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Review #135 Woodford Reserve 2021 Master's Collection #1 Batch Proof

Distillery: Woodford Reserve

Proof: 128.3

Age: NAS

Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley

BACKGROUND: Woodford Reserve's Master Collection is a highly limited whiskey series released twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. Traditionally, Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve's Master Distiller, has their spring release is always a high proof or batch proof (cask strength) whiskey while their fall release is focused on innovation, creativity, and experimentation with releases such as their 2020 Very Fine Rare Bourbon, 2019 Chocolate Malted Rye, 2018 Oat Grain, 2017 Cherry Wood Smoked Barley, and so on. Historically, the Master's Collection has had mixed reviews depending on the release. In Fall 2020, Woodford Reserve changed the bottle shape of these releases from the traditional pot still shape to this new square shape which we absolutely love! The new bottle design is fantastic. This 2021 Batch Proof is a combination of multiple barrel blended together into a batch and offered at their proof straight out of the barrels which in this case is 128.3 instead of the regular 90.4 proof that Woodford Reserve is known for.

NOSE: WOW! As soon as I smelt this whiskey I was in heaven. Rich and deep scents of dark fruits, rich caramel, maple, mature oak, and baking spice are perfectly balanced together with a prominence and boldness that makes this nose absolutely incredible. The nose is simple and classic done to perfection. (25/25)

PALATE: Like the nose, the palate on this one is classic and delicious. Dried fruit, leather, oak, and rye spice start this one off with a boldness and bite from the proof. There are also deep and rich caramel and vanilla notes that Woodford Reserve is known for. Also like the nose, Woodford Reserve 2021 Batch Proof is simple, classic, and elegant while delivering a fullness found in cask strength whiskey. Hats off to Chris Morris on this one! (39/40)

FINISH: The finish is very long and emphasizes the rye spice flavors from rye grain in the mash bill. Along with the rye spice is charrel oak barrel, leather, and tannins. Like the nose and palate, the finish is classic and simple in the perfect way. (24/25)

VALUE: With an SRP of $130, Woodford's Master Collection tends to scare some people away, however, this one is well worth the price! I would pay up to $180 on this one although secondary values are already up towards $250. (8/10)

Overall: 96/100

FINAL THOUGHTS: Woodford Reserve 2021 Master's Collections Batch Proof was not just a grand slam but an absolute home run. Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall did something special here and we are incredibly lucky to have a bottle of this. This is a truly special whiskey that emphasizes classic bourbon whiskey notes at a cask strength. We cannot recommend this whiskey enough to anyone and everyone! We promise you that you will be savoring this whiskey for a long time.

Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Four Roses 2020 Small Batch Limited Edition

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Old Forester 150th Anniversary Batch 1

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Smoke Wagon Uncut & Unfiltered Batch 23

Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!

Scoring Legend:

96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods

90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey

85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this

80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there

75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf

70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this

60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers

50-59: Not my cup of tea

Below 50: Give away

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