Whether you believe Pappy Van Winkle is the end-all-be-all of whiskeys or an overhyped bottle driven to bonkers prices by scarcity and cash-loose fanatics, we can all agree the bourbon within the bottle is pretty darn good. Part of what makes it so different from much of the bourbon on the market is the inclusion of wheat in the mash bill, making it a “wheated bourbon.” Bourbon needs to be made of at least 51 percent corn, but brands customize the remaining portion with a bevy of other grains. While rye most commonly gets the nod, wheated whiskeys swap it out for red winter wheat.
In Pappy’s case, the wheat makes the whiskey taste like creamy velvet. But Pappy doesn't have a monopoly on that silky goodness. There are plenty of other wheated whiskeys worth buying—and most of them won’t require taking out a second mortgage. Here, the best wheated whiskeys and wheated bourbons to buy before they reach Pappy-level cult status.