. It could also be a bureaucratic foul-up. They're good at that too.

One of the few good things, for us at least, about control states is that they generally are not opportunistic. They base their pricing on a formula, based on their cost, rather than judging what price the market will bear. That's why things like the BTAC tend to be cheaper in control states.

They also don't have the benefit of competition to help them determine the "right" price, the way merchants in uncontrolled markets do.

camduncan
08-01-2010, 03:19
I cracked a bottle today with my Dad. It was his first taste and he enjoyed it a lot. For him (a scotch drinker), it was like a desert sipping whiskey. For me, it was everything I remembered from my first taste two years ago at the Sampler. I must admit, if it was available here, I'd always have a bottle on hand.

jburlowski
08-01-2010, 07:07
Since it was introduced, I've always had an open bottle on hand. Like Chuck and others, I enjoy it as a change of pace. I also seem to drink more of it in the summertime ----- it seems especially suited for hot days.

Since this has been on the market for five years, there have got to be some of the original distillations still in the barrel somewhere at HH. I'd loved to see how this tastes with some additional aging --- say a 10 yo.

nor02lei
08-01-2010, 08:45
[quote= 10 yo.[/quote]

Yes john and 100 proof!

Leif

chazjaz
09-02-2010, 12:55
I was surprised yesterday when I found the price had been lowered from $42 to around $25 at my favorite retailer. I could not resist and found it to be quite refreshing and as many have mentioned, a nice change of pace.:cool:

cigarnv
09-02-2010, 13:21
It is under $25 in Virginia and gets down to $22 on sale.... Easy drinking and great for the friends who are not big whiskey drinkers...

callmeox
09-02-2010, 14:07
This hit the regular Ohio list for September in the 28.00 range, IIRC.

miller542
09-07-2010, 19:04
This hit the regular Ohio list for September in the 28.00 range, IIRC.

That's what I'm talking about! Now for that 10 year, 100 proof version...........

RickF
11-11-2010, 13:29
The North Carolina ABC stores list Bernheim Original for $24.95. I have found it in a few of the stores, but not many.

My son-in-law and I each bought a bottle when we were visiting Louisville about 18 months ago. He liked it more than I did, but it certainly is not the worst $25 that I have ever spent.

spy247
12-02-2010, 20:37
Like Cam said its not regulary available in the Australian market, but I grab a bottle when I can. I like it !

boss302
12-03-2010, 11:02
I just had a dram of Bernheim Wheat after a dram of Rebel Reserve, which I thought would be interesting, since they are both distilled by Heaven Hill (the Rebel Reserve is basically Old Fitzgerald juice sold to Luxco for separate aging).

I don't know if my constant sipping of Scotch has ruined my palate for American whiskeys, but I could not taste a huge difference between the two. I keep hearing how the Bernheim is supposed to be a very sweet whiskey, but, to me, it tasted quite spicy and bourbon-y.

Am I doing something wrong?

wadewood
01-13-2011, 16:05
I was on Spec's (large Houston retailer) website and they had Bernheim listed for $24.58 cash price. Stopped by store today and it was on shelf for $37.xx. I mentioned the difference and the buyer was called - shelf was remarked to match web site. My guess is the price decrease is just now hitting Houston and this will be permanent price.

I bought a Bernheim Wheat, Rittenhouse Rye 100, and EC 12 - out the door at $76.51 less the $15 rebate Ed posted. Not a bad deal.

callmeox
01-13-2011, 17:57
I just had a dram of Bernheim Wheat after a dram of Rebel Reserve, which I thought would be interesting, since they are both distilled by Heaven Hill (the Rebel Reserve is basically Old Fitzgerald juice sold to Luxco for separate aging).

I don't know if my constant sipping of Scotch has ruined my palate for American whiskeys, but I could not taste a huge difference between the two. I keep hearing how the Bernheim is supposed to be a very sweet whiskey, but, to me, it tasted quite spicy and bourbon-y.

Am I doing something wrong?

Yeah, you are listening to people making faulty assumptions. :cool:

It has less corn than every bourbon on the market and corn makes a bourbon sweet, not the wheat. I find it to be biscuity with layers of spice and not really sweet at all.

chefnash51
01-24-2011, 09:43
"biscuity" is something that I find in this as well. Love having this on hand.

