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  1. #41
    Taster
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    Sep 2013
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    TN
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    66

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    There is a store around here that has a store select single barrel. It was around $25. It was good.

  2. #42
    Enthusiast
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    Dec 2012
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    Philadelphia, PA
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    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Hello everyone. I just picked up the aged stated Bernheim and decided to write down some notes when I tasted it because this is my first experience with wheat whiskey and I think you guys might like my novel opinion about it.

    I always wanted to pick this whiskey up as a curiosity, but given others disappointing opinions, I shied away. Still, out of all the American whiskey, wheat whiskey gets glossed over too easily. When I heard that HH will be coming out with a older, cask strength version of this for Parker's Heritage, I felt like now was a good time to pick this up and find out truly what wheat as a grain brings to the table for whiskey - especially since this is the age stated version and it is on sale this month in PA. If anything, this whiskey will be a learning experience.

    Bernheim Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey (7 years old, 90 proof)

    Nose: caramel and flat cola, kool aid powder, black cherry, citric acid, coriander and lavender, pine, nutmeg and pumpkin, banana sweet breads

    Taste: minerals, stone fruit, wheat and crushed raspberries, with a smack of vanilla creme, rosemary, and black cherry in the back end; a bit oily but still a light mouthfeel, decent amount of tannin

    Finish: medium length of grape sugar, lime and calcium with an end of baking spices and slight wintergreen

    Overall: I would have never thought that wheat and rye were not too far apart in flavor profiles. Wheat has similar warm desert baking spiciness, green floral and tart fruit notes that rye has - albeit they are a bit different. Instead of the rye's tropical citrus, anise heavy herbs and heavy handed pepper, wheat has a softer floral nose, plump with stone fruits and a warm baking spice fragrance with just a enough tartness and chalkiness to showcase that often head-scratching term most bullshiting tasters like me would call "minerality" - something I would have never thought to find in an American whiskey.

    The flavor profile in this whiskey is very soft; definitely a just characterization. It made me realize how much corn highlights the profile of a wheated bourbon rather than the wheat, but the fact that it is still different from a corn whiskey means that wheat as a grain is just as special as rye. It is unfortunate that in a time where there is a new found appreciation for quality products that this one goes overlooked simply because it isn't a flavorful, robust and palate busting product. Bernheim wheat whiskey is timid and refined but rich in subtlety. Light on the palate but easy to drink. The finish is juicier than any other. I have been known to appreciate many light whiskies and this one exemplifies fantastic quality, not only thanks to Heaven Hill's crafting ability, but showcasing that wheat isn't less flavored than rye, but just a quiet, reserved and introspective grain compared to its louder, bolder and extroverted brother.

    I really like this. It reminds me of Boylan's old fashioned cola recipe. The hint of banana sweet breads has led me to believe that this one will open up nicely down the road. This is a great whiskey and it is unfortunate that it is passed up on so often. A little more age and higher proof and this will be outstanding. Even if you don't like lighter whiskies, I highly encourage you to take your time with this one. Quite an undertaking for those with a lack of patience - I am sure - but try and discover what wheat has to offer. At least it will be a worthy learning experience.

  3. #43
    Enthusiast
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    Jan 2013
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    Lake Charles, LA
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    382

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts.

  4. #44
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    6,132

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Nice write up, Z. The main takeaway from the Bernheims that I have enjoyed over the years is a wonderful "doughiness" in them. I'm wondering if we're sensing the same thing when you describe the Bernheim as having "minerality". Oftentimes, we all use different words to describe the same sensation in Whiskeydom. This doughiness, is something I don't get with any bourbon. And, this signature profile is the reason I keep this whiskey on my bar at all times.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  5. #45
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Washington DC
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    559

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    I did several SBS tastings of the old Bernheim NAS and the new 7 year. Both were purchased in the past two weeks, and each cost $31.99 plus tax although I purchased them at different stores. I did one tasting after a fatty meal (pork roast with plum gravy), another after a low-fat meal (arugula salad with basil vinegar dressing), and yet another late at night several hours after spaghetti and meat balls. I did not learn, until after tasting, which glass held which version.

    As I have posted before, I tend to like bourbons with a higher rye and only drink wheated bourbons (e.g., MM) when out for dinner, and the restaurant has nothing that strikes my mood.

    With the process and caveats disclosed, Here’s what I found.

    I found no noticeable difference between the contents of the NAS and the 7 year. The bottles are the same, and the labels and necktags are changed only to add “aged seven years” and “7 years” as appropriate. I decided to recork the NAS bottle and maybe buy another to set aside for awhile and try another SBS in a couple of years with a then-new 7 year. BUT, don’t wait up – I might forget.

