Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (always 43.2%-45.2% ABV) is produced at the company’s distillery is in Woodford County, in central Kentucky. Distilling began in 1780 and the distillery building itself was erected in 1838, making it the oldest of the nine bourbon distilleries in current operation in Kentucky (as of 2010).
Region: Kentucky, USA
One of the legislation points which specifies when a whiskey can be called a bourbon is that the mixture of grains used has to contain at least 51% corn (in most cases it is higher, 65 – 80%). The other portions of the grain mixture are rye and malted barley (usually around 10 – 15%). Each distillery has its own formula for this grain mixture, also known as the mashbill in the States.
The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Woodford Reserve is furthermore also unusual for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel, where it matures for at least six years. Each bottle is numbered with a batch number and bottle number.
Colour: Auburn to Tawny with medium to thick legs.
Nose: Upfront toffee cream, and vanilla sweetness. There are also some biscuit notes coming through. Sweet and soft ginger spiciness creeps across with some woodiness, chocolate and slight peppery smokiness along for the ride as well.
Palate: Complex and rich with oily and full mouth feel. Sweet (vanilla and syrup), nutty, cocoa and warm with soft winter spices (especially ginger). Some cereal and woodiness swirling around towards the end.
Finish: Medium to long sherry spicy finish which is damn nice with a sweetness on the back of it.
Overall: I love the thick viscosity on this bourbon, I think my exact thoughts when tasting this was “Bloody nice”. There is plenty of richness and character in this bourbon.
My Score: 81