Review: Woodford Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Woodford Rye 2.jpg
Virgin Charred Oak
53% Rye, plus corn and malt
Distiller Woodford Reserve (Versailles, Kentucky)

Generally, I’m not the biggest fan of woodford bourbons. I don’t dislike them, but I find the body isn’t big enough for the level of oak in them - but others would disagree, and many of my friends love the stuff. However, I quite like their new straight malt and straight wheat whiskies particularly for their uniqueness. So, I thought it was about time to try their rye - which I hear good things about and has made its way up to Canada relatively recently.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: 0331

  • Bottling Code: L038911530

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose is very dynamic, and complex. Candied fruit, oak, grain, honey, potpourri, rich toasted oak, multigrain flour, baking spice, lilac, cinnamon, hibiscus tea, black tea. Gorgeous complexity, and well balanced between grain and oak (NB – I find the woodford bourbon not as balanced). Even a touch of that really nice vegetal characteristic of rye (pot stills do some good work on rye!).

The palate is oaky, but full of baking spice, pepper, oak, dried apricot, vanilla, spice, dark chocolate, and pepper. It still has a really nice rich corn body. Awesome!  The finish has oak, cinnamon, lilac, dried apricot, chocolate, orange peel and clove.

It’s hard not to have a few of these…I think I’ve found a new favourite American rye to add to Rendezvous and Bulleit.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Very High. Great price, really good whisky.