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Woodford Reserve Malt Whiskey Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment

“Inspired by history and a desire to make the best tasting whiskies in the world, Woodford Reserve is charting its own unique path with this new malt whiskey based on historical precedence and our commitment to flavor, something that’s ingrained in everything we do,” Chris Morris, Master Distiller
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  • DISTILLER: The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY
  • MASH BILL: 51% Malted Barley  |  47% Corn  |  2% Rye
  • AGE: NAS – No Age Statement
  • YEAR: 2018
  • PROOF: 90.4 (45.2% ABV)
  • MSRP: $35.00
  • BUY ONLINE: Ace Spirits
NOSE: Corn | Malt Grain | Chocolate Covered Nuts | Red Fruit

TASTE: Malt Balls | Corn | Pepper | Nuts

FINISH: Starts with a burst of peppery spice that slowly gives way to a creamy malt ball taste and ends leaving a coating of cocoa on the tongue. Not much of a burn but a slow warming as the sipping continues.

SHARE WITH: I would share this with anyone who is looking to get into the swim of American malt whiskies but wants to start with just a toe in the water.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes. This is not much more expensive than Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I always recommend trying something new at a bar. If you are a Woodford fan I would go for a bottle.

OVERALL: This bottle was a present to me from my cousin, for a favor I did for him in college, over 46 years ago. I truly did not remember it (even when he told me) but I was glad to receive the bottle. I’m have not been a big Woodford Bourbon fan in the past but find myself enjoying it more recently. When I saw this was a malt whiskey I felt a pang of disappointment because I am not a big fan of American Malt Whiskey. From the first sip of this Woodford Reserve Malt Whiskey however, I was and continue to be pleasantly surprised.

As I first brought my glass to my nose, my first thought was this is Woodford Reserve Bourbon. A closer nosing however brings the malt grain, followed by a malted chocolate essence like malt balls

On the palate, first there is a burst of spicy pepper, followed by a mixture of corn and the chocolate malt balls. The taste alternated between malt whiskey and Woodford Reserve Bourbon. I found it to be an enjoyable combination.

The finish starts with a burst of spicy pepper which develops into a creamy chocolate mouth feel and ends leaving a layer of cocoa on the tongue.

Obviously, given the mash bill, this almost qualifies as a bourbon. It is very much like a bourbon although the malt whiskey comes through as well. I like this better than the Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

This is an interesting addition to the Woodford line. It is worth giving a try.

Learn more about Lee, his whiskey preferences and read more of his reviews…

About the Author
Lee Stang

Lee Stang


Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars.

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