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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Review

Welcome to the review for Woodford Reserve Bourbon. This has always been one of our favorites so we're excited to properly review it!

Let's start with the details:

Manufacturer: Brown-Forman

Age: Unknown

Location Produced: Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Mash Bill: 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley

Aroma (from manufacturer): Heavy with rich dried fruit, hints of mint and oranges covered with a dusting of cocoa. Faint vanilla and tobacco spice.

Taste (from manufacturer)Rich, chewy, rounded and smooth, with complex citrus, cinnamon and cocoa. Toffee, caramel, chocolate and spice notes abound.

Finish (from manufacturer): Silky smooth, almost creamy at first with a long, warm satisfying tail.

Alcohol: 45.2%

Who is this for?: This was the first bourbon that I really enjoyed once I moved on from bourbon and coke and wanted something more refined. This is a bourbon for everyone and has enough range and versatility to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or for use in cocktails.

Cost (Ohio): $34.99 + tax

Let's get to the review!

Taste - Score 29 out of 35

As we took the glass to our nose, we picked up rich smells of  toasty caramel, a bit of banana, with slight hints of mint (no hints of orange). It was reminiscent of winter.

With the taste, we picked up caramel, baking spice, more char, a bit of vanilla, and toasted bread. We could guess that this has spent more time in the barrel compared to others we have reviewed or there was a higher char level to pick up the char notes. The texture in your mouth feels much more rich and enjoyable. Due to the strong char, we think this is more enjoyable during cold temperatures.

Smoothness/FinishScore 21 out of 25

The finish is longer and more pronounced giving this a very distinctive vibe. It has strong hints of caramel on the throat. but not too much bite.

Intangibles: Color/AppearanceScore 11.5 out of 15.

Like Woodford Malt, Woodford Reserve has a beautiful dark color. The color stands out when put next to Weller Special Reserve (left) and Bulleit Rye (right). In our opinion, this is one of the best looking bourbons there are.

In terms of the packaging, in true Woodford fashion, it is minimal and simple, which adds a bit of elegance. We also like that they include the batch and bottle number. As seen in the pictures below,  this was batch #3199 and bottle number #1790. We also like the timelessness of the cream label more than the blue of the Woodford Malt or green of the Woodford Rye. As previously stated, you could do much worse than to stock a minimalist bar with all the flavors of Woodford.

Availability - Score 5 out of 5

Woodford Reserve is one of the most available brands of bourbon in all of Ohio. We don't recall ever being in an Ohio liquor store that didn't have an ample supply. 

Overall Value - Score 17 out of 20

Great value. The ultimate cocktail bourbon as the flavor is so strong, the taste of bourbon won't get lost when mixed with other ingredients. We recommend for warming you up on a cold winter night.

Final Score: 83.5 out of 100 - Recommended

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

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