Woodford Reserve Double Oaked: 45.2% abv
Background: Woodford Reserve is a distillery we’ve discussed before, so there isn’t much sense in rehashing information. The idea behind this particular bottling is that a batch of bourbon is put into a fresh oak cask (remember, no bourbon can be aged in refill casks), and ages for a number of year (since this is deemed “straight” bourbon, we known it is at least 4 years), and then is thrown into a second bourbon cask which is toasted, for extra maturing. This exposes the bourbon to all new American oak with which to interact. We’re foreshadowing...
Nose: Cherry, wood intensity, oak, hot, alcohol (pure alcohol, rubbing alcohol, light nail polish), burnt sugar, molasses, honey, wheat, subtle leather, cinnamon, grain (corn, rye), grapes, rum sweetness.
A/W: More Floral, balanced
Body: Spice, oak, cherry, ginger, cinnamon, cumin
A/W: Caramel, more dominance from cherry
Finish: Oak, cherry, wheat, cinnamon, gingerbread, spice, caramel, molasses, pepper, ginger, rye, cumin
A/W: Lingering cherry, hot
Final Comments: Woodford Reserve presents a more premium offering to their original Distiller’s Select, which we were particular to. The end result isn’t what you’d necessarily expect though. There is a lack of brilliance to this, and a horrible lack of balance which screams the oak is over-dominant. The trick with bourbon is that the fresh casks are such powerful flavor-enhancers, that adding a second one certainly changes the impact of the oak on the overall balance of the whiskey. This isn’t a bad whiskey, but we think they took a large step backwards. We also enjoy making the occasional crack at marketers. Woodford comments “How do you make the best bourbon in the world better?” (I’m paraphrasing), and we would respond “Not like that”