We know that all bourbons are created from the same six sources of flavor. What makes Woodford Reserve different is the way that Master Distiller Chris Morris expresses each of those flavors. It is rumored that Woodford is crafted with more than 70 different flavor variables taken into consideration.
Lets start with the nose: The first thing that I notice is how reserved Woodford is (see what I did there?) The nose takes some time to come forth, but when it does you know you have a nice whiskey in your glass. The expected oak and rye are there, along with fruity new-make: green apples, green pears, and banana. The sugar and spice shop is there as well – caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon.
The mash bill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. This is evident in the first sip, when the fruit nose and spice intermingle in a warm and flavorful whiskey. Mid way through, I get mixed fruit jam and the cinnamon that I picked up in the nose.
Woodford is only 90 proof – not hot at all. In fact, the burn barely registers at first sip. Could be because Woodford Reserve is triple distilled and has the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where it matures for at least six years.
The finish is the only downside to Woodford Reserve. If you know me, you know I like a pleasant finish that lasts. That’s what separates A- bourbons from A+ bourbons in my book. The combination of low proof and triple distilled and aged mellow leaves the finish light, tingly, and mildly metallic.