BOURBONISM 101: High Rye versus High Wheat
Whether its sipped neat or on the rocks, with soft or spicy notes of fruit or cereal grains, the majority of bourbon’s flavors come from one of two grains: rye or wheat.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, a “mash bill” is the mix of grains used to make bourbon. Everyone knows that to be considered a “bourbon”, the mash bill must contain at least 51% corn. The other 49% is a combination of three other grains: rye or wheat and barley. Each mash bill’s grain ratio depends on the individual distiller at each distillery. For instance, some say that a “normal” mash bill for bourbon is 70% corn, 15% wheat and 15% malted barley.
Such as is the case with our Southern Star Bourbon Whiskeys, there are bourbons that are considered “High Rye” or “High Wheat”. Generally, if the percentage of these grains used is between 20-35% of the mash bill, it is considered to be on the larger-than-usual percentage thus, making it a “High” grain bourbon.