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  1. #1
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    Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    As we begin reviewing our production schedule we are interested to hear more about bourbon drinkers choices.. Rye or Wheat or both? We enjoy both wheat and Rye based but if I had to pick my personal favorite is a wheat based.

    As everyone knows there are bourbons at various proofs.. What is you're favorite? Again so many great bourbons but I tend to look for 86-94 proof for my taste.

    thank you for any feedback,
    Shane Baker

  2. #2
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    I don't discriminate. But my feeling is that there are a lot of bad wheat bourbons out there, and I find most of them too timid. That said, the very best bourbons I've ever had are wheaters. So there is big variation among them. The rye bourbons are usually all pretty good, and to me its a safe bet and I usually find the profile familiar.

    Basically, wheat has the potential for greatness but many times winds up not even good, whereas rye always comes out pretty tasty but very rarely exceptional.

    What are you guys making now?

  3. #3
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    Enjoy both but prefer the high rye recipes, for sure.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    We are not in production yet, we still have a few months to go before start up. Our current mash bill(s) are both a wheat and Rye bourbon. We were considering splitting production but always looking into that cloudy crystal ball for better answers.

    Most of our research production has been with wheat as I agree, Rye's are typically more predictable.. So far our #4 mash bill is a winner amongst a few master distillers private tasting of our unaged bourbon, when compared to other unaged bourbons..(ready to barrel that is).. But time will only tell..

  5. #5
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    Good morning Shane, since you asked I'll share some thoughts. My preference is for a lean, high rye Bourbon in a dryer style, packed with flavor, fully aged and 100 proof. But that's already being done on a mass production basis with an economy of scale and a price point a small producer can't match.

    If I had the skill to make whisky and the ambition to bring it to market I would go another route. A softer, sweeter, nutty style rich with caramel and oak, something with wheat rather than rye, full of flavor yet easily approachable, at around 80 proof. Something that works well in a snifter yet shines in a cocktail. I wouldn't even bother with trying to make it a legally defined Bourbon, rather I would use a grain mix that gave me the best result. How about 45% corn, 45% wheat and 10% malt. Or even 40% malt and 15% wheat. When I found the right flavor profile I would let it age until fully ready before putting it on the market as something special.

    The market is full of high quality value priced Bourbon so I wouldn't even try to compete with that, rather I would offer customers something they couldn't routinely grab off a shelf just about anywhere liquor is sold.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    I like both as well as for the high rye based I have a tendency to give FR's the nod and with older wheaters the Weller's and PVW's always find their way to the top of my list.I would add that rye for me anyway tend to show better at a younger age whereas wheaters the sky seems to be the limit.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  7. #7
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    Thank you again, very good view points and this will be apart of our discussion Monday.. We have tried to approach with a more unique product through our process as well as our relationship with our grain farmer and mash bills. We have messed around with various mash bills and there are a few that were added to the list, with our flexibility we wanted to possibly offer some variances, but our limited production just has us "measuring three times and cut once approach"..

  8. #8
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Good morning Shane, since you asked I'll share some thoughts. My preference is for a lean, high rye Bourbon in a dryer style, packed with flavor, fully aged and 100 proof. But that's already being done on a mass production basis with an economy of scale and a price point a small producer can't match.

    If I had the skill to make whisky and the ambition to bring it to market I would go another route. A softer, sweeter, nutty style rich with caramel and oak, something with wheat rather than rye, full of flavor yet easily approachable, at around 80 proof. Something that works well in a snifter yet shines in a cocktail. I wouldn't even bother with trying to make it a legally defined Bourbon, rather I would use a grain mix that gave me the best result. How about 45% corn, 45% wheat and 10% malt. Or even 40% malt and 15% wheat. When I found the right flavor profile I would let it age until fully ready before putting it on the market as something special.

    The market is full of high quality value priced Bourbon so I wouldn't even try to compete with that, rather I would offer customers something they couldn't routinely grab off a shelf just about anywhere liquor is sold.
    I would agree with the sentiment behind this post: go for something distinctive. If a rye bourbon, make it ~ 40%+ rye - even more than FR. If a wheated bourbon, make it distinctively well aged and aged stated so as to supersede competition with the high value WSRs, OWAs,and Larcenys of the world. There are a lot of high quality, well-priced safe options (i.e. those that most people tend to like) out there already. Go for something unique but still good. (simple task, right?)

    I suppose I gave away my preferences with the above examples; when it comes to rye bourbon, I like it high rye (e.g. FR and OGD), and when it comes to wheat bourbons, I like it to be significantly older than it has to be (e.g. Weller 12). Regarding the question: rye bourbons are generally more reliable, so I usually go for those. But I feel like there are a lot of excellent,nicely priced, and widely available rye bourbons out there already.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut

  9. #9
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    I also like the idea of offering up something unique. Tough to compete with the big boys with the traditional stuff. Either way, just offer up a good, flavorful product at a fair price and you'll win your fair share of fans here, and elsewhere too I would imagine.

  10. #10
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    Re: Rye or Wheat based bourbons, what is you're choice?

    I'd like to see a revival of the traditional American style of pure malt whisky.

 

 

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