This Is The Secret Ingredient To Pappy Van Winkle's Flavor

If you're familiar with Pappy Van Winkle's bourbon, then chances are you know how difficult it can be to get these bottles. Each year on "Pappy's Day," the distillery releases a coveted few bottles of their wheated bourbon and tons of people turn out to try to get a bottle (via Thrillist). Ultimately, people can end up paying thousands of dollars for the bottles that are resold or choose to be added to a waitlist that could be up to a decade long, according to First We Feast

With so much hype, anticipation and incredibly long wait times to get a bottle, you might question if this bourbon is for you. Some bourbon variations, like rye, might be hailed by bourbon reviewers, yet it still isn't for some consumers. That's why before you invest so much time and energy into a bottle of Pappy's, it's worth considering if its distinct flavor profile is one that would be enjoyable for you.

This is the ingredient they use

There's one particular ingredient in Pappy Van Winkle's that gives it its distinct flavor profile. While bourbon must be made with the majority of corn — at least 51%, the additional grains added can vary (via Distiller). Many use barley and rye bourbons obviously use rye. This is where Pappy's bourbon is set apart because the distillery opts to use wheat instead of rye or barley (via First We Feast). That's why their bottles are labeled with wheated bourbon.

Of course the types of grains used to make bourbon affect the overall flavor profile and aromatic notes that the bourbon presents after being aged. Most bourbons present vanilla notes thanks to the requirement that the spirit has to be aged in new oak barrels (via Vine Pair). The other notes tend to be sweet like caramel or toffee or smokey from the barrel's char like leather. Because Pappy Van Winkle's uses wheat, it has sweeter notes too, but they taste like fruit or citrus instead. That's why their "secret" ingredient tends to set the bourbon brand apart.