In a nutshell: From one of the bourbon industry’s most adored distilleries comes this special double oaked edition. This whiskey undergoes a special maturation process that imparts sweet and oaky flavours into the whiskey, producing gentle vanilla, marzipan and caramel notes.
The brand: When talking about bourbon, it’s impossible to leave out its connection to the state of Kentucky. Although the naming of it is debated – some argue it comes from Bourbon Street in New Orleans – there’s a general consensus that bourbon as we know it today was born in Kentucky.
The distillery that produces Woodford Reserve is one of the oldest. Distilling began on the site in 1812, and, in its early years, the distillery was owned by the Pepper family, who employed James C. Crow, the pioneer behind sour mash fermentation. The Woodford Reserve brand was launched in 1996 by the Brown-Forman corporation.
Bourbon must be made from at least 51 per cent corn, and the complexity of Woodford Reserve lies in part in its mash bill, a recipe of 72 per cent corn, 18 per cent rye and 10 per cent malted barley. This combination adds peppery punches of rye, but the spice is tamed by the nuttiness of the malted barley. Fermentation times at the Woodford Reserve distillery are among the longest in the industry, but this approach – coupled with a secret yeast strain – is crucial to the complex character of the whiskey.
Woodford Reserve operates its own cooperage, making its own barrels for the whiskey maturation process. It’s always looking to push boundaries; in fact, master distiller Chris Morris is credited with creating the world’s first maple barrel.
The whiskey: Woodford Reserve Kentucky bourbon is one of the most ubiquitous and adored American brands. Delicious in an old fashioned, the distillery’s flagship bottle is a go-to for bourbon lovers everywhere. The Woodford Reserve double oaked is a bourbon that follows its predecessor’s ageing process, but is further matured in oak barrels that have been toasted and charred. This intensifies everything, imbuing the whiskey with additional light and sweet flavours.
The nose of the Woodford Reserve double oaked includes dark fruits, caramel and crushed almonds, all beaten by toasted oak. These aromas are mirrored in the palate, with caramel-wrapped marzipan soaked in creamy vanilla. The profile is sweetened with orchard fruits and cinnamon. Honey and vanilla float out for an enduring, satisfying finish.