By April Manning
Woodford Reserve first created a rye whiskey in 2011 for their Master’s Collection, then added a permanent rye to their line-up in 2015, and they are at it again now with their 2017 summer releases featuring this type of whiskey. The Distillery Series is very exclusive and will only be available at the distillery, located in the rolling hills of horse country near Versailles, Kentucky, plus a few select Kentucky retailers.
According to Chris Morris, Brown-Forman’s (Woodford Reserve) Master Distiller, “the opportunity to blend two outstanding rye whiskey profiles was too good to pass up.” So they concocted a blend of aged rye whiskey with the idea of “flavor innovation” for inspiration.
Woodford Reserve Blended Rye consists of a portion of the Master’s Collection Aged Cask Rye creation cited earlier, that was allowed to continue aging until this year. That 100% rye portion was then blended with the last of the original Distiller’s Select Straight Rye barrels, which had a mash bill of 53% rye, 33% corn and 14% malted barley. This blend came out to be 90.4 proof (45.2% ABV).
Woodford Reserve Blended Rye’s appearance reminds one of honey being bathed in sunlight giving it an elegant radiance that sets the stage for a rye that is lighter than customary spicy ryes. The nose appreciates a caramel sweetness with a touch of something yummy baking in the kitchen.
As the rye hits your tongue you first notice the dryness and then realize there is not the usual tingle associated with the high spice in ryes. Instead a definite fruity sensation of apples or pears creeps in mid-palette. The spirit finishes with a bit of a kick reminding you that it does still have that zesty grain and a bit of pepper, too.
All in all, a pleasant whiskey to sip and enjoy good conversation with and a good representative of Woodford Reserve’s latest Distillery Series.
If you stop by Woodford Reserve, this will cost you $46 for a 375 ml bottle.