Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select: 45.2% abv
Woodford Reserve is quite a distillery. This is our first WR review, so let’s talk about them for a second. Located in Kentucky, Woodford comes with one buzz word that has been quite extra buzzy lately. Lincoln Henderson is the man responsible for many things in the world of bourbon. Mr. Henderson, being in the Bourbon Hall of Fame, which apparently exists (I guess), is in the news today because he, at the age of 72, helped his son found a new Bourbon, called Angle’s Envy, from Louisville Distilling Company. But before all this buzz, he helped build up Woodford Reserve, one of the most successful distilleries in Kentucky.
So what cool facts do we know about Woodford? None, but Wikipedia probably knows one or two. Hold on...okay. So Woodford Reserve is the oldest of the 9 bourbon distilleries in operation in Kentucky. That’s sort of interesting, right? Okay. We have more WR reviews coming up, so I will hold our other riveting facts for later. About this one? It’s good. Sorry, I blew it. I knew you were looking forward to the anticipation. How about why it’s good?
Well, starting on the nose, we get some good sweet flavors that we love in our bourbons, and much sweeter and friendly than Jim Beam. Molasses, caramel, sugarcane, and honey all keep the sweetness going, but we won’t keep it boring! Interestingly, we get some creamy notes, butter, oak and nut, although we weren’t sure what kind. Also, an interesting thing we noted was peach. Dunno where that comes from. In any case, we enjoyed the smell and it left curiosity and excitement to the taste. On the arrival when you first taste this bourbon, you will be greeted by sweetness and saltiness, slight orange and vanilla, some raspberry and vanilla. The arrival is wonderfully full and complex, something we generally don’t experience.
The body of the flavor contains intense oak, mild but pleasant salt, butter, molasses and caramel, with graininess to boot. The graininess includes wheat and corn, with some yeast. The whole package is finished off with some honey and cream. After water, the saltiness backs off a bit, which says if you don’t like the salt, add water. It doesn’t kill the flavor with it’s higher alcohol content. The finish is very similar to the taste, with saltiness, molasses, vanilla, wheat and cinnamon. The fruitiness in the smell comes back in the finish, with some orange cherry, and a unique note of mint and rye. And of course, in the notes, we see notes that make no sense.
Sorry. In general, this is a fantastic statement of bourbon, and for the sweeter and saltier statements of bourbon, this will do you well, but be warned it is a powerful flavor. Highly recommended and worth the price.