Drink Review: Bernheim Original

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Bernheim Original is made by Heaven Hill and is the only straight wheat American whiskey available. A winner of the Gold ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ from Whisky Magazine with a score of 17.75 out of 20 from Dave Broom & Michael Jackson, Bernheim is 51% winter wheat, 39% corn and 10% barley malt. A soft, mellow, fruity palate with gentle vanilla notes.

Bernheim Bourbon Review:

First Impressions:

One of the first things I was struck with was the smell. Upon opening the bottle, I could detect a delicate, smoky aroma which I found very surprising. I had assumed that the whiskey would be overpowered with its in-your-face, corn-forward aroma, but to my surprise there was still a good amount of aroma to the bottle, right from the off.

The Flavor:

Delicate and inviting, a nice hint of vanilla with some orange and warm spice. It was very difficult to tell how many flavors were going on in the whiskey, as every time I tippled from the bottle, I would pick up different notes in the whiskey. I’m not too partial to distillate that has a splash of vanilla, but this whiskey had enough in it to work alongside its original characteristics.

For lack of a better word, I would describe the aroma’s complexity as being wonderful.

The Taste:

Nice and smooth with a slight bite that only added to the overall flavor. A smooth hint of vanilla with a warm, oaky note.

Bernheim Original is marketed as a wheat whiskey, which wasn’t really as important to me as the other distillation that went into this bourbon. I enjoyed the pure taste of this whiskey, this whiskey is great for sipping, and definitely a treat for older whiskey drinkers or those who are new to whiskey.

First Impressions:

There is a unique and delicious smell to the whiskey as soon as you open the bottle, leaving a bit of subtleness on your tongue.

The Flavor:

Straight forward, nothing really stands out. The taste was good and was very similar to any other corn whiskey I’ve tasted.

Bernheim Original, marketed as a wheat whiskey, wasn’t anything special though. It had the same character as a regular corn whiskey, which is to say relatively boring. This whiskey is great for sipping, but I wouldn’t really want to put it in my regular rotation. If I had to rate the whiskey in the same manner I would previously rate other brands, I would give it a score of 78 out of 100. I’m not exactly upset with the lack of stand out character of this whiskey, but I would rather have a more complex flavored whiskey.

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Bernheim Bourbon Review:

First Impressions:

Highly complex aroma, which can be detected from a distance even through a closed bottle.

The Flavor:

When I opened the bottle I was immediately struck with a wonder of complex vanilla. It was very subtle and not overdone as I initially anticipated. Similar to a whiskey’s taste, there was warm spice on the back end which gave the whiskey an extra dimension. The flavor of this whiskey was extremely complex, which gave it a more solid taste in my experience. I enjoyed the bottle very much.

Bernheim Original was less intense in its flavor than I thought. It was a more soft vanilla with a subtle orange flavor behind it.

This rye whiskey is very similar to Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond #2, so if you’re looking for something to drink neat, Bernheim Original you might just find it. Highly recommended.

First Impressions:

There are some great unusual aromas in the bottle. There is a subtle aroma that can be detected from a distance even from a closed bottle.

The Flavor:

Straight forward, although it may cost a little less than straight whiskey, this whiskey also has some depth to it. It has a moderate sweet taste with a subtle hint of orange.

Bernheim Original was the standard straight rye whiskey, but still pretty tame. It was a less subtle aroma than the previous whiskey I tried, which I found a bit disappointing. Still, I think that if you wanted to buy Bernheim for a typical night in the pub or a nice, mellow go-to drink for a quiet day at the pub, than this whiskey will do just fine. Not bad for a rye whiskey, but you can find a lot more complex ones at the store.


Bernheim Original is a very good whiskey, it has good flavor and has some depth to it. The blender used Bernheim with other kinds of grains to introduce a variety of flavors within the bourbon.

If you’re a serious whiskey drinker, don’t avoid this whiskey as it is made to be a drink for anyone with an open mind when it comes to the flavor of a whiskey.

First Impressions:

After opening the bottle, I was immediately bombarded with a variety of smells, some fruity, some smoky, and one scent which I couldn’t quite figure out. All in all, it’s a great aroma. Very interesting.

The Flavor:

The taste of this whiskey had a nicely complex flavor, which was enjoyable. A great whiskey to drink.

Bernheim Original has a slight kick to it, which I didn’t expect. The deep roasted grain flavor was almost more of a barley wine than a rye. This whiskey had much more depth and complexity in its flavor than I thought it would. If I had to give it a score, I would say it was a score of 84 out of 100. This whiskey is a whiskey to buy when you want something to sip in the evening. This whiskey would give almost anyone who bought it on a whim a little bit of a surprise.

Bernheim Bourbon Review:

First Impressions:

Nice aroma, but difficult to tell what kind of liquor it is. Very nice smell. Upon opening the bottle I could detect some of the smoky smell that plagued the whiskey.

The Flavor:

Straight forward, although the taste was on the mild side, but nothing really stands out with this whiskey. A gentle adjective on the flavor that follows.

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Written by Mark Adams


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