Single malt whisky - tasting notes

03 Dec 2009

Woodford Reserve

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * USA

Woodford Reserve is a small batch bourbon from one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky. It’s made in old-fashioned copper pot stills and matured in 100 year-old warehouses made from stone instead of the usual wood. This means temperature changes will occur less sudden as the stone buffers the heat and cold. Woodford Reserve is at least 6 years old.


Woodford Reserve Woodford Reserve
(43,2%, OB 2009, batch 54)

Nose: tons of vanilla with beautiful undertones of cedar wood, varnish and peppermint. Almonds. Crême brûlée. Some pear and floral notes. There’s even a hint of charcoal. It’s very rich and certainly has an individual character, different from other bourbons. Mouth: immediately woody (maybe a tad too much, slightly tannic) and spicy. Mint again. Burnt caramel and maple syrup. Something metallic as well (like licking a battery). A little tobacco towards the finish. Finish: sweet and spicy. Echoes of vanilla. Medium length.

A very attractive and rather complex nose, but on the palate it doesn’t live up to the expectations. The wood kicks in a bit too hard. Well priced: around € 35.

Score: 80/100

Woodford Reserve 2.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-12-03
  • spectator

    It is true that the warehouses of Woodford Reserve are made of stone. But during winter they are heated with steam and then allowed to cool of, in 6 week cycles, to get more temperature variation.

    I agree that it is a very good bourbon.

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  • Pentium

    You also licked batteries (as a child, I hope ;))?!
    Woodford Reserve is one of my favourite Bourbons, though it takes quite some time of learning to appreciate it. Always reminds me of a good Rum, but it certainly got much more. It’s rather dry and full style along with the absence of heavy glue notes I find in many Bourbons (and which I don’t like too much) make it a winner.
    Maybe it’s worth to revisit this Bourbon, once you finished your Japanese journey.

  • Ruben

    Actually I do like (soft) glue notes, and in general I prefer rounded bourbon over the dryness of this Woodford Reserve. It’s a good bourbon for a good price, I’ll try to revisit it soon.



September 2014
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  • Tony: I heard last year from a Glendronach rep that there were <10 '71/2 casks left - can't remember the exact number (6 or 8 maybe). And that
  • Tony: May have been 130 Euros in Japan, but was marked up to 279 Euros by the time it reached LMDW!
  • Tudval: Just because canadian whisky 'can' have other stuff in it, doesn't mean it does. Regulation is not the be all and end all. Certainly these days there

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1615 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.