Review #​237 Woodford Reserve 2021 Private Pick


Distillery: Brown-Forman Distillery

Proof: 90.4

Age: 6-7 years old

Mashbill: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt


BACKGROUND: The Woodford Reserve story begins 200 years ago dating back to 1812 When the Elijah Pepper farm, grist mill, and distillery opened up in Kentucky. In 1938, Pepper’s son, Oscar, built The Oscar Pepper Distillery, which is still used to this day. Oscar's son later sold the operation in 1878, and the Pepper distillery became the Labrot & Graham. Today the distillery is owned by Brown-Forman, who renamed it to “Woodford Reserve,” after its home, Woodford, Kentucky. Woodford Reserve Whiskey started as a single malt variation of Old Forester, and has become a staple in the whiskey community.


NOSE: A dark nose at first with oak and rye spices leading the way with a light hint of tobacco, followed by fruittier notes of banana and green apple. As the pour starts to open up, traditional notes of vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon tease you before hiding behind the initial spice. (20/25)


PALATE: The palate followed right along with the nose. As the oily spice coats your mouth you get some bright fruity flavors of cinnamon green apples, baked vanilla, and candy caramel. The fruity notes really stand out in this pick before being balanced again by the tobacco and oak spices. (32/40)


FINISH: A relatively short finish, being a 90 proof with a sweeter profile you can't expect to have a long finish. For this one, short, sweet, with just the right amount of spice leaving you waiting for that next sip. (21/25)


VALUE: Woodford Reserve has always been one of the best whiskeys for its asking price. I got this bottle for $45 and will likely buy a few more Woodford picks before years end. (7/10)


Overall: 80/100


FINAL THOUGHTS: Woodford Reserve will always be reliable, this bottle is one of the better Woodford picks I’ve tried, but with that being said you really can't go wrong picking up any sort of Woodford private pick. Even the reproduced line is delicious and available in most bars,, always a good whiskey for a fair price.


Slightly Better Whiskey: Old Forester 1920

Equal Whiskey: Bulleit Bourbon

Slightly Worse Whiskey: Old Grandad


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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