4 Wheated Bourbons to Buy When You Can’t Afford the Pappy (Who Can?)

by Jim Casey
4-wheated-bourbons-to-buy-when-you-cant-afford-the-pappy-who-can
(Photo by Outsider)

There’s been an abundance of wheat-related hype in the whiskey universe over the past 25-ish years thanks, in part, to the Pappy Van Winkle craze of ’96. Now, the elusive expressions of Pappy fetch top dollar (sometimes thousands of dollars above MSRP) from the enthusiastic “wheaters” (lovers of wheated bourbon).

However, you don’t have to reach all the way to the Pappy to get a tasty top-shelf wheated bourbon. Not only will the Pappy hurt your wallet, but you could pull a back muscle reaching all the way to the ceiling.

Here are four of our favorite top-shelf wheated bourbons—that won’t break your bank or back. Happy hunting.


Larceny Barrel Proof (B522)

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Heaven Hill
  • Location: Bardstown, KY
  • Proof: 123.8
  • Mash Bill: 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% barley
  • Price: $55-$65
  • Why We Love the Juice: Larceny drops its Barrel Proof three times each year (January, May, and September). This release from May 2022 is an exceptional wheated winner, with notes of dark cherry, Hot Tamales candy, and leather. The finish is a long, savory, delightful burn.

Maker’s Mark Private Selection

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Maker’s Mark
  • Location: Loretto, KY
  • Proof: 110.2
  • Mash Bill: 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% barley
  • Price: $70-$80
  • Why We Love the Juice: Each barrel of Private Selection is unique (with a Stave Profile of 10 custom oak stave finishes). This pick from Whiskey Tango in Ozark, MO, is a mouthwatering blast of cinnamon, brown sugar, and rich oak.

Weller Antique 107

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace
  • Location: Frankfort, KY
  • Proof: 107
  • Mash Bill: Undisclosed
  • Price: $60
  • Why We Love the Juice: Weller Antique is easily the most elusive expression on our list, but if you see an allocated bottle in the wild for under $100, snag it. The full-bodied Antique is a Pappy-esque pop of cinnamon, toffee, and oak.

Wilderness Trail Family Reserve

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Wilderness Trail
  • Location: Danville, KY
  • Proof: 115
  • Mash Bill: 64% corn, 24% wheat, 12% malted barley
  • Price: $60-$70
  • Why We Love the Juice: This cask strength bottle hits with notes of apple, cinnamon, candy corn, and light oak. At 5.5-years-old, the juice’s medium-long finish delivers a lingering cinna-minty tingle.
Outsider.com