Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Toasted Oak Barrels
Distillery: Woodford Reserve Distillery / Brown-Forman Distillery
Release Date: September 2023
Age: NAS (Aged at least 4 years per TTB regulations)
Mashbill: Undisclosed blend of corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley
MSRP: $60 / 375mL (2023)
Sawdust | Cola | Maple | Honeycomb | Toasted pecans | Charred oak
Soft toasted oak | Warm caramel | Wheat grain | Mike chocolate
Cinnamon | Maple syrup | Burnt sugar | Lingering toasted oak
You wouldn’t expect simply using toasted barrels to completely transform Woodford Reserve’s bourbon, but the results speak for themselves.
You would think with the amount of experimentation and alternative forms of Woodford Reserve bourbon the company offers, it would grow tiresome and less impactful each time out. But the company seems to thrive on it. Offering a toasted oak finish is increasingly becoming commonplace in the bourbon industry in 2023 and Woodford even offered one in 2022 in the form of their Woodford Reserve Toasted Oak Oat Grain.
Woodford blended their bourbon, rye, wheat and malt whiskeys and finished it for an undisclosed amount of time in toasted barrels. What makes this particular toasted bourbon notable is how dark and rich the flavors are, yet its toasted component is surprisingly soft in comparison. Many producers use toasted barrel finishes for their potency, but here is one that is dramatically pulled back allowing Woodford’s flavor profile to come together. There is also a noticeable creamy consistency that really adds to the sensory nature of the bourbon. This is currently a distillery-only release, but I hope Woodford finds a way to release it on a wider scale and maintain its current quality level. As it stands, this is one of the more memorable Woodford releases for me in some time.