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Woodford Reserve Bourbon

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Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:11 am

I tried this at a Whiskey Tasting last night and I am still thinking about it. In the past, I have had a dim view of American bourbon. That opinion has now changed. This was a gentle giant with lots of vanilla, honey, spice, toffee, flower and what I presume to be a rye background. Really entertaining and considerable length. I shake my head but I am still thinking about it. I went to the tasting to try a variety of scotches, but came away from it thinking about this bourbon. What does everyone else think of it?
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Liechtenstein » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:39 am

Novice Scotch Fan wrote: I shake my head but I am still thinking about it. I went to the tasting to try a variety of scotches, but came away from it thinking about this bourbon.


You have fallen in Love!

I met her about a year ago and we had some good times but...she didn't have enough oomph for me. She's like a Lowlander, all in finesse and delicate.

I wish you many happy times together.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby MacAttack80 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:14 am

Woodford Reserve is a great bourbon. It's one of the best out there in my opinion. If you feel the "love" for this bourbon, I recommend purchasing a bottle.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby LeoDLion » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:24 pm

I just had a dram of Woodford Reserve last night. I am not a bourbon drinker and this one did not impressed me the first time I had it a month ago. But last night, it tasted better for me. The heavy woody taste is still there but there are other subtle hints of taste that I can discern. Perhaps I have to give it more time and more drams.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby lancj1 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:26 pm

My favourite Bourbon, and posibly spirit.

It wqs reccomended to me in a Liquor store in Florida, and when I returned home I was delighted to see that was on sale in Tesco/Asda.

If you have access to Stephen Frys TV series, he visits and tastes at the woodford distrillery, and it also features in his book of the series, which you may be able to peruse for no cost at certain retailers.... :roll:
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:02 pm

MacAttack80 wrote:Woodford Reserve is a great bourbon. It's one of the best out there in my opinion. If you feel the "love" for this bourbon, I recommend purchasing a bottle.


I am really impressed with all the different flavours married together so well. Its interesting, complex and a lot to think about with every sip. I am definitely picking up a bottle. Intriguing stuff. Its a nice change from scotch.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby pmullin » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:36 pm

It's my favourite Bourbon as well. Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare are up there too.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby TreacleSponge » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:49 pm

lancj1 wrote:My favourite Bourbon, and posibly spirit.

It wqs reccomended to me in a Liquor store in Florida, and when I returned home I was delighted to see that was on sale in Tesco/Asda.

If you have access to Stephen Frys TV series, he visits and tastes at the woodford distrillery, and it also features in his book of the series, which you may be able to peruse for no cost at certain retailers.... :roll:

Yes it's by far the best of the bourbons easily available in supermarkets. I must have missed Stephen Fry's distillery visit, the last I saw was the Monument Valley episode, so I guess he's already passed Kentucky.

Novice, great that you've found a bourbon that suits you. I used to really like it, but more recently that vanilla-oak-sweet-spicy combination can be too subtle or simple for me - I think perhaps the batches are variable but I've never tried bottles head to head so not sure if it's my mood that changes or the batches. Maybe it's time to revisit it :)
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby TroyM » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:28 am

To be honest, I think WR is way overpriced for what you get especially in terms of consistancy. There are too many other nicer tasting, cheaper bourbons out there that dont suffer so badly from off notes or batch variation. I have had WR that is stunning and then the next bottle is as flat as a tack flavour wise.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby kwellada » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:04 am

Insofar as bourbons go, I haven't had Woodsford in awhile, though I found it to be decent. Not the best out there, but it'll do in a pinch. My favorite bourbons are:
1. George T. Stagg - hot diggity!
2. Blanton's - comes with the nifty horsey figure on the cork and has a touch more smoothness than most bourbons
3. Bakers - it has a good zippy bite
4. Elijah Craig 18 Year Old - another quality bourbon and probably the one that got my interest in whisky started in the first place.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:22 pm

TroyM wrote:To be honest, I think WR is way overpriced for what you get especially in terms of consistancy. There are too many other nicer tasting, cheaper bourbons out there that dont suffer so badly from off notes or batch variation. I have had WR that is stunning and then the next bottle is as flat as a tack flavour wise.


TroyM, I have read a lot of similar comments about problems with quality control on other sites. Anyway, the current batch that my evil govt controlled liquor store has obtained would in my lay opinion fall into the category of "stunning." I picked up a bottle last night. Tasting notes to follow.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:08 pm

I was given a "Batch 40" last Christmas, at 45.2% ABV.

