Let me be blunt for a moment – I drank the hell out of this bottle of whiskey. Damn it was good. The aromas on the nose combined to remind me of sought after dusty bottles that are getting harder and harder to find. The flavor, while not quite as magical as a great dusty bottle, was addictive. So addictive in fact that I almost drank my full bottle before saving enough for my review.
Available in US and global markets, Woodford Reserve Wheat is based on historical recipes but influenced by the iconic core Woodford Reserve Bourbon brand. With wheat as the dominant grain – at 52 percent, followed by malt (20%), corn (20%) and rye (8%) – this whiskey was created by renowned Master Distiller Chris Morris.
“After Prohibition, the federal government permitted four styles of American straight whiskey, each with a different majority grain – bourbon, rye, wheat and malt,” Morris said. “Woodford Reserve now has all four whiskeys as part of its permanent family of brands – Woodford Bourbon, Woodford Rye, Woodford Malt and now Woodford Wheat.”
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As is my experience with the Fuente brand in general, this cigar is extremely well made/constructed. The wrapper is really beautiful and has no visible seams or significant veins. As I lit up, the cedar flavor is still very much front and center, but there is a bit of lightly roasted coffee beans and some leather on the palate as well.
As I progressed through the first third of these cigars, I got more earthy flavors, and some more of the leather as the cedar notes faded to the background. The cocoa or even possibly a cinnamon sweetness ramps up in the second third of the smoke as well. The wrapper is delicious. Not overly sweet but extremely enjoyable. If you like to hold a cigar in your teeth and enjoy the flavor that a beautiful wrapper imparts, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
A barrel pick experience is without a doubt one the best things you can be a part of if you are a bourbon fan. Each one is different. Every distillery does it a bit differently and the people you are with all help to make each one unique. As I stated above, I’ve been EXTREMELY fortunate to have been able to participate in more than my fair share of these once in a lifetime experiences. Most bourbon fans can only dream of being a part of one of these picks. I decided to write about this experience for all of my fellow bourbon fans that either live way too far away from bourbon country, don’t have the access to do a private pick, or just don’t have the time in their busy schedule to put their work and home obligations on hold to travel to KY to drink bourbon. If you’re reading this you’re obviously a bourbon fan, these barrel pick trips are bucket list stuff.
The older bourbon succumbs to the unbridled alcohol of the younger whiskies in the blend. Upon first sniff, this completely singed my nose hairs, which is a highly unpleasant feeling and one that doesn’t make you eager to subject your delicate tastebuds to. This causticity renders the whole experience – from first sniff to final swallow – wholly unpleasant. I felt like I was drinking something rawer, less aged, and much cheaper.
Overall, I am big fan of finished “bourbons.” I will admit that before tasting this, I have paid $125 for a 10-year MGP bourbon finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for 6 months finished and bottled from a place in California. It is very, very good.
The Bardstown Bourbon Company bills themselves as the first Napa Valley style destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The Bardstown Bourbon Collaborative Series #1 is a sourced Tennessee Bourbon finished in Phifer Pavitt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from Napa Valley for 19 months. Certainly makes sense for a Napa style destination.