Nicely done and very mellow whiskey, Highly recommend for the Whiskey Curious. Almost like a dry, aged rum but more subtle with less sweetness. Lots of flavor without the kind of flavors to scare people off, think of it as a gateway whiskey for the white spirits crowd and a bit of a break from the heavy stuff for the usual whiskey crowd.
Notes: A formerly experimental whiskey which has now earned a place in the permanent Woodford Reserve extension *. Usually, distillers in the area use corn (51%+) to make a bourbon, or sometimes , ( especially more in recent years) a rye, sometimes even a wheat whiskey , but a barley whiskey is not only expensive to make as an ingredients go but a major pain to deal with in malting, fermenting and even such simple things as plumbing – about as much fun to run as oatmeal from a material handling viewpoint, all of which make a Kentucky malt all that more unusual. While it is one of the four types of whiskey recognized in the federal standards of identity for whiskey, it is by far the least produced and makes it arguably the rarest type of whiskey produced in the U.S. The distillery site was home to several previous distilleries (Oscar Pepper and James Crow of Old Crow to name a few). The current incarnation of the distillery was reopened in 1996. One of the few pot-distilled whiskeys and only triple distilled whiskey in America today, this malt whiskey is an admixture of pot-distilled and column distilled whiskeys into a blend that combines the particular characteristics of both. See our Adventure Section for the Woodford Reserve tour pictures and commentaries.
Appearance: Amber gold color, very clear. Medium edge line and smooth layer of whiskey on swirling.
First Impression: Malt with a whisper of oak, peppery mint with some fruitiness to it. Peppermint with fruit and some cocoa notes on nosing. Cereal or grain notes.
Taste: Oily nut-like flavors with some malt grain notes, sweet taste, spicy with a hint of mint Granola/grain with light molasses taste continues to come through slight vanilla and cocoa notes again with a touch of pumpernickel and malt at the end. Finish is medium length, pleasant enough, but hardly compelling.
Drinks: We tried it in a Manhattan and found it made a rather nice one. Works well with other ingredients for your usual bourbon-based drinks, more muted than a rye whiskey, making a subtle version of many of your usual whiskey cocktails and an easy bridge for the fear of flavor vodka crowd to move on to brown drinks.
It also works well in rum based cocktails and is a nice alternative if you are looking for a drier spirit with similar characteristics or flavor profile to a good rum.
Cigars: Works well with a spicy dark cigar.
Other:* The rest of the permanent are the original Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Woodford Reserve Rye and Woodford Reserve Wheat
Final Thoughts: An interesting whiskey overall, much smoother than a lot of the Irish Whiskeys out there, and no potentially off-putting Scotch smoke flavors for those branching out from the white stuff to whiskeys. Well made if a touch bland for our somewhat jaded palates.
Bottle: We did not receive a production bottle so we cannot supply a picture nor comment on the bottle and label designs.
Web site: http://www.woodfordreserve.com
Fast loading after getting past the annoying Date-of-Birth screen. OK, it helps them gather some demographics, but I always wonder those sites do with the information. Decent information, and good pictures and some basic recipes.