    My notes which should be no surprise:

    Color – Copper with good legs when the glass is swirled. It looks like it will be heavy-bodied and maybe even oily, but it isn’t.

    Aroma/Nose – marginal alcohol bloom although the mild vanilla, honey, wheat bread, and raisin bread aromas quickly mask it.

    Taste/palate – Spice (but not woody like cinnamon) and maybe berries (but not sweet fruit – more like a 4R OESV or OESK with water added rather than an OESO); any nutty flavor is closer to macadamias than peanuts or almonds; moderately toasted raisin bread. It is light on my tongue; the corn oil slickness I get in some bourbons and the mouth coating burst of flavor (candy apple, cinnamon, or mint, depending on the bourbon) I get from others are missing.

    Finish – the mild fruity flavor fades first, leaving the toasted raisin bread. Neither is bold; the dry mouth feel I associate with alcohol does hang around, and that alone makes me want more.

    In sum – I couldn’t tell the difference without looking at the label. Bernheim makes for a nice change from bourbon or rye. I like it much better than MM (because, as a wheat whiskey rather than being a wheated bourbon (Hi, Thig)), it is further from the former in profile. I made no cocktails with either. Couldn’t do it. Was afraid it’d get lost in a Manhattan with my four-to-six big drops of Angostura or in an Old Fashioned with the teaspoon of demerara sugar.Bernheim sbs.jpg

    After posting, I saw Zillah's and Smokinjoe's posts. Like Z, I initially shied away; based on comments some wheated bourbon lovers on SB, I tried it. Like Smokinjoe, I, too, keep it around now. I like the change from bourbon - it's smoother to me and not as hot. During the Summer, I found I hit it more often than I realized on hot days. PLUS, I love that buttered raisin bread toast overtone.
    Last edited by Harry in WashDC; 09-30-2014 at 21:22. Reason: delete duplicate pic; hit "add" twice

  6. #46
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    12,471

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    My impressions are very similar Harry. I like everything about this whisky, maturity, appearance, viscosity, aromas, there's such promise and expectation, then the tasting starts and all that fades away. The whisky just seems to fall flat like there's no oomph there.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  7. #47
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    Washington DC
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    559

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Agree, Squire. I wonder what this would be like BIB; would it be more complex and hardy? but also wonder if the alcohol bloom @ 100 proof would overwhelm the delicate toasted raisin bread. BUT, for persons who find bourbon and similar American whiskies "hot" or "harsh" when tasted neat, this would be a nice alternative. And, as I said, when others have turned to iced gin and vodka cocktails on really hot summer days, I can still drink this neat without feeling the internal heat. Maybe the problem is me - I've gotten used to the higher proof, higher rye, higher wood of bourbon and can no longer appreciate "simple" things.

  8. #48
    Enthusiast
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    389

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Thanks for the SBS, Harry. I always wondered if there was a difference - especially considering that I liked Bernheim. I like the lighter stuff though too and that isn't just whiskey: white wine, pale beers and clear spirits I tend to appreciate, especially for the sake of drink-ability. However, at CS and a few more years? Yeah I think this will do real nicely too. I like to appreciate all the good alcohol that our world has to offer.

  9. #49
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    Washington DC
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    559

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Picked up a "7yr" Bernheim this week at a Virginia ABC store. The age stmt label on the front has an added box saying "Bottled especially for the Customers of Virginia ABC Barrel #3 Rickhouse Y 4th Floor."

    What surprised me, though, is that the VA ABC price, which used to be $32 (I think, pretty sure it was $30 or more) was $26 (before sales tax). Online checking for my MD and DC stores also show prices are $28-32 which is down a little from the typical price a month or so ago ($29 on sale but usually $32 and up to $35 at one place). Plus, it's easier to find (meaning more stores have it, not that the bottles I see are getting dusty).

  10. #50
    Enthusiast
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    May 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
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    468

    Re: Bernheim Wheat 7 y/o

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry in WashDC View Post
    Picked up a "7yr" Bernheim this week at a Virginia ABC store. The age stmt label on the front has an added box saying "Bottled especially for the Customers of Virginia ABC Barrel #3 Rickhouse Y 4th Floor."

    What surprised me, though, is that the VA ABC price, which used to be $32 (I think, pretty sure it was $30 or more) was $26 (before sales tax). Online checking for my MD and DC stores also show prices are $28-32 which is down a little from the typical price a month or so ago ($29 on sale but usually $32 and up to $35 at one place). Plus, it's easier to find (meaning more stores have it, not that the bottles I see are getting dusty).
    Nice! I haven't seen a private selection of Bernheim before. Sounds like an easy purchase.
    Andrew

 

 

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