Heaven Hill’s micro-brand Square 6 expands with the launch of its Wheated Bourbon, joining its High-Rye Bourbon and High-Rye Rye. Like the other members of the Square 6 family, this one’s made at the artisanal distillery located at 528 W Main Street in Louisville, “just steps from the site of Williams’ original distillery founded in 1783.”
Per the company:
The Square 6 Wheated Bourbon is comprised of two distinct Wheated Bourbon mashbills which were carefully blended post-aging. The first mashbill consists of 74% Corn, 16% Wheat, and 10% Malted Barley, and the second mashbill consists of 68% Corn, 20% Wheat, and 12% Malted Barley. Unlike its predecessors in the Square 6 line which were bottled at 95 proof, the Square 6 Wheated Bourbon has been bottled at 105 proof, which further highlights the wheated taste profile.
There are no age statements for any of this, but it’s clear from the get-go that this is younger, punchier stuff. The nose is boldly spicy, and I wouldn’t have guessed this was wheated based on the nose. Earthy and pungent with green herbs, this offers plenty of savory, peppery character, underpinned by ample notes of slightly charred popcorn.
The palate feels even more aggressive, laden with barrel char, peanut shell-and-popcorn mix, and grassy greenery. The sweetness endemic to wheated bourbons shows its face only in profile, a somewhat nutty quality that is less nougat and more fruitcake. Some dried cherry does perk up in the mix along with some cinnamon, further evoking a Christmas-adjacent experience. Biting and gritty on the enduring finish, even a healthy addition of water doesn’t do much to tame what feels like a rustic, not-yet-mature experience.
I love that Heaven Hill continues to experiment with whiskey from its small pot still — making one barrel a day — but the price is a disconnect for what’s ending up in the bottle.
B- / $90