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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Woodford Reserve Malt Review

Welcome to the review for Woodford Reserve Straight Malt Whiskey. Our first review that isn't a bourbon. Let's get started.

Manufacturer: Brown-Forman

Age: Unknown

Location Produced: Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Mash Bill: 51% Malted Barley, 47% Corn, 2% Rye

Aroma (from manufacturer): Soft nutty notes drizzled with light caramel and milk chocolate coat a layer of fruit character (apple, dried fruit, tropical fruit). Hints of brown spice, savory mint and brown sugar mingle with a rich note of freshly milled toasted oak.

Taste (from manufacturer)Dark chocolate and caramel coated nuts are dried out with a dusting of cocoa powder and brown spice. A fruit medley brightens a trace of toasted coconut and rich, bright oak character.

Finish (from manufacturer): Nutty and subtly sweet chocolate malt notes

Alcohol: 45.2%

Who is this for?: People looking to try something new

Cost (Ohio): $34.99 + tax

Review:  Taste -  Score 23 out of 35

I wish I had the palate to distinguish everything they say is in the notes. I think the nose is good, but nothing overly unique that would set this apart from other whiskeys. In terms of the taste, it is a bit too alcholly (I made up a word!). This could be from not enough time in the barrel or due to the mash bill, but the main flavor I pick up the alcohol and it's a tad bit harsh for my liking. I will preface this review saying that this is the first malt whiskey that I've ever had so I'm comparing it to the bourbons and rye that I'm accustomed to.



Smoothness/Finish - Score 11 out of 25

The finish on this
isn't as clean as regular Woodford or Woodford Rye. It lingers longer than I want and, like the taste, is a bit harsh with the alcohol. For me to enjoy this, I would need to add a heavy splash of water or lots of ice.

Intangibles: Color/Appearance -  Score 11 out of 15.

Woodford Malt has a beautiful dark color. You can see in the first picture below. The Woodford is on the right with Basil Hayden's in the center and Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch on the left. In terms of the packaging, in true Woodford fashion, it is very minimal and simple, which adds a bit of elegance. I love that they include the batch and bottle number. As you can see, this was batch 0002, which is really cool. You would do well to stock a bar with all flavors of Woodford and you would hear no complaints.




Availability - Score 4.5 out of 5

Since this is so new, I'm not sure how to properly rate this so I'm going off the availability of other Woodford Reserves. When I bought this, it was the last bottle that Giant Eagle had in stock... however, it was available at other liquor stores that I've been to since so I think once this gets more popular, it will be commonly stocked. 


Overall Value - Score 8 out of 20

For the price of this whiskey, I think you would be better served getting regular Woodford Bourbon, or one of my favorites, Woodford Rye. All come in at at the same $34.99 + tax price and this is my least favorite of the three. Lastly, at this price point, the whiskey needs to really define itself and I think the Woodford malt doesn't have the uniqueness or taste to justify the price.

Final Score: 57.5 out of 100

Note: This review was done by Mark. The bottle was purchased at Giant Eagle, in beautiful, Grandview, OH

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