Review #179 Woodford Reserve 2021 Derby Edition


Distillery: Woodford Reserve

Proof: 90.4

Age: NAS

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)


Overall: 79/100


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!


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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