So as I mentioned last week, one of the highlights of this summer has been my visit to some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon distilleries: Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace. I cannot say enough about the beauty and enjoyment we experienced at Woodford Reserve – from the copper kettles to the shaded storehouses, it was a great time.
One of the extra bonuses we got by serendipity was the opportunity to meet Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. We chatted with him for a few minutes in the gift shop about Woodford’s history, and the unique Master’s selections Woodford puts out yearly (more on that in the future). The Woodford Reserve Distillery gift shop also engraves bottles on site so, after purchasing some gifts for good friends, my wife and I chose a bottle of the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked for ourselves and had it engraved to remember the trip. Mr. Morris signed it as well!
What makes the Double Oaked unique is the finishing process. At it’s heart, it’s Woodford Reserve, distilled in copper kettles and with the same sour mash recipe. But after it spends its time in the charred oak barrel, it is transferred to a second, more toasted but less charred barrel, for 9 months. This allows for a whole new set of flavors to come out, and it shows in both the sweetness of the nose and first taste, as well as the bitterness on the finish.
My take: From a nose perspective, this is a winner for me right from the get go. The sweet sticky smells of toffee, molasses and butterscotch are evident, as well as wiffs of…vanilla.
The first taste belies that sweetness, as I tasted cinnamon, allspice and clove – a spicier blend than I anticipated. Then, the warm bitterness of oak took over, through the finish. Other reviewers noted the sweetness came back in the finish, but I didn’t experience that.
My flavor profile is sweet, where as my wife Jen veers toward the spicy, and that was exactly how this played out. I loved the nose, but was not crazy about the woodiness and spice of the sip, where as Jen loved all the above. A very unique try, and with some rich characteristics, but not cracking my top five.
Dan scale (1-10): 8.3