In 2020, Buffalo Trace announced that it would releasing the first line of authentic kosher whiskey with the help of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. These new annual releases will be released after Passover each year and will include a rye recipe bourbon, a straight rye whiskey, and the subject of this review, a wheat recipe bourbon.
The wheat recipe bourbon is made from the same high quality grains as the W.L. Weller bourbon whiskey. However, this whiskey was aged in specifically designated kosher barrels under the auspices of the CRC in order to satisfy Passover requirements. After aging for seven years, this wheat recipe bourbon was bottled at 94 proof after ensuring the bottling lines were cleaned beforehand to ensure that no contact was made with non-Kosher spirits. The first release of each of these new expressions was shipped on April 16, 2020 with a suggested retail price of $39.99.
Appearance – deep copper.
Nose – more ethanol is present than expected for a 94 proof whiskey (I was reminded of Weller 107). Through the ethanol I found nutmeg, sweet caramel, and a very bright fruit-forward profile full of crisp green apple and citrus. With time the nose opened up to heavier vanilla and some light floral notes.
Palate – the mouthfeel is relatively thick and a definite step-up from Weller S.R. There is an initial punch of caramel, nougat, and some vanilla, but a fair amount of cinnamon and baking spice are present to balance the sweet notes.
Finish – the finish is medium and predominantly sweet. The cinnamon intensifies on the middle of the tongue but caramel, cherry, and baked green apple are the heavier notes. Soft vanilla and oak round out the pour.
Overall – there is no doubt that Buffalo Trace makes a quality wheated whiskey. I have tasted through the Weller lineup on many occasions and I generally find these expressions to be sweet, fruit-forward, and easy drinking at their various proof points. This bottle is no exception.
This is a quality 7 year-old wheated bourbon that provides a heavier mouthfeel compared to its counterpart, Weller Special Reserve. However, the flavors really aren’t much different than the Weller S.R. and the lower proof holds back some of the flavor intensity that you can find in the similarly aged Weller 107. Ultimately, the higher price point for this bottle just gets you a 7-year age statement and a Kosher designation.
While I definitely enjoyed this whiskey, I think I will stick to the Weller S.R. and avoid paying the higher price. This is especially true in light of the fact that secondary prices for this bottle surged and you shouldn’t be surprised to see it going for more than $100.