For some reason CT always has it priced close to $50. I won't buy it at that price, especially when I can order it online for under $30.

cowdery
01-24-2011, 20:11
Heaven Hill has definitely dropped its prices consistent with a $30 price point, so if Connecticut is maintaining the higher retail price they're ripping you off even more than usual. (Well, not you, since you won't pay it.)

squire
02-04-2011, 10:11
Time to check my local again to see if they are following the new pricing. Last time I looked Bernheim was still in the $40s.

tommyboy38
02-16-2011, 18:36
I spoke to a Bernheim rep at a tasting last April and he mentioned the price would be dropping but I haven't seen that happen around Chicago yet.

cowdery
02-16-2011, 20:17
It's <$30 at Binny's.

squire
02-17-2011, 18:20
Hopefully the next supply to hit here will have the lower sticker price.

camduncan
02-17-2011, 18:57
I saw this thread last night, so had a pour in honour of...

squire
02-19-2011, 17:54
Available now at my local for $28.95.

HP12
03-02-2011, 17:38
In Virginia, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey 750ml regularly goes for $24.90.

:hot:News Flash:hot:Hot Deal...on sale this month for $21.90.

I'll be picking up my first bottle this week!

jmpyle
03-06-2011, 22:27
It has less corn than every bourbon on the market and corn makes a bourbon sweet, not the wheat. I find it to be biscuity with layers of spice and not really sweet at all.

Callmeox, I definitely concur with you on this one. "Biscuity" in retrospect is a very nice way of describint it. The sweetness is present but very much in check. Here are my notes on it:

Color: Deep Bronze

Nose: Crisp and light with graham cracker, lemon pie, all spice, and toasted oak. There is a dry whole grain quality to this nose.

Palate: Beautifully balanced, but the flavors are well defined with lemon candy, vanilla, and light honey sweetness that isn’t sticky in the least. The sweetness is far from cloying. Cherries really shine through (kirsch??) also followed by heavily toasted bread and dry oak. Sweet spices (clove, all spice) emerge from mid palate through to the finish.

Finish: For such a light, airy whiskey this finish is really pretty long. Again the cherry fruit shines through in a more cherry candy or maraschino flavor, then toasted oak and sweet spice really takes over.

Overall: Bourbon lovers expecting to drink a rich, sweet, intense whiskey need to pause for a moment. This certainly has some bourbon-like qualities, as it should with a significant portion of corn in the grain recipe. However this is much more elegant, refined, and subtle. The flavors are light and fruity, and the sweetness is present without overdoing it. For Scotch Lovers that feel bourbon is “too sweet” or for those Bourbon Lovers looking for a nice, easy sipping change up – this is a great one. There is something for everyone here – it’s inviting, well made, and I look forward to another glass.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.7 (Very Good/Excellent)

HP12
03-28-2011, 08:42
@JP,

Nice review. The Bernheim is a bottle in my cabinet that I have yet to open but looking forward to comparing this wheat influenced whiskey with other "traditional" Bourbon styles.

squire
03-28-2011, 09:42
Jason my notes are close to yours as I found much the same thing. I did not notice the cherry and found more nuttiness and oak qualities but otherwise we are close. This is a sophisticated whisky that makes you work to tease out the nuances but is worth the effort.

jmpyle
03-28-2011, 20:53
Jason my notes are close to yours as I found much the same thing. I did not notice the cherry and found more nuttiness and oak qualities but otherwise we are close. This is a sophisticated whisky that makes you work to tease out the nuances but is worth the effort.

Worth the effort indeed. Sometimes it's nice to work a little bit for it.

OscarV
03-29-2011, 02:17
So what is the mashbill percentages of Bernheim Wheat?
I have always assumed it was all wheat except for some barley to get the fermentation going.
It's good whiskey but I find the finish very short.

jmpyle
03-29-2011, 10:46
So what is the mashbill percentages of Bernheim Wheat?
I have always assumed it was all wheat except for some barley to get the fermentation going.
It's good whiskey but I find the finish very short.

Oscar I am not sure, but I'd be surprised if it's much north of the minimum 51% wheat. Total guess.

The press release from Heaven Hill in 2005 states the following: "The new whiskey is the first of its kind. Heaven Hill Father and Son Master Distillers Parker and Craig Beam developed the wheat formula with a minimum of 51% winter wheat – the recipe also includes corn and malted barley."

cowdery
03-29-2011, 11:27
Yes, 51% wheat, 37% corn and 12% malt. They make about 1,200 barrels of it a year.

Ruddigger
04-24-2011, 20:12
I talked to Craig Beam at a bottle signing last week and he did confirm that there are some older Bernheim barrels aging that might get a special release depending on how they turn out. Could be interesting!

jmpyle
04-25-2011, 18:02
I talked to Craig Beam at a bottle signing last week and he did confirm that there are some older Bernheim barrels aging that might get a special release depending on how they turn out. Could be interesting!

He said the same at WhiskyFest - Chicago as well. Can't wait to try them.