I've never particularly liked bourbons. Not disliked them - just never gone for them. But this was soooo different. I often send samples to my 89 YO dad who loves scotch, esp. Ardbegs, Bowmores and Lagavulins...I sent it as a "mystery dram." He hadn't a clue...even asked "Is it a trick Bowmore?" but described it as "one of the best whisky experiences i've ever had!"

the batch variation thing is a bit of a worry, but my batch 40 won me over. Great stuff!!
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Secesh » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:41 pm

kwellada wrote:Insofar as bourbons go, I haven't had Woodsford in awhile, though I found it to be decent. Not the best out there, but it'll do in a pinch. My favorite bourbons are:
1. George T. Stagg - hot diggity!
2. Blanton's - comes with the nifty horsey figure on the cork and has a touch more smoothness than most bourbons
3. Bakers - it has a good zippy bite
4. Elijah Craig 18 Year Old - another quality bourbon and probably the one that got my interest in whisky started in the first place.


I agree with you on Woodsford's. I will add Booker's to your list. I think that is a very nice bourbon.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby UUNetBill » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:00 am

I'm admittedly not a big bourbon drinker (yet) but I have to admit I'm somewhat fond of the Four Roses Single Barrel - a nice nip when the weather turns cooler.

Has anyone tried this who can compare it to any of the others mentioned? I'm afraid that if we keep discussing bourbon here, I might need to buy more. . .

:o
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby hook55 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:40 pm

UUNetBill wrote:I'm admittedly not a big bourbon drinker (yet) but I have to admit I'm somewhat fond of the Four Roses Single Barrel - a nice nip when the weather turns cooler.

Has anyone tried this who can compare it to any of the others mentioned? I'm afraid that if we keep discussing bourbon here, I might need to buy more. . .

:o

I had Woodford Reserve a few months back and it was very nice, I had Four Roses after it and I found Four Roses tasted and went down smoother

So far Four Roses is the best Bourbon I have tasted, But! they are so many out there I haven't tasted :P
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby TreacleSponge » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:17 pm

Bill: if you like the Four Roses Single Barrel you might enjoy Woodford Reserve. I find the Single Barrel very smooth and gentle with just a little cinnamonny heat, and WR also has a tame softness. I think the SB is a very good whiskey but I just want to rough it up a little, and I recently tried a sample of Four Roses Small Batch which I might prefer as it was very obviously Four Roses, but a bit punchier.

I've never tried Blanton's. I bought a Gold, didn't check it in the shop and later found it had leaked so I returned it and by then that comedy horse on top of the quite camp bottle put me off wanting another. Stupid I know. But from what LSD and kwellada have said that might be up your street too. Then again, maybe try something completely different to mix things up a bit :)
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby TreacleSponge » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:41 pm

Um, Bill, I just remembered Four Roses Single Barrel is different over here from the US - ours looks like this at 43%:
Image

And I think the US version is 50% and a thinner taller bottle with a more angular top (can't find a picture, sorry). I'm pretty sure our version is getting replaced by the US bottlings sometime soon, which should be better and with a bit more kick.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby UUNetBill » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:06 am

Treacle - you are correct - here is the US/Japan bottling (50%):
Image
I liked this one quite a bit, assertive taste but not harsh.  I can't quite recall all of the flavor components; I may need to have another nip tonight to, uh, refresh my memory. :P Thanks to all who provided input. 
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby MGillespie » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:14 am

Treacle...you guys will be getting the US style bottle in the next year or so...I talked with Jim Rutledge at Four Roses recently and asked about those bottles after seeing them in Paris, and he said that they've been so busy getting their US distribution expanded that they haven't had a chance to get the new bottle design into Europe yet.

That said...I'm glad you guys are getting to sample some of these bourbons...

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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby UUNetBill » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:09 am

Which brings up the question:  In addition to getting the US style bottle, does that include getting the US style bourbon, i.e. 50% vs 43%?  One would hope. . .
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby TreacleSponge » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:48 am

It's going to be higher strength, but I can't remember if that's 46% or 50%.

Mark, next time you see Jim Rutledge ask him to crack on with getting it out to us over here, we're waiting! :)
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby MGillespie » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:23 pm

Will do! ;)

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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby oldrip57 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:11 am

The problem with Woodford Reserve -- which, by the way, is and always has been 90.4 (45.2% abv) proof -- for hard-core bourbonistas is its variablilty.
To begin with, when the Woodford Reserve pot stills were first fired up in 1996 there was, of course, no aged whiskey to put into the bottles. So, Brown-Forman hand-selected Old Forester bourbon barrels to transfer to the WR warehouses, where they were bottled as Woodford Reserve. It was only in Fall 2003, than ANY of the actual Woodford Reserve, pot-still product reached a WR bottle.
Then, because of inconsistencies in early distillate, they used varying amounts of Woodford 'new-make' married with a complement of Old Forester 'honey barrels', to complete the bottlings. They were, frankly, not up the early all-Old Forester bottlings (c. pre-Batch 90, with Lincoln Henderson's signature). Its earlier reputation kept the pipeline greased, but the bourbon itself became lackluster and inconsistent.
Recently, the pot-stilled product has become better and more consistent, but it still -- in my opinion -- is not up to the earliest batches, which really weren't Woodford Reserve at all, except in name. Those early bottles are pretty much gone in the U.S., but if you have access to pre-Batch 90/LH sig bottles elsewhere, grab 'em, and enjoy.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby oldrip57 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:14 am

