Distillery: Woodford Reserve
Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
BACKGROUND: Woodford Reserve is one of the largest and oldest distilleries in Kentucky. They produce straight bourbon, double oaked, malt whiskey, rye whiskey, wheat whiskey, and a few limited releases that come out twice a year. Brown-Forman, the parent company, and Woodford Reserve have deep ties with the Kentucky Derby and each year they release their derby edition whiskey which is their regular bourbon whiskey featuring a beautiful watercolor art work celebrating the derby and the companies deep roots with the derby and is the official bourbon of the derby. This years artwork was done by KY native and former professional baseball player, Richard Sullivan.
NOSE: Woodford Reserve has a classic bourbon nose that is on the lighter side. Scents of oak, clove, citrus zest, vanilla, and butterscotch make up this nose. It is simple, yet elegant, with a lightness and sweetness allowing this be enjoyed by everyone. (21/25)
PALATE: Like the nose, Woodford Reserve is quite simple in taste. To start it off, light honey and spearmint show up with a watery taste. It has a very light mouthfeel but the more I revisit it, the more enjoyable it gets. Overall, the whiskey has a flavor profile consisting of classic and simple bourbon notes of honey, spearmint, vanilla, citrus, sweet corn, and some oak. The whiskey never truly evolves and none of the flavors are overly deep or rich. (30/40)
FINISH: The finish is quite short and light with a bitterness and dryness to it. Notes of oak, black-pepper, and barrel char make up the finish. (20/25)
VALUE: Woodford Reserve Derby Edition only comes in a 1L at $50 but regular Woodford has a $30 SRP which is a great price for this whiskey. (8/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Woodford Reserve is a classic and faithful bourbon. It has classic bourbon notes and goes down incredibly easy. This is a great daily drinker and can be enjoyed by everyone no matter where you are on your whiskey journey. The art work on the 2021 Derby Edition makes this a good looking bottle and great addition to the collection.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Traverse City Bourbon
Similar & Equal Whiskey: Kinnard & Drake
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Weller Special Reserve
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
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