Oops. Deleted as duplicate. Sorry.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:07 am

I wonder if it is my imagination, but the bottle of Woodford Reserve that I am drinking from right this moment is not the same bourbon I had at the whisky tasting. I am sure of it. At the tasting, what I sampled was definitely more complex, lighter and had none of the burn that I am tasting now. What I am drinking is quite different. I am really shocked at the difference and quite frankly disappointed. So, I can personally attest to this variance from batch to batch that Oldrips refers to in his post.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:30 am

C_I wrote:Which batch number was the lesser one, Novice? I recently purchased a batch 96.

B.t.w. found this, a tour around the Woodford Reserve Distillery:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71dS8rzfdHY


I returned the bottle this morning to the liquor store and the clerk said I was the second customer to do so this month. I did not see your post prior to returning it, so I cant tell you the batch number.

The bottle I had was really off. Nothing like the one at the Festival. Maybe this happened in transport (ie. froze or big swing in temperature or something). I recall a couple of years ago an Italian wine our liquor store had, was being returned in droves because they were all flawed. The liquor store advised that something happened in transport. Who knows? All I know is that what tasted last night was acrid, burnt and certainly flawed.

I replaced it with the good 'ol dependable Macallan 12yr old. :D
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:14 pm

Picked up another bottle of WR and it is fine. Very fine!
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Spirit of Islay » Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:52 pm

Picked up a Woodford Reserve Today (Batch 53 , an old batch ? 43,2%) , very smooth and very enjoyable . Also picked up a Makers Mark at the same time , bit more of a kick to this one .
Been getting into Bourbons since Dean at the Vaults recommended me try one of theirs from Heaven Hill .
Bought a Elijah Craig 12 and a Buffalo Trace since , trying the regulars before venturing up the price range .
Also been getting into Van Winkles Family Reserve 13yo Rye thatanks to Eddie at the Whisky Lounge , now that is some dram !
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby lancj1 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:00 pm

Just opened my Xmas present bottle - batch 49 bottle 03606 - tastes as great as ever, maybe there is some variation, or maybe I am looking for it now, but a top drink
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby COstonebender » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:08 am

I have a WR batch 46 bottle 01732. I find it quite enjoyable... I am new to Bourbon, or all whiskey in that matter, but I really enjoy the taste. My lady friend upstairs isn't fond of Whiskey, but she added just a splash of Coke to WR :shock: and it went down like water. I will most likely purchase another(bigger than 375 ml) bottle of Woodford Reserve.

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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:17 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with the gist of oldrip57's informative post.

For me, Woodford Reserve comes across, in general, as a capable enough if ultimately unexciting Bourbon, its palate 'impact' being overshadowed by the likes of (and these are not extravagant alternatives by any stretch of the imagination) Elijah Craig 12 Year Old, Knob Creek and Wild Turkey 101. Admittedly though, I do prefer Bourbons with a decided 'edge' to them.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby MacPete » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:47 pm

Had it last summer and although I don't remember it as super complex, it was indeed very nice. Don't know a whole lot about bourbon, but definately one of the best I've tried.
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Schpyder » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:05 am

Spirit of Islay wrote:Also been getting into Van Winkles Family Reserve 13yo Rye thatanks to Eddie at the Whisky Lounge , now that is some dram !


Oh, indeed it is. And, depending on the bottle number, odds are it's actually up to 19 years old! The Van Winkles originally bottled it at 13 years, true, from a stock of casks at that age. But the thing is, they didn't use nearly all of them, and they allowed them to continue to mature. And then did later bottlings.

So, bottlings starting with A are at the stated age, B is actually 14 years, C is 15, etc. All the way up to G where the entire stock was dumped into stainless to arrest maturing. Everything since then is actually 19 year old whiskey! Funny thing, after I, they started renumbering at A for some reason. I guess they had a good stock of labels and never reprinted any to save on costs, but with this in mind, it's one of the best values in premium American Whiskey, in my opinion. A friend of mine said he just found some brand new A bottlings in Colorado for $35. Oh, how I dearly hate him right now - it's $70 here in Michigan!
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Re: Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Postby Whisky » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:30 pm

lancj1 wrote:Just opened my Xmas present bottle - batch 49 bottle 03606 - tastes as great as ever, maybe there is some variation, or maybe I am looking for it now, but a top drink


My local supermarket has some batch 49s in stock. I mean to purchase some more as it's a very nice batch. (I have a bottle beside me as I type.)
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